art+language: Contemporary Korean Graphic Design

art+language: Contemporary Korean Graphic Design
Kyungsun Kymn, Kyung Park, Sulki & Min, Yongje Lee, YuJune Park

November 10, 2022 – January 10, 2023
Opening Reception & Artist Talk: November 10, 2022, 5:30 pm
Korean Cultural Centre Canada, Ottawa
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

The Korean Culture & Information Service, the Embassy of Korea, the Korean Cultural Centre Canada (KCC) and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, present art+language: Contemporary Korean Graphic Design at the KCC Gallery on November 10.

Earlier this year, the KCC called for curators to submit new exhibition proposals to celebrate our solid friendly relationship between Korea and Canada to mark the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2023. The call also aimed to open up critical dialogues between Korean and Canadian curators to envision a deeper connectivity and sustainable collaboration between the two countries. art + language is the second of four exhibitions from the 2022 Call for Curators Exhibition series.

art+language: Contemporary Korean Graphic Design is an exhibition of posters, ephemera, font design, book design, publishing, video, objects, animation and web site design by six leading contemporary Korean artists at the forefront of artistic practice. They are:

  • Kyungsun Kymn, a Seoul-based typographic designer and visual researcher of the Hangeul alphabet who studied in Korea and England, and who is a visiting professor in Ottawa at Carleton University during the 2022–23 academic year.
  • Kyung Park, a Toronto-based, US-trained Korean-Canadian graphic designer
  • Sulki & Min, Seoul-based artists who studied in Korea, the US, and The Netherlands
  • Seoul-based Dr. Yongje Lee, a typographic designer who studied in Korea, and has lived in Canada
  • YuJune Park, a US-trained furniture and graphic designer, and partner of Synoptic Office, a New York City design studio.

YuJune Park, Far Away Places, 2021, multimedia projection, commissioned by European Cultural Centre

The works of art+language arerich in cross-cultural quotation. Notable examples include Kyungsun Kymn’s Reading a City Through Street Signs, 2000, a series of letterpress-printed post cards expressing the discordant textuality of urban street signs in London, UK. Perhaps Kyungsun’s ‘found’ concrete poetry was a response to the confounding nature of a wholly Englishspeaking environment.

Kyung Park’s extraordinary posters in the 50.25-inch Swiss Weltformat outsize, suggest Korea’s embracing of Swiss Modernism though Kyung’s posters co-mingle with an Asian sensibility.

Sulki & Min’s suite of three posters for the Gwangju Biennale 2014 invoke the theme of the Biennale, Burning Down the House, the provocative Talking Heads song title. Sulki & Min were inspired by the dynamic and expansive nature of fire, and co-designed a typographic system, with Shin Shin, a Korean design studio, that included three weights and five different line breaks which allowed their title to occupy as much surface area as possible, in any given space, expressing the expansive nature of fire.

Yongje Lee’s poster, Dongdaemun, displays a Hanguel font he created for Dongdaemun Design Plaza, an extraordinary and controversial building designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. The poster includes childrens’ nursery rhymes and the names of local places and community members that were demolished or displaced by its construction.

And YuJune Park’s Swell, recreated here by Henk van Assen, suggests a digital font design reiterated in black electrician’s tape.

The experimental and commissioned works of art+language emphatically demonstrate that Korea continues to lead in the cultural and technology sector in extraordinary and admirable ways.

Texts from the Curatorial Essay by 3 co-curators of the exhibition: Dr. Wonjoon Chung (Carleton University), Robert Tombs (Royal Canadian Academy of Arts) and Henk van Assen (Yale School of Arts).


Hangul Typography Workshop with Kyung Park
November 11, 2022, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
The KCC Theatre
Register here (Maximum 20 people. Registration will open on Monday, November 7th at 12 pm)

This workshop will introduce the invention, history, and development of the Korean alphabet, Hangul. Through lectures and hands-on exercises, we will understand how Hangul is written, pronounced and used as a form of communication. In line with that, emphasis will be given on the introducing a new writing system to an already existing culture as well as the subsequent changes and development in establishing Hangul as an official letter.

For more information, visit our website.

Inquiry: Moonsun Choi,

Korean Cultural Centre
150 Elgin Street, Unit 101
Ottawa, ON, K2P 1L4