When art speaks to change, people look and listen

Korean art Screen Shot 2019-10-09 at 3.33.39 PM

RedLine Art Center is home right now to an exhibition that is quite topical. That’s because the work is by artists from South Korea, focusing on various protests, including the 2016 South Korean Candlelight Revolution.  The focus is on that country’s activism over many years. What also is topical: There is much more art than text. In shows like this, it’s sometimes better to look than read.

It’s food for thought, too, considering the current protests in Hong Kong and also climate change actions across the glob as well as activism involving political issues. And there will be more.

The image above seems so tiny when reduced to the size set up for this blog, because in reality, the work covers a good part of the huge back wall at RedLine. Those little yellow and orange circles light up the night during one of the widely attended protests during the Candlelight Revolution. The 2019 mural, Tide of Candle II  by Lim Oksang, is depicted happening in Seoul Square, right in front of the Blue House, the home of the country’s president.  The protests were organized to push forward the impeachment process of the former president, Park Geun-hye, and that happened.

Some 30 pieces of art in RedLine, under the title of “CounterArt: Aesthetics of South Korean Activism,” range from disturbing images to ironic images to works of all types.  The curators are Sammy Lee, an artist and founder of Collective SML | k, and Yang Wang, an assistant professor of art history at the University of Colorado Denver. They chose well.

Activism was at the heart of a panel discussion last night about “CounterArt.” Panel members included representatives from the University of Colorado Denver and the Iliff School of Theology, as well as artist Lim Oksang. All participants had been involved in activism in South Korea, which helped flesh out the discussion.

Lim also is a visiting artist at the Art Students League of Denver, with work at an opening reception at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, October 11, at 200 Grant Street. He also will lead a workshop there on Oct. 12 and 13. “CounterArt” will be on view through Dec. 15 at RedLine, 2350 Arapahoe Street.

The link below is to a recent story on the exhibition, on Colorado Public Radio.


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