Another Thursday evening in East London, let’s go explore, Is that the distinctive drone of an art crowd? Can we hear the sound of an opening night at an art gallery? You can always tell, to the trained ear it is a very distinctive sound, we didn’t see it, we heard it, is that the sound of an art crowd? We were on our way to BSMT Space and the opening of the Itaewon show over in Dalston, we were cutting through London Fields, when we heard it and the followed the noise until we saw it, there it was at the foot of one of the many many new buildings, right where Play had once happened actually, that was almost another world, was it only three years ago, East London is changing. There is was, a formal looking white cube of a new gallery space at the foot of some fancy new flat development that’s not for the likes of us. It seems that Lychee One gallery has moved in and taken on the space, excellent, if we are to have these buildings let at least retain a gallery or two, not quite the slightly anarchic artist-led feel of the glory days of East London, but hey, better than another coffee shop. The last time we were here, almost on this very spot, well the last time in terms of an art event it was in that great big (and back then) soon to be demolished warehouse that we, took over for that massive Play show and some Cultivating back in the summer of 2015 – and there stands the new home of Lychee One, pretty much on the same spot. A plush looking new gallery alive with the sound of an opening night there in the no-man;s land between London Fields and heavy traffic and people-bussle of Mare Street.
A show called Bone Memory, a group show featuring the work of Bea Bonafini, Freya Douglas-Morris, Marlene Steyn, Aishan Yu, Lian Zhang and Vivien Zhan, a busy show in terms of the crowd and a seemingly interesting show in terms of the art, a little difficult to actually see it properly what with the crowd inside and the usual chatting, people just standing, wine or beer in hand right in front of the work, on the work, around the work – get out of the way of the work! Good to see a new space, good to see a rather formal white space and something to do with memory and bone tissue and that feeling of something in your bones, of aesthetic community and the production of new – hey look, it was good to hear it, it was good to see it open, there’s some good work on the walls and floors, it was too busy to really see it all (which is no bad thing for a new space and an opening night I guess), the show runs until January 4th, very much worth returning for a decent look. At last a bit of positive news in terms of East London art spaces, we like art spaces, we need them, we artists certainly do, watch this space, mote on Bone Memory in a moment, we’ll go have another look. .
We were on our way to Dalston and BSMT Space when Bone Memory distracted us, dashing over London Fields, leaving an art drop to two, Itaewon had a solo show opening, we knew him from his intriguing bits of flights of stairs on the street, he had us curious, he doesn’t let us down. There;s a suggestion of landcapeness (is that a word? it is now), hints of Statford City and the new buildings of the Olympic Park, that slightly technical approach, the futurism you feel over there, those stairs you might have seen on the streets don’t really prepare you for the,the feeling of a sleak modern cubism, no not cubism – modernist pieces, a vibe of our times, not graphic design, Itaewon is very much a fine artist – slightly cyberpunk, technical yes, but what he’s doing isn’t ever that obvious, there’s a feel here. And he’s an artist clearly excited by colour, he has a vital sense of colour, his use of colour, clean lines, layers of complication, never clutter though, never too much.
“He envelops his audience in his imaginary compositions using a delicate balance of colourful arrangements combined with geometric line work. His work distinguishes movement, light, and power. A fascination with the macro and structures in nature led him to explore the beauty of natural intelligence. His paintings touch on a range of themes including architecture, vast otherworldly landscapes and micro-cosmic structures. He began painting while growing up in Seoul, South Korea and took his name from the area in which he lived”, the show is called ‘Broken Perspective’, it apparently comments “on the value of process and correspondence. Each painting is in direct dialogue with the last, diving deeper into the realms of abstraction. Rather than relying on impulsive mark making to evoke movement, Itaewon has focused on critical placement of line and colour. Through the use of mathematics he suggests perfection and correlation to your unconscious, breaking the generic understanding of perspective”, there is a sense of “perfection”, never too perfect though, never too cold or too mathematical, I guess it helps if you have a slight fascination with the building of Stratford and futurism of that part of East London. It was a damn fine show, paintings that pulled to in, layers and layers, lines to look through, to look in to, breaking up your own lines, Impressive.
And what of that gold leaf that keeps appearing on bricks? What’s all that about, certainly the work of an artist, we do keep seeing them. Another Thursday night in EAST London, times are changing in this city but there’s still art to be found if you go and explore. (sw)
Bone Memory is on until January 4th at Lychee One, The Gransden, 39-45 Gransden Ave, London E8 3QA (not far from London Field station and just off Mare Street). You’ve mossed Itaewon at BSMT Space now, it was only on for a long weekend, hey, I was busy last weekend over at EndOfTheLine, showing art coems befroe writing about art, these are busy times. Kind of fitting that the Itaewon show was down a flight of modern looking stairs though..
Click on an image to enlarge or to run the fractured slide show.