Shinuk Suh

Shinuk Suh has been awarded the Solo Residency at Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop and has been working in the studio above the gallery space from September-November 2019, presenting a new body of work in his solo show Man(u)fractured) from November 2019-January 2020. We also hosted a open studio event, marking about half way through his residency with us. Visitors were invited to have an insight into Shinuk’s practice, meet the artist and learn more about his upcoming show at Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop. The Radical Residency® Exhibition, then in its fourth instalment, was on view downstairs at the same time.

Shinuk is now the first recipient of our 1 Artist 1 Year Bursary. Read more here.

Shinuk Suh (b.1989, Seoul, South Korea) is living and working in London. He graduated with a MFA Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art in 2019, before finishing his BA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 2017. He was nominated for Contemporary Visions (Beers Gallery, 2019), Solo Award (Chiara Williams Contemporary Art, 2018). Recent exhibitions include ‘Invisible Balance’, Daniel Benjamin Gallery, London (2019), ‘Art Biesenthal’, Berlin (2019), ‘Salon of Conviviality’, White Rooms Foundation, Moscow  (2019); ‘Pareidolia’, Space Station Gallery and Daniel Benjamin Gallery, London (2019); ‘Call that Art’, Old Parcel Art Space, Scarborough (2019); ‘Low Entertainment’, Arch 5, London (2018); ‘The Solo Award group exhibition of shortlisted artists’, The Cello Factory, London (2018) and ‘Sex! Human Construction, Human Connection’, Crypt Gallery, London (2018).

My work begins with examining the ideology that my family, church, school, and the army (the state apparatus) in South Korea infused into me. I felt a sense of deprivation in feeling the difference between my character and the ideological human image imposed on me. I seemed like a person who had fallen out of society. This ongoing sense of deviation often makes me flee from reality. By analyzing myself voluntarily, I could get a view point from which I can see the situation on a macroscopic level.

Furthermore, I wanted to express the ironies created by the ideology and the time period of those who have been contemporary with me in a visual language as an artist. For me, visual expression is a multidimensional area, and it is an infinite space within which I can express many repressed emotions. I realized that the humourous and exaggerated behaviours expressed in the animated movies that I encountered in my childhood are extremely relatable to adult human behaviour, and so not just cartoon fiction. I have related many of these exaggerated behaviours to my own situation, and then expressed them in my work.

In reality, the cruel and tragic scenes in animation, which in life we wouldn’t find amusing, become a comic factor that induces audience laughter. Comedy in animation has a limited laugh allowed within it. However, if these same dark situations are seen in reality, they turn into a definite tragedy. Why am I accepting the misfortunes of others and finding them comic in animation? And why does the comedy become a tragedy in reality? I have not found the answer. These questions are key points that I am exploring in my practice.