I spent this morning on a visual rollercoaster ride, taking in the work of 33 contemporary Korean artists selected for the Saatchi Gallery's new show, Korean Eye 2012. Hard to sum up, but plenty to intrigue and startle the visitor, or even raise a covert smile. Monolithic sculptural pieces are a recurring theme: Lee Jaehyo's great sphere, its surface formed from a mosaic of log-slices ("0121-1110=107041", 2007); Kim Byoungho's giant silver tinsel ball, emitting gentle pinging sounds ("Soft Crash", 2011); You Myung Gyun's dark, looming mass of sculpted newspaper, strung from the ceiling like a side of beef ("The Floating World", 2005). Elsewhere, a playfulness emerges: Choi Chongwoon's cup of English tea on a small wooden table, with motorised miniature whirlpool ("A Storm in a Teacup", 2006); Meekyoung Shin's entire gallery of replica vases, each moulded from coloured soap ("Translation Vases" series, 2011). I arrived without preconceptions and left enthused.
Above: Meekyoung Shin, Translation - Vase Series, 2007-ongoing. Photo: STF. As shown at Korean Eye 2012 at the Saatchi Gallery.