May 13, 2016 - Platform-L Contemporary Art Center - Yang Fudong: The Coloured Sky: New Women II / Bae Young-Whan: Pagus Avium
May 13, 2016

Platform-L Contemporary Art Center

Yang Fudong, The Coloured Sky: New Women II, 2014. Image courtesy of the artist. 

Yang Fudong: The Coloured Sky: New Women II
Bae Young-Whan: Pagus Avium
May 12–August 7, 2016

Platform-L Contemporary Art Center
11 Eonjuro-133gil, Gangnamgu
06053 Seoul
South Korea
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–8:38pm

T +82 2 6929 4470
F +82 2 3442 4484
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Platform-L Contemporary Art Center opened its doors May 12, 2016 with two inaugural solo exhibitions: Yang Fudong, The Coloured Sky: New Women II and Bae Young-Whan, Pagus Avium. Representing China and Korea respectively, these renowned artists activate the potential for insightful reflection on the world in which we currently live and our relationship to it.

The photography, video and film works of Yang Fudong examine the nature of society in present-day China from the perspective of an “archaeologist of the present.” The deeply affecting painterly sensibility of his films harkens to traditional Chinese literati painting and are known both in the international art community as well as the moving picture world for their lyrical, dreamlike mise-en-scènes and unique poetic structures. Over the past 15 years Yang has also delved into video installation, translating 35mm footage into multi-channel video projections in three-dimensional space.

Yang’s work The Coloured Sky: New Women II (2014) is the sequel to his 2013 film New Women and the first color digital film by the artist. New Women, an homage to the eponymous 1935 silent film by Chinese director Cai Chusheng, is a black and white film exploring notions of ideal beauty which transcend superficiality, its incisive gaze centering squarely on the female shape. His sequel boldly introduces a nonrealistic and conceptual approach in its sets and locations in order to transform the private space of childhood into a surreal state of being. Despite portraying the desires of young women and their dreams of becoming models or movie stars, as well as the unstable future this implies, The Coloured Sky: New Women II exemplifies the artist’s consistent pursuit of an “aesthetics of existence.”

Bae Young-Whan first garnered attention in the late 1990s and into the 2000s in Korea for his keen ability to integrate his own idiosyncratic perspectives as an artist into his works. Four years on from his most recent solo exhibition Song for Nobody (2012), Bae presents Pagus Avium (2016), an exhibition of new works which reference as well as transgress his previous artistic trajectory, illustrating the more conceptual dimensions of his practice. As the title Pagus Avium perhaps implies, birds are a common theme for Bae and function as a means of conveying the realities and wishes of contemporary society—including the artist himself. Pagus Avium functions as a double metaphor, signifying both the modern human condition and a world-beyond-world where boundaries are fathomless.

Bae’s newly commissioned work Speech Thought Meaning (2016) presents a parrot at rest on a metal perch which resembles a measurement device, looking out over a group of deformed and irregular globes. An indecipherable, murmuring chatter generated by layered news broadcasts from around the world emanates from a pillar of suspended megaphones in Babel-1 (2016), an installation which cleverly evokes the myopic landscape of the present. Elsewhere, Bae’s use of gesture and movement in the video Abstract Verb-Can you Remember? (2016), a choreography of primitive and ritualistic movements combined with aspects of street dance, envisions a forward-driven landscape that eclipses reality. This solo presentation activates a surrealist universe wherein the difference between subject and object ceases to exist.

About Platform-L Contemporary Art Center
Concluding two years of construction, Platform-L Contemporary Art Center opened to the public in May 2016, establishing itself as a locus for diverse and noteworthy creative perspectives which connect contemporary artists to audiences in Korea and beyond. Creators in visual art, performance and film cultivate an ongoing cultural dialogue with visitors to Platform-L’s spaces and work to diminish the cultural distance between audiences while fostering a wider appreciation for contemporary art. 

About Manu Park, Founding Director
Manu Park is a curator and an art critic who has served as founding director of PLATFORM-L Contemporary Art Center since March 2015. In his previous role as director of Nam June Paik Art Center from 2011-2015, he mounted numerous acclaimed exhibitions including X_Sound: John CageNam June Paik and AfterNostalgia is an Extended FeedbackDoug Aitken: Electric Earth and Transmitted Live: Nam June Paik Resounds (Edinburgh International Festival). He has also acted as curator for the 2004 Busan Biennale, artistic director of the 2006 Busan Biennale and curatorial advisor for the 2010 Busan Biennale.

Platform-L Contemporary Art Center
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The Coloured Sky: New Women II
Bae Young-Whan
Pagus Avium
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