Activating Korea: Tides of Collective Action

‘Activating Korea: Tides of Collective Action’ looks at the complex and contradictory meanings of collectivism in South Korean contemporary artistic practices, within a society where traditional values coexist with today’s multifaceted changes. The works in this exhibition represent a shift from the political representations of South Korea’s authoritarian government, the Cold War and national division heralded by 1980s Minjung (people’s) art. Today, artists aim to raise awareness and effect change around issues such as urban development, immigration and national identity, and choose to work in collectives or collaboratively with communities, drawing on activist art practices, research and project-based activities. Featuring a range of media from photography, banners and posters, to video and design, the artists in this exhibition challenge the fast-paced cultural, economic and political changes facing South Korea. Artist biographies are provided in the present catalogue.