Korean art at Madlab. On the Other Side of the Globe.

Kate Feld

Fine art, design, digital and video: a Korean group show pitches up in the Northern Quarter’s latest art space

Manchester Digital Laboratory, the Northern Quarter community workspace also known as Madlab, makes a move into art in August with its first ever exhibition. On the Other Side of the Globe is a group show featuring 23 Korean artists; it’s also part of a collaboration with Seoul’s Art Connection Korea (ARCK) and the Britannia Centre in London.

Curator Lee Joo Won of ARCK has assembled a varied group of works spanning fine art, design, digital and video. Many explore Korea’s traditional use of iconography in design, blending references to folk narratives with observations about the modern, material world and the country’s rapidly changing culture.

Highlights include Han Moo Cho’s haunting photographic work Jeju Sungsangpo, in which a troubled scene unfolds on a stormy beach, and Bora Lee’s intricate and spellbinding Zoo Mask, which puts a decidedly contemporary slant on traditional artwork.

This will be the first art exhibition at Madlab, a new community space for people who want to make and do interesting stuff. Madlab’s co-director Hwa Young Jung describes it as “a place for geeks, artists, designers, illustrators, hackers, tinkerers, innovators and idle dreamers; an autonomous R&D laboratory and a release valve for Manchester’s creative communities.”

Jung, who has a Korean background herself, says she’s delighted that the space’s first exhibition will be showcasing work from South Korea’s flourishing art scene, and says the venue plans to exhibit work as part of October’s Abandon Normal Devices festival and next year’s Asia Triennial.

On the Other Side of the Globe, 3 – 31 August, Manchester Digital Laboratory, 36-40 Edge Street. Mon-Fri 10am – 4pm. Free admission. Words: Kate Feld. Images (top to bottom): Jeju Sungsangpo – Han Moo Cho; Zoo Mask – Bora Lee; both courtesy the artists.

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