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PKM Gallery sheds light on Toby Ziegler, Kwon Jin-kyu

Nov. 24, 2023 - 17:41 By Park Yuna
An installation view of “Toby Ziegler, Broken images” at PKM Gallery in Seoul (PKM Gallery)

PKM Gallery, one of the leading commercial galleries in South Korea, is offering two exhibitions of artists with whom it has long-standing relationships: British contemporary artist Toby Ziegler and Korean sculptor Kwon Jin-kyu.

The gallery, located in Samcheong-dong in northern Seoul, brought together works by the two artists in separate exhibitions, “Toby Ziegler, Broken Images” and “Kwon Jin Kyu: The Reliefs.”

Ziegler has shown his works at the Seoul-based gallery every four years starting in 2015. The artist has returned to using fabric canvases instead of the rigid aluminum he showed in the past exhibition in 2019. His process involves printing a 3D-modeling background image that has hollowed out the existing sculptural elements onto a smoothly gessoed and sanded surface.

“Broken Images” by Toby Ziegler (PKM Gallery)

The title of the exhibition, “Broken Images,” identical to his main painting on display, is derived from a passage in T. S. Eliot’s landmark 1922 poem “The Waste Land.” The poem portrays human imagery decayed and ravaged by war, a consequence of civilization’s turmoil, while simultaneously holding hope for redemption.

“For me, part of my job as a painter is to try reinventing paintings and hopefully make something that is relevant for now – the time we are living,” the artist told press on Nov. 16. The exhibition runs through Dec. 23.

Installation view of “Kwon Jin Kyu: The Reliefs” at PKM Gallery in Seoul (PKM Gallery)

At the annex building of the gallery is “Kwon Jin Kyu: The Reliefs,” where the late artist's eight terra cotta relief works produced in the mid 1960s are displayed. This year marks the 50th anniversary of his death. Kwon was a pioneering figure in modern and contemporary Korean sculpture, dedicated to establishing the concept of “Korean realism.”

Kwon’s choice of terra cotta, which is rooted in ancient traditions, was an important method in his artistic expression. Kwon’s earnest exploration of terra cotta sculpture began in 1964, as he renovated the kiln in his atelier in Dongseon-dong, northeastern Seoul.

In 2021, the artist’s bereaved family donated 141 works to the Seoul Museum of Art. A permanent exhibition space solely dedicated to the artist was constructed this year at the Nam-Seoul Museum of Art.

PKM Gallery has presented his works after his death. The exhibition “Kwon Jin Kyu: The Reliefs” runs through Dec. 9.