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"Odd Couple: John Hughes and Seunghee Kang"
2007-02-15 until 2007-03-21
UK United Kingdom
The dictionary definition of Odd; "1. Unusual or unexpected; strange. 2. (Of whole numbers such as 3. and 5) having one left over as a remainder when divided by two. 3. In combination in the region of: fifty-odd years. 4. Occasional: we have the odd drink together. 5. Detached from a pair or set".
"The Odd Couple" a joint solo exhibition of John Hughes and Seunghee Kang, both are odd, not particularly singularly but collectively they are an odd couple. Hughes was born in the UK, Kang in South Korea however both live and work in London, two different origins, two different practices. Hughes creates large-scale audio installations and Kang's meticulous Hogarthesque drawings, paintings and sculpture, yet both are similar in exploring the nature and function of narrative. They also share a strange and unusual take on everyday actions and occurrences‚ transforming these observations into works saturated in dark and disturbing humour.
The exhibition is titled after, 1968 film "The Odd Couple", staring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as Felix Ungar and Oscar Maddison, is the story of two mismatched roommates, one uptight, tidy and fastidious, the other slovenly, kooky and zany. In an interview, Lemmon described their unique relationship; "Walter is...like my brother. I don't know what it is. When that type of chemistry occurs - I don't know how to explain it. It just happens. You're both on the same wavelength and something good comes out of it. It's like having a third actor. There's you, the other guy, and the two of you together as a third attraction. "
This exhibition brings together the practices of Hughes and Kang who together produce a comparable third attraction. Hughes is exhibits 5 audio installations, "Anne", "You are my Burger King", "Balkan Mantras", "Seek New Havens", and "Who's that geezer?", a combination of monologues and conversations, and a selection of typed and hand written transcripts from "Seek New Havens". Hughes's practice is unusual, unexpected, strange and occasional, in its familiarity, where the conversations, become uncanny, and uncomfortably.
Kang's drawings, paintings and sculptures, are deeply satirical, and darkly funny. Using drawing in a diaristic way, illustrating the Western, landscape of desire, excess, and capital. Kang depicts, narratives such as "Wonjogyoje", a new term to describe the illicit relationship between an adult male and teenaged schoolgirl, where the man offers money in return for sexual gratification. Kang has found a totally different notion of "normal" in London, transforming the familiar into the eccentric and surprising, the result of living as a strange in a foreign city.
Note: John Hughes selected in 2006 New Contemporaries, and Seunghee Kang Selected Art Futures 2007.
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