Another ad agency turns gallery in Fitzrovia and puts on a show about it
An intriguing development in a former ad agency building mirrors the revolution of creative practices that began with Stuart Shave's Modern Art Inc moving into Eastcastle Street in 2008, sparking the mass immigration of galleries into Fitzrovia, as ad agencies migrated. This burgeoning trend spread onto Wells Street, up Berners and Newman Streets, across to Rathbone Place and now reaches Maple Street where gallerist Haishin Kwak is establishing the Hanmi Gallery.
Until the space officially opens in the New Year, Haishin is facilitating a series of site specific installations. Directly in the shadow of the Post Office Tower, the building is currently hosting a show by two Korean-born artists that responds to the building's past and future uses during its transformation.
Soon-Hak Kwon has created a suite of large prints that float at angles within the developing site, containing details of empty exhibition spaces in-between shows. At first they appear to meld into the existing stripped walls of the former ad agency, but on closer inspection provide a timeline testament to subtle contours, as temporal hosts to changing spaces. The beautifully observed details of leftover nails and filled holes on textured walls provoke you to wonder what art has hung there. While the original walls in the locations remain as permanently changing subjects in themselves, they are here captured with a sense of living archaeology and shown in a framework of perfect site specificity.
You might have seen the work of Shan Hur at London Art Fair in January where the artist dug holes in concrete pillars, placing items resembling mythical treasures of childhood adventures in disrupted spaces that literally pushed the physical boundaries of gallery walls. In a new work Tilt this process of sculptural intervention takes on a greater scale, with a whole floor dislocated from its usual level, as a single balloon floating above reminds us to stand up straight. This holiday talisman recalls childhood funfair trips with the associated negotiation of angles in a lopsided Fun House. Objects gathered from other galleries provide a deconstruction of the artist's investigative process, while Molehill is made from 1980s carpet squares, suggesting a giant subterranean creature surfacing from an excavation, displacing materials.
By Harry Urgent
Situated Senses 01: Inclined Angles is at Hanmi Gallery until 17th June 2011 at 30 Maple Street W1T 8HA. Admission is free. Join an Art tour and talk tomorrow, 10th June at 6pm