Baik Art is proud to present its inaugural exhibition, Hands Across the Water, opening September 13, 2014, with a reception from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. The exhibition will be showcased in two parts, with the first portion on view until October 4, and the second from October 11 – 31. Hands Across the Water presents the work of Ahmad Zakii Anwar (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Kow Leong Kiang (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Heri Dono (Jogyakarta, Indonesia), Choi Tae Hoon (Seoul, South Korea), and Han Yong Jin (New York, USA), each responding to their experiences traveling to Jeju Island and Seoul, South Korea.
In fall of 2013, Baik Art hosted these five artists on Jeju Island. During this trip, the artists travelled to historical sites (like the 4,3 Peace Park and the DMZ) to collectively uncover South Korea’s colonial history, shared in the human experience of sitting down for meals and celebrating toasts, and engaged in conversations about their unique art worlds and personal trajectories as artists. The works presented in this exhibition encapsulate the shared memories and perceptions from this time together.
Ahmad Zakii Anwar has prepared panoramic black and white charcoal drawings of the Haenyo women of Jeju Island. These women appear as heroines of a classic horror movie, enlivening and eulogizing the matrilineal legacies and legends native to the island. In this series, Zakii captures the sea creatures in great detail, translating his sensuous feeling for food and the human figure onto the tactile fragility of paper.
Kow Leong Kiang will present his meticulous portraits of contemporary Seoul women, accentuating their extraordinary banality in poses that reference scenes near bus stops, subways, and street corners. Working from snapshot photographs, Kow contrasts the eerie verisimilitude of quotidian Seoul city life, to its representations in popular media. He translates his focused observations with a technical consideration of glazes, bringing the tradition of Netherlandish painting to the contemporary context of Seoul. This return to classical representation allows the viewer to gain access to a strong presence of animism still existent in Korean culture today.
Choi Tae Hoon will install a steel sculpture created with the aid of a pressurizing machine of his own invention. With the force of gravity, Choi has symbolically compressed time (the ten days spent together) and history (the collective trauma of Asian colonial legacies) to render everyday objects like rice bowls, spoons, and teapots into flattened souvenirs.
Heri Dono will contribute a series of ink sketches and an animated installation (inspired by a traditional form of Indonesian puppet theatre known as wayang-kulit) to conflate the foundational mythologies of Indonesia and Jeju Island, narratives centered on its indigenous mountains. With a thorough knowledge of Indonesian history, Dono forms his own syncretic narratives through his playful cartoons and biting critiques of contemporary Indonesian politics and ancient Korean history, dating back to the Goryeo Dynasty.
Han Yong Jin has carved a series of sculptures from lava stones native to the island. Han is committed to distilling the truth in his use of materials, seeking an authentic engagement with stone as a substance that is both ancient and alive. At once referencing the timeless analects of Confucius, the spirit of shamanism dominant in Jeju Island, and extracting the naturally poetic gesture from the heavy-handed references to Minimalism, his works convey a quality that reduces to a structural integrity that is evades post-modern notions of essentialism. In doing so, he roots these references to his everyday practice of uncovering the nuances of life.Baik Art 2600 South La Cienega Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90034 www.baikart.com