Work > Garden

Kang Seung Lee <Garden>
22 Nov. - 22 Dec. 2018
One and J. Gallery, Seoul

FRIEZE
DUIRO
chingusai

Press Release
ONE AND J. Gallery is pleased to announce Kang Seung Lee's solo exhibition Garden to be held November 22nd through December 22nd. The exhibition will present drawings, archival installation and video works centering on Derek Jarman (1942-1994) and Joon-soo Oh (1964-1998) both gay rights activists in their respective England and Korea who died from AIDS complications in the 1990s.

For the past two years, Lee has visited the garden at Prospect Cottage built near Dungeness Beach in Kent. This is the private garden of the British film director and activist Derek Jarman who designed and tended the garden himself for several years before his death. Over his visits, Lee collected plants, soil, rocks, scrap metal, discarded wood and other similar materials that Jarman combined to make pieces in his garden. The materials that Lee collects are used in his drawings and embroideries as well as recoding memories from Jarman’s works and essays on his garden planning. The life and traces of Jarman carved through Lee’s labor intensive work serve as a memorial of an activist who resisted social stigma and homophobia.

Concurrently, Lee looks to the life of Korean gay human rights and AIDS activist Joon-soo Oh. Oh’s diaries and poems, many published and archived by his friends, appear in the exhibition. Lee also remembers Oh’s life by reproducing them in drawings and embroideries and recording the lives of individuals who have made sustained resistance in society. In his video works, Lee goes back and forth between the garden at Prospect Cottage and several places in Seoul with historical ties to the gay community (including Namsan and Tapgol Park). In each location, Lee performs ritualistic acts such as collecting soil or burying parts of drawings. Via such acts, Lee questions the customs of burying or recording death. The soil that Lee collected is mixed and made into pottery and installed in the exhibition space. These acts link Jarman and Oh and the countless lives that are not remembered while revealing the history of oppression and resistance by the queer community. While the history and stigma has been attempted to be erased from mainstream history such history is already recorded and communicated in languages beyond human memory through the soil, plants and objects that we use, create and leave behind.

All photos by Euirock Lee

Untitled (Table)
Books & photos (collection of Chingu sai), Buddy Issue 8 (collection of Chae-yoon Han), scrap metal, pressed flowers & pebbles from Prospect Cottage, Joon-soo Oh’s scrapbook (collection of Geun-jun Lim), gold thread embroidery on Sambe, ring (collection o
150x150x75(h)cm
2018
Untitled (Cover)
24K Nishijin gold thread on Sambe
48x33cm
2018
Untitled (Icon at Prospect Cottage)
graphite on sheepskin parchment
15x12cm
2017
Untitled (Garden)
24K Nishijin gold thread on Sambe, ceramic (California clay, soils from Derek Jarman’s Garden, Nam San, Tapgol Park), pebbles from dungeness and Tapgol Park, metal parts and dried plants from Derek Jarman's Garden
295x185x20(h)cm (Approximate)
2018
L to R, Untitled (Cut drawing 1), Untitled (Cut drawing 2), Untitled (Cut drawing 3), Untitled (Cut drawing 4)
graphite on sheepskin parchment
7.5x5.7cm, 7.5x6.3cm, 16.5x5.7cm, 11.5x7.5cm
2017
Untitled (Garden Book)
archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper
33x48cm
2018
L to R, Untitled (Prospect Cottage), Untitled (Bush), Untitled (Hole)
graphite on paper, graphite on sheepskin parchment
22x15cm, 15x10.5cm, 22x15cm
2017
Untitled (Derek Jarman at Prospect
Cottage)
graphite on sheepskin parchment
22 x 15 cm
2017
Untitled (Hammock)
24K Nishijin gold thread on Sambe, hemp rope, wood, ceramic (California clay, soils from Derek Jarman’s Garden, Nam San, Tapgol Park)
91x365x354(h)cm (Approximate)
2018
Untitled (Curtain at Prospect Cottage)
archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper
48x33cm
2018
Untitled (Joon-soo Oh’s letter)
graphite on paper
160x120cm
2018
(Seoul, 10’ 46”, Dungeness, 7’ 45”, 7’ 45”)
3 Channel color video installation
dimensions variable
2018
(Seoul, 10’ 46”, Dungeness, 7’ 45”, 7’ 45”)
3 Channel color video installation
dimensions variable
2018
Untitled (Joon-soo Oh)
graphite on paper
39x33cm
2018
Untitled (Names)
neon
15x280cm
2018