2023. 9. 6 - 10. 14 | [GALLERIES] PKM GALLERY
Koo Jeong A
Koo Jeong A, Density, 2023, Polyamide, paint, wood, magnetic levitation device, 126.3 x 43.6 x 60.8 cm, Courtesy of the artist & PKM Gallery.
PKM Gallery is delighted to announce the solo exhibition Levitation by Koo Jeong A from September 6th to October 14th. Koo has gained international recognition for her delicate creations that engage all five senses. This marks her fourth solo exhibition in Korea, where the artist will present a collection of 20 works. Among them are the new large-scale Seven Stars painting series, a floating magnet sculpture, and a comprehensive retrospective encompassing her diverse oeuvre, spanning mediums like drawing, printing, posters, and books.
Koo Jeong A, MYSTERIOUSSS, 2017, Poster, 89.2 x 118.9 cm, Courtesy of the artist & PKM Gallery.
In Levitation, Koo invites visitors to explore an alternate space beyond the reality we know, through works that establish loose yet intimate and nonlinear relationships. The exhibition revolves around the motif “OUSSS,” which has recurred in Koo’s work since the 1990s and continues to expand. “OUSSS” is an enigmatic universe created by the artist – a word, a morpheme, a substance, and an energy all at once. The fetal creature often appearing in this cosmos traverses the darkness, conveying mischievous humor and strange sensations with gestures that surpass human-like qualities. It guides us into the realm of universal mystery (MYSTERIOUSSS), curiosity (CURIOSSSA), and true me & I (CHAMNAWANA).
Koo Jeong A, OBP, 2015, Pencil on a paper + magic pen, 21 x 29.7 cm, Courtesy of the artist & PKM Gallery.
The artist presented a 3D film about “OUSSS,” a project she had been working on for nine years, at Paris+ par Art Basel in 2022. In this exhibition, OBP (2015), which served as a script for the film, is being showcased for the first time. At the end of the series, where familiar concepts are deconstructed, expanded, exploded, and released, a new work titled SS Gakchal (2023) emerges, signifying ‘quickly recognizing other people’s minds or signs of work’ in Korean. Such word play is a recurrent theme in her artistic practice, seen in instances like FLAMMARIOUSSS (2006), a collaborative publication with author and philosopher Édouard Glissant (1928-2011), focused on the Flammarion French dictionary. In this version, Koo rewrote the dictionary and simply added the word and the definition of “OUSSS”. A limited-edition book is placed alongside a poster in honor of Glissant.
Koo Jeong A, OUSSSEUX, 2007, Drawing, 21.59 x 27.94 cm each, 78pcs, Courtesy of the artist & PKM Gallery.
Meanwhile, the Seven Stars series, which illuminated the entire gallery space in 2020, has transformed into paintings of midday and twilight that are visible in daylight. “Seven Stars” relates to the classical planets (Moon, Mercury, Venus, The Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) based on astrology, alchemy, and mysticism. While the series released three years ago featured paintings that revealed their figures only at night, utilizing the light energy accumulated during the day, the current works capture a manifestation of space, the world, and the universe from a broader perspective. On Earth, humans can perceive bright colors through oxygen particles; plants sprout or bloom in response to light; and gravity causes straightly radiating light to bend to curvature. The series represents how such occurrences on Earth are not irrelevant to the activities of the planets beyond.
Koo Jeong A, FLAMMARIOUSSS (Yvon Lambert Editions), 2006, Book, 34.9 x 26.9 x 8 cm, Courtesy of the artist & PKM Gallery.
Another prominent work in the show is Density (2023), captivating the audience with its three-dimensional structure that defies gravity. Originating as a daily drawing series between 2005 and 2006, and later evolving into an Augmented Reality artwork in 2019, Density has now been reborn as a floating sculpture, employing the properties of both attracting and repelling magnets. This concept is intricately linked to the NOMOS Alpha (2016) drawings displayed in the annex. While these images might appear reminiscent of sketches drawn during a brief nap, they constitute a complex realm of intertwining facts, fiction, psychological impulses, and whimsy. Koo’s diverse compositions interact and create an ensemble that evokes wonder through unexpected encounters and discoveries.
Koo Jeong A, NOMOS Alpha, 2016, Print, 109 x 88 x 5 cm, Courtesy of the artist & PKM Gallery.
With the belief that “nothing is merely ordinary,” Koo consistently awakens the poetic aspects of the everyday life by using common materials that are easily scattered and intervening in familiar spaces in unconventional ways. Her practice involves navigating the open realm of possibilities within the cognitive domain, oscillating between conflicting concepts such as invisible and visible, imaginary and real, and absence and presence. Selected as the representative artist for the South Korean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale next year, Koo envisions transforming the pavilion into a “Fragrance Travel to Korea” space, aligned with the theme of ODORAMA CITIES. The artist aims to sketch an intangible map of the Korean Peninsula with the audience, offering a unique olfactory exploration.
Installation view of Koo Jeong A, Levitation at PKM and PKM+. Courtesy of PKM Gallery-5
Living and working across various locations worldwide, Koo has achieved international acclaim through solo exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), Dia: Beacon (New York, USA), Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf, Germany), Moderna Museet (Stockholm, Sweden), Foundation Beyeler (Riehen, Switzerland), and Art Sonje Center (Seoul, Korea). She also participated in various group shows, including Venice Biennale, São Paulo Biennale, Gwangju Biennale, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, USA), Tate Modern (London, UK), Louis Vuitton Foundation (Paris, France), MartinGropius-Bau (Berlin, Germany), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, Japan), LUMA Arles, Parc des Ateliers (Arles, France), Museum of Modern and Contempoary Art, Gwacheon (Gwacheon, Korea), and Leeum Museum of Art (Seoul, Korea). Koo was a finalist for the Hugo Boss Prize in 2002, won the Hermes Foundation Missulsang in 2005, and received the honor of being named the ‘2016 Artist of the Year’ by the Korean Cultural Centre UK. She is currently preparing for her upcoming solo exhibition at the Aspen Art Museum in the United States.
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