From August 18 to September 8, Gallery BK Itaewon, located in the Hannam-dong neighborhood of Seoul, will host Unlimited Path, a group show featuring eight artists who mix various mediums to create unique and dynamic works of art.
Artistic activity is, in essence, the outcome of an artist expressing his thoughts and emotions. And in extension, a work of art can be understood as the aggregate made by countless such activities and processes. Starting from the late 19th century’s modern art era, the classical concept of artistic activity — established by Europe’s Renaissance painting traditions in the 14–16th century — underwent a radical and epoch-shifting diversification. In the late 1960s, New York’s avant-garde school of artists adapted a new category of art medium, mixed media, and the category’s definition and breadth were rapidly expanded by the increasing demands of other artists in the 20th century who had also felt the need to break away from traditional art mediums. Now, we live in an era where the material aspects of a work can alone express a breathtaking range of possibilities. The unrestricted and limitless environment has provided market-leading artists with every possible tool to express their unique ideas and thoughts and created an arena where various mediums unite and continually refresh their identities.
When an artist fuses different mediums into one work, this act also gives viewers extra room to further their imaginations. In our era of interdisciplinarity, art’s ability to use any object or aspect of daily life as an art medium has been crucial to viewers and aficionados. This change has allowed one to imagine freely and without obstruction and, more importantly, provided the opportunity to fully submerge into one’s inner realm of “emotional sincerity.” Starting from paper — the quintessence of all mediums — and ranging over paint, ceramics, cotton and nylon threads, metal pipes, stainless steel, and mother-of-pearl, the sheer breadth of mediums used in the works takes viewers beyond the formal aspects of the works and encourages them to absorb new, profound viewpoints. For example, one of the works, a steel unit with added brushstrokes, expresses the factor of relatedness in human relationships and the emotional changes it brings. In another work, the artist brings daily-life objects together and discusses the subjects of “repetitiveness” and “temporality” by unveiling each object’s tactility and visual materiality. In another work, a mass of colored papers arranged in infinite circles hints toward the continuality of life. As evidenced in this exhibition, the contemporary art trend of employing daily-life objects in works of art shows how the idea of universal beauty is being challenged in art.
Dadaism, an art movement born in the face of World War I’s absurdity, found it necessary that all previous traditions be renounced. Namely, Tristan Tzara (1896–1963), a poet belonging to the school, proclaimed, “The new artist no longer creates symbolic or illusionist reproductions. Instead, he creates directly — in stone, wood, and iron — organisms that are capable of carrying momentary feelings in all directions.” Gallery BK’s August exhibition, Unlimited Path, features eight artists who have converted and visualized each medium’s essence and identity into works of art by persisting in unique studio practices and exploring every possibility. In presenting their works, we wish viewers to encounter the unencumbered and diversified contemporary definition of the object and experience the mechanisms it has been constructing within the present boundaries of art.
Min Choi, Director, Gallery BK
Drawing 3-IIIF.R.P resin, acrylic paint, linen, steel, wooden board 141 x 101 x 35 cm, 2022
Chalna- Postbox C2F.R.P resin, acrylic paint, linen, steel, wooden board 150 x 80 x 35 cm, 2020