On the occasion of the 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and the UK, the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange (KOFICE) and the Korean Culture Centre UK (KCCUK) presents Audible Garden, a groundbreaking solo exhibition by artist Dr. Jinjoon Lee. Drawing deeply from East Asian philosophy and enriched by his experiences in Korea, Japan, and the UK, Lee employs an auto-ethnographic approach to delve into the profound transformations that have been brought about by the rampant spread of media and technology.
“How should we behold the urban landscapes of the 21st century, the offspring of modernity, through the lens of emotion? How does this inner landscape now differ from the experience of virtual space, and where do we run towards?” —Jinjoon Lee
As a visionary spatial gardener, Lee’s approach to organising this exhibition begins with an exploration of the KCCUK building itself, which resembles the creation of a traditional Korean garden, where nature is nurtured according to its existing environment. He envelops a site-specific mural painting, sculptures, prints, video works, and audio-visual installations in a green filter that blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior landscapes, all framed by the building’s glass façade. Embracing the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk (roughly translates to “total work of art” from German), seeking to create a total work of art, the experience culminates with interactive sound art that completes the multisensory environment.
Using Asian landscape painting (Sansui), sound systems, and AI as his tools, Lee explores the liminoid space and the in-between state, delicately balancing the interplay between art and nature, sound and silence, and physical and digital realms. Audible Garden is an artistic testament that transcends cultural borders, offering visitors an evocative and thought-provoking journey through the emotions entwined with the ever-evolving urban landscape of the 21st century. As we traverse the exhibition’s innovative realm, we are implored to reflect on how the technology advancements have fundamentally reshaped our perception of the world and the way we navigate our surroundings, as well as our aspirations for the future in a world defined by the pressing challenges of climate change and an epistemological crisis.
The exhibition is on view at the Korean Culture Center UK in London through October 13, 2023.