The Future Perfect presents 정Jeong, an exhibition of new work by eight South Korean artists, designers and craftspeople, on view from February 2nd through March 17th at the gallery’s West Village townhouse (8 St Lukes Pl, New York, NY 10014). The exhibition takes its name from the Korean cultural value that is easier experienced and felt than it is defined. Jeong can be described as signifying a collective emotional connection to people and places, expressed through feelings of loyalty, affection, and community.
Through a curatorial approach that embraces this ethos, The Future Perfect’s Sandy Park assembled an eclectic grouping of art objects and concept furniture that collectively negotiates between Korean vernacular craft traditions and contemporary material culture. Bringing together artists whose work is shaped by a variety of approaches — from a rootedness in ancient craftsmanship, to interpretations of the traditional through new materials and techniques, to methods of working that are entirely reliant on contemporary technology — 정Jeong moves beyond an examination of cultural identity into a global conversation about consumerism and sustainability, as well as the all-encompassingly existential.
정Jeong is anchored by an oversized padded quilt by Jinyeong Yeon, embroidered with the NBA logo as if watermarked, pointing cheekily at the visual language with which consumer culture is embedded. The three other works by Yeon featured in 정Jeong are, like the quilt, made out of unsold goose down jackets and celebrate the inherent qualities of the discarded items with which he works, while also raising questions about utility and sustainability.
In a similar vein, Seungjin Yang will be presenting a lounge chair and ottoman made out of balloons coated in epoxy resin in a process of painstaking repetition, that the delicate raw material accrues a sturdiness allowing the seating sculptures to hold the weight of a human body. With its glassy sheen, each piece exudes a playful lightness with a temporal poignancy underpinning it, as if posing the question: what if something that is only designed to be temporary lasts forever?
Contradictions in visual and sensory materiality are a common motif in 정Jeong. Rahee Yoon’s acrylic-cast color fields, designed to be viewed in the round, simultaneously possess the luminescent lightness of a hologram and the heft of a monolith, combining rigid geometric shapes with a soft-focus visual effect. In a meditative layering of leather strip upon leather strip, Junsu Kim creates an intricate topographical patterning as his vessels take shape, making them appear, upon first glance, to be made out of clay. Chungjae Kim, in his search for a form that most accurately represents the circle of life, has devised a process that entails hand-molding clay into organic shapes imprinted with the artist’s hands, which are then scanned and recreated by a 3D printer. The physical properties of the pieces reflect the hybrid process of their making — not quite hand-made, not quite machine-made, a futuristic imagining of craftsmanship in the digital age.
In dialogue with these innovations stand novel interpretations of traditional Korean design, executed in unconventional materials or techniques. Jane Yang-D’Haene created a series of vessels riffing on the Korean ‘moon jar’ — a spherical porcelain vessel designed to resemble its namesake. Yang-D’Haene sculpts each piece through numerous layers of hand-rolled coils that are then coated in up to 100 layers of slip before being fired. Also inspired by the ‘moon jar’ is Jaiik Lee, who will be showing a series of vessels made from hand-hammered copper with a porcelain slip, as is traditionally done, and gold-leaf coated interiors. Punctuating the exhibition will be the work of Myungtaek Jung, a pioneer of concept furniture in Korea. Influenced by ancient Korean architecture, his seating — monoliths of bronze and wood — transmit a quiet grandeur in their marriage of functionality and a sculptural aestheticism.
ABOUT THE FUTURE PERFECT
Founded by David Alhadeff in 2003, The Future Perfect is one of the world’s foremost contemporary design galleries, distinguished by its range of vision and strong curatorial focus, which showcases studio-created works alongside one-of-a-kind and limited edition pieces. In its 20-year history, the gallery has introduced highly collectible works by seminal design talents such as Lindsey Adelman, Jason Miller, Chris Wolston, Piet Hein Eek and many others. Acting as both a catalyst and an industry authority, The Future Perfect has forged relationships with some of the world’s most influential artists, designers, and craftspeople.
The Future Perfect’s prestigious gallery program is tailored to each of its unique locations in North America, with a townhouse in the heart of Manhattan’s West Village, a residential complex in San Francisco’s luxurious Pacific Heights, and a recently unveiled residence in Los Angeles: the Goldwyn House. The Future Perfect’s site-specific collections adhere to Alhadeff’s original vision: the coalescence of playfulness, craftsmanship, and innovation. Shifting the borders between gallerist and merchant, curator and designer, Alhadeff and The Future Perfect continue to forge new pathways for artists and collectors alike, and expand to expand their ardent community of creators and design enthusiasts.Asian art
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