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Two Major UK Exhibitions from Korean Artist Kim Yonk-IK

Spike Island , Bristol and the Korean Cultural Centre UK in London are the two venues for the first solo exhibitions in Europe by famous artist Kim Yong-Ik. Kim has had a 40 year career as an artist, activist and teacher having a profound impact on the Korean modern art history. The artists use of the polka-dots perhaps his most recognisable works. In this exhibition “I believe my works are still valid” the walls, canvases and art works all form one cohesive installation.

The exhibition layout was meticulously laid out and spaced to reflect this approach to contemporary art installation.  Unusually the artist wanted the gallery lighting to form part of the art installation, rather than light being and external factor to light the art on display. He made clear he didn’t want conventional exhibition or museum gallery lighting.

As lighting consultants we started the process by setting up lighting mock-ups in the main exhibition gallery. These varied by offering different temperatures of light (warm, neutral to cool), various intensities, wall-washing and finally a tightly focused banned of light running through and round the centre of the 3.2 meter walls. Yong- IK chose the latter as his preferred option.
This meant that 36 degree LED lamps at 5000K (cool white light) ran around all of the gallery walls utilising 147 light fittings in all to achieve the desired effect.
This lighting design solution had to be delivered with great accuracy as there were large areas of wall that had nothing displayed; therefore it was the light that made the connections within the installation. Installing 147 track lights which had to be spaced exactly the same with identical angle of tilt and rotation was extremely difficult to achieve. This was especially so in areas of the galleries where lighting track wasn’t present.

Once the lighting fittings had been finely adjusted and focused, KIm Yonk-IK remarked to our lighting consultants;

“wonderful, exactly how it should be”.

The exhibition was opened by his Excellency Joonkook Hwang the Korean Ambassador to the UK and Janet Bradley the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture Media & Sport.
Many of the regular visitors remarked to the Director of the and Curator how the lighting had improved over the last 12 months. Whilst many including the VIP’s picked up on the way the lighting had been focused in all the galleries emphasising the artist philosophy to contemporary art.

Our next exhibition will be in November why not come along and see how attention to detail can improve every art installations.  

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