'Dongguri' is the name of a black-and-white geometric figure with a cheeky permanent grin that roams across Kwon Ki-soo’s many and varied projects. This comic-like character can be found in Kwon's animations, playing amongst traditional Korean landscapes or floating across a painted flat expanse of monochrome colour or rendered in multiples and in three-dimensional forms like a miniature Dongguri army. This is Kwon’s artistic alter-ego, a simple yet indistinct personality whose cute pose and carefree spirit is unwavering.
The childlike Dongguri cannot be judged according to looks, age or dress; it has become a repetitive artistic icon and commercial product that blurs the difference between mass production and art. Dongguri parodies contemporary life and the desire to hide individuality or difference in a world fuelled by media stereotypes and pressures to conform.
Kwon Ki-soo is a classically trained painter from Hongik University, Seoul, and is part of a younger generation of artists reinterpreting the traditional art of ink painting in Korea. His work has been included in ‘Fiction @ Love’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China, in 2006; ‘The Elegance of Silence’, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, in 2005; and the 'Busan Biennale 2006', Korea.
Gallery 3, QAG / Park Studio, GoMA (Kids' APT)
A full-colour publication is available from the Gallery Store.