Pi Media On Hanmi Gallery at London Art Fair

This past weekend, the Hanmi Gallery presented an exhibition of three diverse artists at London Art Fair. Curated under the title Limits of a Function, the display takes an artistic perspective on the common maths phrase. For those who aren’t familiar with Hanmi Gallery, it focuses on modern and contemporary art with a speciality in Korean and East Asian art. As something of a link between the Eastern and Western art worlds, it showcases a lot of new media and interdisciplinary works. The emergence of contemporary Asian art in the art world is increasing, and now seems to be the time to get involved.


The three artists featured in Hanmi Gallery’s show are established artist Junebum Park, London based Joey Holder and Korean born Sungfeel Yun. When various artists are drawn together with one starting point (in this case Limits of a Function) it brings out interesting and varied results. In a fair that is dominated by paintings and prints, video art and interactive elements are a refreshing change.


Junebum Park uses video media to explain the tedium and ritualistic elements of daily life, using his own hands as controlling factors. There is an underlying and unsettling feeling of outer control in the lives of those in the videos, reflecting the fact that our lives are merely limits of our own functions. Park’s video shows the building up of a city, in which the artist layers cut out buildings onto an image of an empty construction site. It shows the viewer the ease with which things can change and evolve without our control.


Sungfeel Yen echoes this outer force in a more positive light – his two sculptural, interactive pieces address the issue of meditation and the outer force that drives it. Using rotating iron fillings pulled into a concave structure by a magnet on the other side, his work Looking at the Real World from Within The Real World 05 shows that there is always a force at work which we cannot see. The pivoting of these iron fillings could also be a comment on monotony, similarly to Park’s work. The second of his rotating pieces, this time convex, is made with iron fillings and oil which, when engaged with a magnet, turn into two almost insect-like, spiked creatures, circulating in opposite directions and sharing their oil when they cross; they make a reference to the Yin and Yang of life.


Taking a different route when it comes to the term Limits of a Function, Joey Holder uses a video installation to express the ease with which technology has allowed us to change appearances and convert an organic form into a virtual image. She directly addresses the creation of contemporary art and its origins, as well as the effect of social media in the art world today.


Judging from the display at the London Art Fair, it’s clear that Korean and East Asian art is progressing at a rapid rate, reflected in both the choice of technologically advanced mediums and the poignant messages about the external forces at work in everyday life. Currently, the Hanmi Gallery is undergoing an extreme renovation, yet still uses this deconstructed space to run exhibitions that interact with the stripped-back nature of the building. They are running these interim exhibitions until autumn 2014, when the interior of the gallery is to be completed.