Our Artists in Gwangju

Published Monday, Apr 3, 2023

We congratulate four of our artists on their projects in the 14th edition of the (opens in a new window) Gwangju Biennale. Titled soft and weak like water, this year's event takes inspiration from a chapter of the fundamental Daoist text Dao De Jing, which speaks of water’s capacity to embrace contradictions and paradoxes.
Below, explore presentations by Huong Dodinh, Latifa Echakhch, Lee Kun-Yong, and Liu Jianhua.

Huong Dodinh, K.A. 215, 2019, organic binders and natural pigments on canvas mounted on wood 106 cm × 106 cm (41-3/4" × 41-3/4") © Huong Dodinh

Huong Dodinh

This year, the Buddhist temple Mugaksa will house a presentation of meditative works reflecting on the cyclical nature of life. Included in this presentation is Huong Dodinh, who will show a series of paintings inside the temple.

Dodinh has devoted her practice to three central tenets: clarity, density, and transparency. Her paintings explore the fluidity of line, form, and negative space to create elegant minimalist compositions.


Latifa Echakhch, Night Time (As Seen by Sim Ouch), 2022, acrylic and concrete on canvas 200.2 cm × 150.2 cm × 2.6 cm (78-13/16" × 59-1/8" × 1") © Latifa Echakhch

Latifa Echakhch

Presented in collaboration with Kaufmann Repetto and Dvir Gallery, Latifa Echakhch’s latest body of work, evocatively titled Night Time, employs a naive fresco method of painting to transpose images of nightlife in Lausanne, Switzerland—created by photographer Sim Ouch, a friend of the artist—onto canvas. Featuring twisting and contorted limbs, Ouch’s high exposure photographs capture the frenetic energy of nighttime gatherings. Echakhch treats her canvases with a mix of concrete and vinyl glue, which, once set, she cuts in a labor-intensive, highly physical process that leaves cracks and fissures in the composition. These voids reveal images of fragmented bodies in the layer beneath. The physicality of both the material and the artist’s process of making gives the artworks a bodily, quasi-sculptural quality that imbues them with ideas of temporality. In turn, this provokes a duality of joy for the shared moment and the sadness of its fleeting duration. The striations in the concrete speak at once to geography of maps and the mountainous landscape that surrounds her studio in Switzerland, as well as the histories of formalism and abstraction.


Lee Kun-Yong, Bodyscape 76-3, (1976), Performance view © Lee Kun-Yong, courtesy of the artist and Gallery Hyundai, Seoul

Lee Kun-Yong

Transforming his Bodyscape 76-3 series into a participatory work, Lee Kun-Yong invites audience members to stand alongside the gallery wall and, holding a crayon or colored pencil, draw on it. Over the course of the exhibition, marks of different colors, shapes, and sizes will cover the wall as viewers leave their own Bodyscape drawings in the space.


Liu Jianhua, The Shape of Trace (2016-22), porcelain, dimensions variable. Installation View, Liu Jianhua: Metaphysical Objects, 2022 Fosun Foundation Shanghai, Shanghai © Liu Jianhua

Liu Jianhua

Taking inspiration from Song Dynasty vessels, Liu Jianhua's Realm of Reflections series reinterprets the Chinese ceramic tradition, prompting a reconsideration of the self and the world by evoking the anecdote of “awakening” in Zen Buddhism.  As viewers gaze into the work, their reflections are also cast on the ceramic surface, blurring the boundaries of object and subject, past and present. 

  • Exhibitions — Our Artists in Gwangju, Apr 3, 2023