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Urban Concerns / Jewyo Rhii / Lie on the Han River

2008-06-08 to 2008-09-21

In one of Bildmuseet’s three summer exhibitions South-Korean artist Jewyo Rhii allows us to meet the people of the city Seoul moving around the river Han. The exhibition is part of the project Urban Concerns and is the first presentation in Sweden of Jewyo Rhii’s work.

Jewyo Rhii’s art observes the nakedness and vulnerability of the body, while investigating the potential public environments that could offer both physical comfort and care but also space for thought and reflection. Using local and disposable material, Jewyo Rhii constructs urban environments and interiors, then inviting the audience to participate. Jewyo Rhii manifests, often with a good portion humour, the need for human care and warmth in an inhospitable urban space only characterized by private and commercial interests.

In a site-specific version of the piece Lie on the Han River Jewyo Rhii wishes to transport us to Seoul – and a specific world where couples in love and other citizens cannot meet because of lack of living space and as well as of public meetingspaces in the city environment. In the installation, the river Han is re-articulated, embracing the human encounters taking place along the river banks. The installation emphasizes the central function of the river in Seoul, enabling love, intimacy and a particular dating culture.

Jewyo Rhii (f. 1971) recently completed her post-graduate studies at Rijksakademie van Bildende Kunsten in Amsterdam. She has participated in the following solo- and group exhibitions: Korean Misulsang (Seoul, 2007), Lie on Han River (Düsseldorf, 2007), Samuso(Seoul, 2006), 51st Venice Biennale (2005) and Under Construction (Tokyo, 2003).

Jewyo Rhii’s presentation is part of Urban Concerns, Bildmuseet’s ongoing collaboration  with Johannesburg Art Gallery. 

Urban Concerns

Since early 2007 Bildmuseet and Johannesburg Art Gallery has engaged in a mutual cultural exchange project, Friendly Takeovers. A key component in this project is the collaboration between the two invited external curators Michelle Harris, South Africa and Veronica Wiman, Sweden. Together they have conceptualized a joint programme, Urban Concerns, which will be carried out during 2008. Developments and changes in urban space, people’s relation to and experience of public spaces and the city are some of the issues raised within Urban Concerns

At Bildmuseet Urban Concerns is launched on Saturday January 19th at 2 pm. This starting event consists of several parts. A solo exhibition with the South African artist Sharlene Khan, her first presentation in Sweden, will open. The show includes her installation Two Fish and Five Loaves and the wall piece (B)LACK, two works that take as their starting point city life in the metropolises of South Africa, discussing the presence of informal economies as well as questions related to immigration and xenophobia.

Invited to participate in Urban Concerns, artist Daniel Peltz’s has worked with students from Östra gymnasiet in Umeå in a 3-day workshop at Bildmuseet on January 16-18. The purpose of the workshop is to facilitate youth in Umeå and Johannesburg to communicate with each other in an on-line video dialogue. The workshop in Umeå is part of Peltz ongoing international project Call and Response and it is realized in close collaboration with Kulturverket in Umeå.

RACA – Danish graphic designer Pulsk Ravn and Swedish architect Johan Carlsson – is participating with a site specific spatial installation at Bildmuseet, The Hub, which will serve as a meeting place and information centre for Urban Concerns. RACA is also producing a poster project, Public Notes, in the city of Umeå, a project that is thought of as an interactive public ”scrapbook” with the intention to map how inhabitants in Umeå view and perceive of their environment. Equally, in The Hub, visitors can access how citizens in Johannesburg comment on their city. Later in the year RACA will also contribute to Urban Concerns with a social interaction in Umeå och Johannesburg.

Urban Concerns / Friendly Takeovers is carried out within the framework of the Swedish-South African Culture Partnership Programme, a bilateral fund for culture exchange, administered by Statens Kulturråd in Sweden and the Department of Arts and Culture in South Africa.

Artists Sharlene Khan, Daniel Peltz, Johan Carlsson together with Curator Veronica Wiman will be present for the press conference and the opening.

Urban Concerns is carried with the support of the Swedish-South African Culture Partnership, a bilateral fund administered by the Swedish Cultural Council and the Department of Arts and Culture in South-Africa.