New Waves, Korea @ Taksu

Korean contemporary art reveals a sensibility seemingly informed by a colonial history of foreign occupations. Its aesthetic congruence amalgamates a Chinese emphasis on illustrated forms, clean lines & natural textures from the Japanese, with an American brand of flamboyance. Harbouring a desire to see Korean art up close since viewing pictures of Shin Meekyoung's beautiful soap vases, it is a joy to appreciate works from Taksu Singapore's "New Waves, Korea" exhibition at the Jalan Pawang gallery. Hong Sungchul's prints of human hands on elastic strings prove remarkable, its 3-dimensional spectacle projecting a fresh originality, that disrupts modern society's familiarity with flat digital images.

Hong Sungchul - String Hands 0247 (2013)

Hard-edged immediately comes to mind while viewing this collection, a description especially applicable to Yoo Bongsang and Kim Kunju, whose precise and polished constructs depict an artificial finish not seen in Malaysian art. A unique medium masks the decorativeness of the former, where depth is literally hammered onto a flat surface. The latter shows wonderful diversity - 'Myth' attracts with deceptively natural and white forms; 'Love II' juxtaposes colourful lines of polyurethane paint, its cut-out pot shape holding the viewer's gaze. Even Oh Sangtaek's flowing dresses display a strong intent despite its banal subjects, leaving one to ponder the large cultural gap between two countries often cited for economic comparisons.

Kim Kunju - Love II (2009)