Untitled, 20cm x 30cm, collage, Bada Song
Free Admission, cash bar available.
London-based Korean artist Bada Song creates minimal works that subtly depict Korean traditions as they undergo rapid modernisation.
A long running series of drawings by the artist refers to traditional tiled roofs (giwa-chibung) now giving way to generic towering apartment blocks in megacities like Seoul. For Song, the roof tile is also symbolic of human vulnerability and the need for shelter.
The tile thus becomes subtly suggestive of a yearning for the Korean homeland.
For her exhibition at Asia House This Way & That Bada Song has assembled a group of recent works that seek to transmit a singular voice emerging from diverse processes – video, photography, sound, sculpture, installation and drawing.
The tile motif is a continuing series of drawings and representations of traditional hanok roof-tiles as a symbolic pattern. They are called Ta-iL, which is made up by the artist in reference to the common appropriation of English words tile, into the Korean languageTa-il using familiar Korean sound patterns and English spelling.
Despite the obvious and relevant direct references to hanok architecture, Ta-iL as a conceptual principle underpins most aspects of Bada Song’s practice. The tile/ cover also signifies shelter, covering, also the gesture of covering one’s face to hide emotions or covering one motif with another.
Her recent triptych of ‘Yeonji’ (2013) consists of three elements: a photograph showing the artist as a traditional Korean bride, her face obliterated by a red circle, a diptych of sound pipes, covered in red nail varnish and lipstick marks emanating the sound of Bong Sun Flower, a Korean resistance song with a significant literary reference in Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s 1982 post-structuralist novel ‘Dictee’ and thirdly a life performance of the song with the artist covered by a giant cloth hand sewn from red circular pieces. All three elements reveal different rigorous approaches to layering and covering as a wider application of mark-making. This is congruent with the dense graphite mark formations of her much more minimal Ta-iL drawings.
Song describes herself as a London-based, Korean sculptor, bringing Korean traditions into dialogue with modern and contemporary art and society between East and West.
Song completed her BA in Fine Art, sculpture at Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London, in 2002. She won the £5,000 Second Prize in the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2012, and has exhibited internationally.
For more information about Bada Song and to see her works click here.
The exhibition runs from 16 December until 9 January and is open to the public with free admission.