Kukje Gallery is pleased to announce its participation both in the 6th edition of West Bund Art & Design and the 7th edition of ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair from November 7 through 10, 2019. This is the gallery’s second time participating in West Bund Art & Design. Tracing the western shoreline of the Huángpǔ River for 11 km, the area of West Bund has positioned itself as Shanghai’s art hub, transforming its factory district into a vibrant art complex centered on its museums and cultural venues. Launched in 2014, the 6th anniversary of West Bund Art & Design will include more than 100 leading international galleries from Asia, Europe, and the Americas. West Bund Art & Design will be organized in sections including ‘Galleries,’ a section which will show galleries from all over the world; ‘Xiàn Chǎng,’ a section which is comprised of solo presentations by international artists; along with ‘DREAM Video 100’ presenting a unique program of over 100 film and video works on the outdoor LED projection wall.
Kukje Gallery will highlight a wide-ranging presentation featuring both Korean and international modern and contemporary masters. This includes paintings by Dansaekhwa masters such as Lee Ufan’s With Winds (1998), a work characterized by bold brushstrokes that convey a gust of wind; Ha Chong-Hyun’s Conjunction 17-66 (2017) from his Conjunction series, which utilizes the innovative method known as bae-ap-bub, a technique of pushing paint from the obverse side of the canvas to the front; Chung Sang-Hwa’s Untitled 90-5-20 (1990), made by removing cracked layers of paint that has been applied to a canvas and then folded, creating an allover pattern consisting of small quadrilaterals and triangles; and Park Seo-Bo’s iconic Ecriture (描法) No. 080704 (2008) from his signature Ecriture series. Lee Ufan is currently the subject of a solo exhibition titled Lee Ufan: Open Dimension (on view through September 13, 2020) at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., while Park Seo-Bo was highlighted in a recent retrospective at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul. Dansaekhwa was featured at a major exhibition titled Korean Abstract Art: Kim Whanki and Dansaekhwa at the Powerlong Museum in Shanghai in November of 2018. The show introduced the pioneering Korean abstract painter Kim Whanki, along with the leading figures of Dansaekhwa including Kwon Young-Woo, Chung Chang-Sup, Park Seo-Bo, Chung Sang-Hwa, Ha Chong-Hyun, and Lee Ufan, bringing together approximately eighty works, receiving much critical acclaim from the Chinese audiences and encouraging further examination of and dialogue around this seminal postwar art movement.
The booth will also include work by the internationally renowned artist Haegue Yang, who is the subject of an upcoming solo exhibition at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami. Following its debut at the inaugural edition of Taipei Dangdai earlier this year, The Intermediate – Ringed Extravaganza Shield (2018), a work made of black artificial straw from The Intermediates series, will be introduced to Chinese audiences. The booth installation will also include work by the contemporary British artist Julian Opie including Flight attendant. (2015), an LED panel portraying the simple, mesmerizing animation of walking.
Coinciding with West Bund Art & Design, Kukje Gallery will also participate in ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair (hereafter ART021). Founded in 2013, ART021 has quickly become one of Shanghai’s foremost art fairs, providing a superior platform for international contemporary art. ART021 will collaborate with museums, auction houses, and galleries during Shanghai International Artwork Trading Month which will be launched this November, further establishing Shanghai as a major global art hub. The 7th edition of ART021 will include 111 galleries from 57 cities in 18 countries from all around the world.
At ART021, Kukje Gallery will present a solo booth featuring work of the Berlin-based artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset. The presentation will showcase a body of new sculptures that employ the human body as a medium, oscillating between soberness and humor, and deploying both minimalist and figurative modes of expression. Prominently installed in the booth is a giant version of a human tailbone titled Tailbone (golden) (2019), an organic form that appears somewhat familiar and bears some resemblance to certain high modernist works by established modern artists such as Barbara Hepworth and Jean Arp, but that also shows an affinity with the fluidity of Zaha Hadid’s architectural structures. The tailbone is ubiquitous across race and gender, serving as a poignant reminder that we all come from the animal kingdom. Black Socks (2019), another new work by the duo, features the hips and legs of a reclining man reminiscent of Greco-Roman statuary, but dressed in black socks. No Man Is An Island (2019) consists of two bronze hands with outstretched index fingers facing and almost seeming to touch one another, but hindered by an aluminium plate installed in between.
Michael Elmgreen (born 1961 in Copenhagen, Denmark) and Ingar Dragset (born 1969 in Trondheim, Norway) are based in Berlin and have worked together as an artist duo since 1995. The artists’ works often employ both humor and poignant sarcasm to comment on social and political issues. Across multiple mediums including architecture, installation, sculpture, and performance, the artists not only create narrative scenarios but also draw on absurdity to undermine the rigid systems that are embedded in the society we live in. Elmgreen & Dragset are currently the subject of a solo exhibition featuring iconic works, titled Elmgreen & Dragset: Sculptures (on view through January 5, 2020) at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas. The duo has also recently installed two permanent outdoor installations titled Point of View at the Kistefos Museum sculpture park in Oslo, Norway.
In addition to West Bund Art & Design and ART021, Shanghai’s art week will feature a succession of festivities including exhibitions and events at museums and galleries all over the city, promising a dynamic synergy between cutting edge art and culture.