Dr. Kyung Hwa Shon is a cross-disciplinary artist, researcher and educator.
Dr Kyung Hwa Shon is a Tutor (Research) in Graduate Diploma Art & Design and a key visiting lecturer in the MA Painting and MA Sculpture programmes.
She received her practice-led PhD (Painting) from the Royal College of Art, School of Arts and Humanities in 2019. Prior to this, Kyung Hwa undertook an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA between 2009 and 2011, after completing her BFA in Painting from Hong-Ik University, Seoul, South Korea. She was a Starr Scholar at Royal Academy of Arts, London (20011-2012). She has exhibited internationally and collaborated with global companies for commissioned art projects.
School, Centre or Area
Her research and connected aesthetic practice is absorbed into the perception of the urban landscape in materialist and imaginative dimensions. Within this, her practice forefronts the relationship between the subject of perception and object of attention and the figures that this process is able to generate. In particular, issues pertaining to the formation of identity come to the fore. This in turn implicates a questioning of the subject-object dualism in order to occasion a fluid spatial poetics. The discovery of new vectors within the folds of visibilities within encounters, surprises within what occasions the play of absence and presence, the apprehension of spectres within such folds and play of difference all provide for a sense of the opening out of projects which thus sustains the research. If there is a search within the research then it is within a series of in-betweens in which a third figure may be discovered. Whether this third figure is understood as montage, an encounter with spectres, the construction of dialectical images, or the opening of a sensory poetics, the search keeps alive the restlessness of the daily absorption of everyday life.
Dr. Kyung Hwa Shon’s practice engages with a wide range of mediums including painting, public art, installation, sculpture, digital print, sound and text.
2021 Future reimagined: UK/Ukraine Season of Culture 2022, British Council.
2017 Visual Arts, Chungnam Arts and Culture Foundation, South Korea.
2016 Visual Arts, Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture, South Korea.
2016 Visual Arts, Chungnam Arts and Culture Foundation, South Korea.
2011 The Starr Fellowship Fund awarded by the Starr Foundation, USA.
2011 The Carrie Ellen Tuttle Fellowship awarded by School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA.
Current and recent projects
In 2021 Dr. Kyung Hwa Shon was invited by Meta (previously known as Facebook) to design and create a public facing work in a large urban space, now displayed in the main reception of Meta’s new London King’s Cross Offices. This research-based artwork “Excess of Elsewhere” was inspired by walking in, through and around King’s Cross. An accelerated exchange between reality and perception creates the integral elements of a powerful graphic work. The lines, shapes, and colours of the work are woven into the transposition of the visual texture of a painted mural and reflect sensory experiences that are infinitely fractured, transposed and intermingled, as well as the dynamic and endless rhythm that occurs within every second of the urban experience.
Dr. Kyung Hwa Shon is currently conducting two other collaborative international research projects — “IN // BETWEEN: Kharkiv and London” as well as “Re- & De-”.
The first of these is entitled “IN // BETWEEN: Kharkiv and London” has been selected for the UK/Ukraine Season supported by the British Council for a 10-month duration in 2022-23. This project aims to encourage and enhance greater dialogue between the UK and Ukrainian cultural sectors. This is a collaborative project between the Graduate Diploma, RCA and two Ukrainian institutions - YermilovCentre and Urban Forms Center. Taking on a greater significance in light of the war in Ukraine, this project aims to document, archive and map connections between cultural practitioners in both countries and in-between.
The second project, “Re- & De-” is in partnership with the Onomichi City University in Japan. The premise of the project, “Re- & De-” is to question the placement and agency of both prefixes in the context of global notions of decentralised pedagogy and practice considering the post-pandemic future and its ramifications in person and online.
Through conducting her own art practice in the field of contemporary art, collaborative international research projects and external teaching engagements across the globe in higher education, Dr. Kyung Hwa Shon aims to further deepen her knowledge of critical innovative pedagogies, urban spaces, the public sphere and cultural institutions as well as to explore new research-based practice methodologies between the social sciences, humanities and art and design. She has been also exploring the shaping of non-Western, feminist, situated knowledge and worldviews. Her research and practice moves beyond Eastern and Western conceptual models in not just a combinatorial way but aims to create a new conceptual model altogether by bringing the two, and their diverse aspects to bear on each other.
Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes
(2021) ‘Excess of Elsewhere’, Meta’s London King’s Cross Offices, London, UK. Invited by Meta (previously Facebook)
(2021) ‘Every Second in the City’, Public art commission project at 3 Marshala Bazhanova Street, Kharkiv, Ukraine. Curated by Vitrine Gallery project.
Funded by House of Europe (EU-Funded programme).
(2021) ‘Painters + Collection 2021’, Nakata Museum, Onomichi, Japan.
(2021) ‘The Middle Land: When Time Unfolds into a Land’, ARKO Art Center, Seoul, South Korea.
(2020) ‘The Material of the Audience’, Blume Museum of Contemporary Art (BMOCA), Paju, South Korea.
(2020) ‘The Journey of Eternity’, Seoul Museum of Art (SEMA Bunker), Seoul, South Korea.
(2019) ‘Walk with Eyes Closed’, Duddell’s, Hong Kong.
(2019) ‘The Blinking of the Eye’, HSBC Canary Wharf Headquarters, London, UK.
(2019) ‘Light, Art, Humanity’, Daegu Art Factory, Daegu, South Korea.
(2018) ‘Every Second in Between’, public art commission project for White City Place, partnership with Stanhope Plc, Mitsui Fudosan and Royal College of Art, London.
(2018) ‘SWAP:UK/Ukraine 2017’, YermilovCentre, Kharkiv, Ukraine.
(2017) ‘Should I put sunglasses on?’, YermilovCentre, Kharkiv, Ukraine.
(2017) ‘A Space of the 'In-Between': Word, Time, Image’, Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea.
External collaborations and other activities
Dr. Kyung Hwa Shon is currently working as a mentor in the Turps Art School by Turps Banana