Two Rivers, Crossed Landscape: A Journey of Culture & Nature

Yeonsook Lee, Fabric Installation 1, Recycled fabric from pet bottles, variable size, 2023.

2022-2023 Call for Curators Exhibition 4
Two Rivers, Crossed Landscape: A Journey of Culture & Nature
Chris Myhr & Yeonsook Lee

July 17 – August 25, 2023
Opening Reception & Artist Talk: July 17, 2023, 5pm ~ 8pm | Register Here
The KCC Gallery, Ottawa

The final project from The KCC’s 2022-2023 Call for Curators Exhibition Series, Two Rivers, Crossed Landscape was curated by Hyunju Yu, founder of the Center for Eco-Aesthetics and Art Research, and presents ten new works by Canadian media artist Chris Myhr and Korean sculptor Yeonsook Lee.

At first glance, Canada—a multi-ethnic country abundant with various races—and Korea, composed predominantly of Korean people, may seem to have nothing in common. However, I have discovered a shared element between these two nations: their iconic rivers, the Han River and Niagara, which represent their respective countries. The Han River in Seoul embraces historical scenes from the past, witnessing both spectacular development and the hardships of modernization. On the other hand, Niagara, situated on the border with the United States, stands as a tourist destination and a gift of nature, currently facing the challenges of commercialism and capitalism.

The exhibition unfolds with a flowing narrative, where these two rivers intersect and the two different communities eventually converge into one river. The name “Canada” is derived from the term “Kanata,” referring to a village or small community. As a result, Canada and Korea, celebrating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations, share the dream of building strong communities, fostering cultural preservation, and protecting the Earth’s environment.

Chris Myhr and Yeonsook Lee’s collaboration is presented through video, sound, fabric, scent and small sculptures, creating a synesthetic experience within the vast river of the KCC space. This river carries the imprints of Canada and Korea’s history and culture, traversing the exhibition space and merging into a unified flow. In particular, Chris and Lee’s exchange will emphasize images and sounds.

Starting with the artists’ own experiences with the rivers, we aim to comprehend each other’s culture and environment, bringing forth the countless stories that lie submerged beneath the river’s surface. Like a game of ping pong, these stories, images, and materials are individually researched and ultimately exchanged. These contemporary issues have the potential to shape our history. In other words, the physical and cultural differences between Canada and Korea ultimately return to the fundamental nature of human life and the environment.

By observing the river’s journey from civilization to modern society, we are reminded of our shared dream for a sustainable future that transcends borders. This exhibition serves as a point of contact between Canada and Korea, where we reflect on the shadows of history carried by the river and envision the coexistence of humans and nature in the future. (Curatorial essey by Hyunju Yu)

About the Curator

Hyunju Yu majored in English Language and Literature at Hannam University and studied Aesthetics at Hongik University. She is a Korean independent curator based in Daejeon. While studying Aesthetics and art theory in graduate school, she worked at the gallery ‘I-gong’ in Daejeon for 2 years. In 2007, as an independent curator, she invited Insa Winkler, a German land artist, marking the beginning of her career as an art critic and curator. She obtained her Ph.D. in 2009 and has been teaching students at Hannam University since then. Since 2022, she has worked as a research professor at Hannam University, supported by a Research Professor Grant from the NRF (National Research Foundation of Korea) for the period 2022-2027.

About the Artists

Chris Myhr is a media artist based in Hamilton, Ontario (Canada) whose studio practice seeks intersections between art, science, and ecology through photography, the moving image, sound, and media installation. Since 2012, Myhr has been developing an extensive body of work titled “Point-Line-Intersection” that examines our complex interconnections with the Earth’s hydrosphere. The works in “Point-Line-Intersection” revolve around themes of complex interconnectivity, and explore the paradoxical tension between water as life, vitality and industry, as well as a source of immense and unpredictable destructive power. Myhr’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and was awarded the Prefix Prize in Photography in 2021 by the Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media Arts at McMaster University.

Yeonsook Lee majored in sculpture and fine art at Hongik University in Seoul and Goldsmith’s College in London. Lee is engaged in spatial installation and convergence art that incorporates various media. With the theme of her daily experience, place memory, and change in perception, her previous work symbolically revealed her awareness on social problems by combining individual memories with specific events through discarded everyday objects.

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Inquiry: Moonsun Choi,

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