There is something unique with Korea that traps it in the middle, our ideas are free to wonder on why it is so overcoming geopolitical, historical, cultural, industrial, aesthetical and psychological accounts. In the mind of every artist an associative image vividly portrays these concepts, so common and familiar, yet uncanny and mostly amusing representation. Although culture is a hardly changeable given that all of use are born and raised with all of us hone the choice to constrict a personalized world of the culture that represents us.
Korea in particular is contradiction’s mascot- the country thrives in its balanced tension, pulled constantly in opposing directions. It is the creative distruction’s playground of the opposing yet coexisting traditions vs. modernity, heritage vs. West, crafts vs. technology, old vs. new and natural beauty vs. social esthetics. Each of the artists are exploring these concepts to a certain extent, transforming their inner tension in a beautiful work of art, a mini representation of Korea’s reality.
Korea is a country that historically struggles to create and maintain its identity, which in turn is constantly challenged by powerful forces, most evidently evident by its geographical and geopolitical situation. Powerful China and Korea historically fought to impose their influence either politically, socially or economically. On some occasions influence was successfully transmitted, showcased by Korea’s most obvious artifact- Confucianism. Today Korean society is a clash between Confucian ideals and modern ambition; a truly unique country whose rise to creativity came through its battle for retaining its identity.
The work of the following 20 artists showcased in Korean Eye Exhibition 2012 hosted by London’s Saatchi gallery, personify this identity, each focusing on an aspect that is closest to their own personal interpretation. The variety of contradictory media is as fascinating as it is a glue binding contradictory concepts together into harmonious pieces.