The P K M GALLERY, Beijing presents Imagery Play, featuring fourteen Korean, Chinese, Japanese and European artists whose works display highly stylized and characterized renderings of images in painting, drawing, print, video and installation.
The participating artists include both established and young, emerging generations whose works can be cross-referenced in terms of their innovative and distinctive methods of interpreting, manipulating and creating images.
The exhibition includes Thomas Bayrle (1937), whose experimental graphics and prints played a pivotal role in German Pop art, Michael Craig-Martin (1941), who was a significant influence on the YBA and whose later works show stylized drawings and even computer-generated images, and Tadanori Yokoo (1936), an important forerunner for young Japanese artists of today whose multifaceted work encompasses design, illustration, prints, and other media. They are widely respected artists whose broad-ranging careers expand our perception of visual art.
The youngest artist of the exhibition Hiroe Saeki (1978) creates the most meticulous and elaborate drawings of imaginary plants and animals through painstaking and time consuming manual process. Tang Maohong's (1975) video and print works display flickering segments of images from our daily life, imagination and dreams.
The artists in this exhibition take visual motifs from various sources - impressions from travels, views of nature, urban scenery, people, objects, photographic materials, movies, and art historical references as well.
In the canvas of Franz Ackermann (1963), the impressions from his travels to various cities around the world are reborn as vibrant re-arrangements of forms and colors filled with rich symbols and layers. Lisa Ruyter (1968) and Julian Opie (1958) transform scenes of everyday reality ? people, objects, landscapes- which are often taken from photographs or films, into the flattened and minimalized worlds in their own distinctive styles. O JUN (1956) also depicts fragments of visual impressions in his characteristic paintings and drawings. Sunny Kim (1969) and Myung-jin Song (1973) create new visions of landscape through exaggeration and reduction of images; Kim's works that refer to traditional Korean landscape painting lack certain details and the substantial elements composing the landscape are modified into her own visual language. The resulting works thus evoke a new interpretation of the landscape. Song's work also deals with conceptually maneuvering the nature of landscape painting by concentrating on particular colors and simplified formal elements.
Some of the works in the exhibition explore the concept of abstractionism in contemporary terms, which often results in geometric composition. In Alvar Beyer (1970)'s canvas, images of nature and architectural landscapes are reinterpreted through clean lines, fields of colors and patterns. The forms and colors of Jinnie Seo's (1963) installation traversing the open gallery space interact with the changing light and the architectural structure of the building.
Katarina Lofstrom's (1970) video works further expand the play of imageries together with soundtrack. Her abstracted images undulate with the sounds that reverberate through the exhibition space.
These artists in Imagery Play present subtle yet bald interplay between forms and colors, methods and concepts, interpretation and presentation through their own distinctive visual nuances and tones. Many of them are versatile artists who work in diverse visual fields including design, painting, graphic and video. The variations of imageries condensed in their styles suggest yet another aesthetic possibility for image-making unbound and freed from the realm of representation.
Organized by Yoewool Kang
Associate Director, P K M GALLERY, Seoul