The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange


Dates: September 20 – November 20, 2012
Artists Reception: September 20, 6:00–9:00PM
Location: University Art Gallery, UC Irvine

Being Political Popular:
Art at the Intersection of Popular Culture and Democracy Movements in South Korea, 1980-2010
Curated by Sohl Lee

As the first group exhibition introducing the wide-ranging work of South Korean political art to the American audience, Being Political Popular showcases 16 artists and art collectives and more than 40 artworks. At once an art historical investigation and a curatorial exercise, this exhibition attempts a historiographical investigation and epistemological exploration of artistic practices as a particular sort of public culture, one that benefits from the languages of both popular culture and political resistance.

Placing today’s artists in conversation with the 1980’s minjung art (“people’s art”), the exhibition’s inter-generational juxtaposition will shed new light on both minjung and contemporary periods. This new genealogy of South Korean political art fully takes into account the shifts in the visual technologies and mediums from the 1980s (i.e., comic drawings, funeral painting, woodblock prints, theater) to today (i.e., photography, installation, performance, video), effectively interlinked in the following six themes: Sites of Resistance (Choi Byung-soo, Kim Dong-won, Seoul Labor Collective, Park Jae-dong); Reenacting History (Kim Min-gi, Hong Sung-dam, Oh Hein-kuhn); Between One and All (Mixrice, siren eunyoung jung); Seoul Tour/Pyongyang Express (listen to the city, Park Chan-kyong, Back Seung Woo); Past is Future (Lee Ho-suk, Park Bul-dong); and Play to Fly (Kim Sangdon, Minari and Hackie).

Co-sponsors: Academy of Korean Studies (AKS), Arts Council Korea (ARKO), Critical Theory Emphasis, and Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at University of California, Irvine.

University Art Gallery (UAG), Building 712
Room Gallery (R), Building 727 – Room 1200
Contemporary Arts Center Gallery (CAC) – Building 721 – Lobby Level

Artists receptions are held at 6:00 p.m. on the opening night of each exhibition — the public is welcome and admission is always free.
NOTE: Artists, titles and dates are subject to change.
Check website for updates, gallery hours, holiday closings and directions. (949) 824-9854

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