The Korean Cultural Centre in Sydney, in association with the launch of Artlink magazine’s new issue on Korean contemporary art, will present SUPERCONNECTIVITY on Wednesday the 16th November.

This free seminar on Korean contemporary art in Sydney will be curated by senior artist, critic, curators 
and co-editor of the Artlink KOREA issue Dr Yoon Jin Sup, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Curator Anna Davis, Melbourne-based artist and cultural producer David Pledger and Professor Dr Yoo Jin Sang from Kaywon School of Art and Design.

We caught up with Professor Yoo Jin Sang ahead of the seminar to discuss Artlink, his time as a judge on Art Star Korea and the future of Korean contemporary art.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?   

I’m working as independent curator and writer on Contemporary Art and I’m also teaching in Kaywon University of Art & Design in Inter-Media Art Department. Until recently I participated the Presidential Committee for Cultural Enrichment to advise government’s policy for Art & Culutre. One of my major projects was the Media City Seoul 2012 “Spell on You” that focused on the theme of social media technologies. Figured as one of the juries in “Art Star Korea” which was a “survival show” with artists, diffused on CJ E&M cable channels. Committee member of KIAF (Korea International Art Fair) and advising director of Kukje Gallery in Seoul.

What is SUPERCONNECTIVITY and what should attendees expect?

SUPERCONNECTIVITY, for me, is the possibility of connectivity between South Korea and Australia as they both have the interest and capacity to do it. 

The theme [of my contribution to the seminar] tells not only the fact that South Korea is one of the most connected countries to the Internet, but also it is quite special country that is overcoming its weakness in geopolitical, social and economical conditions with exceptional efforts of changing and upgrading itself, especially in networking it with other parts of the world. 

Heung Soon Im Factory Complex, 2014, video. Courtesy the artist


What is the significance of Artlink featuring Korean contemporary art in their latest issue?

Korean contemporary art is probably not well introduced to Australian audience even though the two countries are very much interested in each other as they are situated both in Asian-Pacific area. This active initiative will trigger new discussions in both sides on how to develop concrete exchanges and programs with better understanding and information. 

What is unique about Korean contemporary art?   

Korean contemporary art reflects the very specific development that S. Korea has experienced last three decades, which is fast change taking place in every level of society, especially in democracy and culture. Its diversity and intensity in style and discourse make it reveal itself as one of the most strong expressions of Asian contemporary art. 

What was it like being a part of Art Star Korea? Do you feel it successfully reached audiences and blurred the lines between high art and popular culture?

Art Star Korea has started with strong controversies as many were concerned that it would spoil Korean contemporary art scene with commercially oriented attitude it implicates. It turns out that actually there’s less problem with that concern than with the distance between contemporary art and the public. Art Star Korea is a half success because even though it succeeded in reaching a great audience with interesting content, it still couldn’t get enough commercial popularity for the TV to continue it without delay. I think TV is now searching for how to make it feasible both in terms of contents and popularity. 

Yoo Jinsang on right_Artstar

Do you have advice for up and coming artists like those on Art Star Korea?

I think it is important to be focused on one’s artistic program to survive in a contemporary art environment today. Art Star Korea has made artists propose good “outcomes” out of very difficult and sensitive questions to answer every week for 12 issues. The themes ranged from critical questions to commercial collaborations. And actually today’s contemporary artists are asked to propose solutions in similar ways. Good and solid artistic vision and practical capacities could help them, like we could see in Art Star Korea

What are you most looking forward to being a part of SUPERCONNECTIVITY in Australia? 

Some exchanges were made between Korean and Australian arts until now. I think both countries are very much motivated to get closer to each other, so I hope it could really happen that way. The professional networking and creating actual programs are the best way to super-connect both scenes. Let’s be creative!

And finally, what do you think is the most important for the future of Korean contemporary art?

South Korea is a kind of an island like Taiwan. It needs to expand its physical relations internationally to overcome its isolation not only in its economy but also in art and culture. More young artists and professional should collaborate with others around the world to understand and share common issues. I would suggest that the government should give more international programs and airplane tickets to them.

Suyeon Yun, DMZ. Courtesy the artist

SUPERCONNECTIVITY will be held at the Korean Cultural Centre in Sydney on Wednesday the 16th November at 6pm. Attendance is free but bookings are essential: art@koreanculture.org.au / 02 8267 3422

For more information visit Superconnectivity