The Korean Cultural Centre UK opens a solo exhibition of work by Seoul-based artist Jewyo Rhii

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The Korean Cultural Centre UK opens a solo exhibition of work by Seoul-based artist Jewyo Rhii
Jewyo Rhii. The Office of TeamDepot in Love Your Depot at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul.

LONDON.- The Korean Cultural Centre UK, London and Locus+ are presenting the solo exhibition Love Your Depot from Seoul-based artist Jewyo Rhii, marking her nomination as ‘2020 Artist of the Year’ - the KCCUK’s major annual award programme.

Part of an ongoing project which awarded Rhii the 2019 Korea Artist Prize for her show at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), Seoul, the exhibition at KCCUK is reconstituted as a multi-purpose, multi-dimensional presentation. At once a physical storage space for artworks and a workspace for creative activities - including a gallery for other artists - Rhii also brings the show to the digital realm, creating an accompanying online platform.

A towering, modular steel structure occupies the central exhibition space, boasting an array of paintings and drawings which hang from adjustable racks, and fragmented sculptures judiciously positioned on tiered shelving. Designed as a prototype storage space for the artist’s work, the structure acts as an experimental system which belies the conventional norms of an archive by both housing and exhibiting artworks. Here, Rhii disrupts the traditional art world cycle by proposing a new lifespan for works of art beyond museum cabinets and archives. Foregrounding intersections between public and private spaces and those liminal spaces which lie between the two, Rhii’s work exposes what often remains hidden behind gallery walls.

Presenting a selection of her artworks previously archived in London, Rhii negates the practical, and potentially costly, issue many artists face when choosing whether to keep or dispose of their new works following an exhibition – a question particularly pertinent for younger artists whose exhibitions may span just days. By inviting a group of emerging artists to exhibit their works at the KCCUK, Love Your Depot unfolds as a collaborative and participatory project – eschewing the notion of the exhibition as the climax of the life of an artwork. A programme of events throughout the show’s run further explores this idea, transforming the exhibition space into a working hub of creative activity.

Beyond KCCUK’s gallery space, Love Your Depot is also presented by way of an online platform. Reflecting upon the tradition of artistic practice to rely on the physicality of an artwork, Rhii challenges this concept by expanding the exhibition to the digital sphere. Creating both a physical and virtual exhibition which is all encompassing – a place for establishing new collaborations and reigniting older relationships, as well as artwork storage and creative activity – as the critic Charles Esche commented on Rhii’s work, “she builds conditions in which she can operate without total dependency on the art system”.

Following the London exhibition, Rhii will continue her project with Locus+ and The Globe Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne, with more details to be announced. The project is curated by Jaemin Cha (KCCUK), Jon Bewley and Jonty Tarbuck (Locus+), and Rashida Davison (The Globe Gallery).

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