The real magic isn’t the snowflake itself. What’s truly fascinating is that our cosmos doesn’t stop at creating a handful of mildly complicated forms—it is rich enough to enumerate countless complexities and our planet is merely a speck in this universe.

(Ian Stewart)

Kukje Gallery is pleased to announce A Snowflake, a group exhibition featuring four emerging artists, from May 25 to July 2. Beginning with the 2013 exhibition The Song of Slant Rhymes Kukje Gallery has been dedicated to curator driven shows that present young, up-and-coming artists, fostering their growth and encouraging their activities.

In keeping with this tradition, Kukje Gallery presents A Snowflake, an exhibition devoted to four exceptional young artists: Choi Yun, GIM IKHYUN, Mire Lee, and Junghae Park, and organized by guest curator Seewon Hyun, Co-Director of Audio Visual Pavilion. An exhibition catalogue will be published in collaboration with Audio Visual Pavilion and Moonsik Kang, a graphic designer based in New York.

A Snowflake is inspired by the book What Shape is a Snowflake? (2001) by Ian Stewart, a British mathematician and popular-science writer. A pioneer of catastrophe theory, Professor Stewart is also well known for his research into symmetries of dynamical systems, such as pattern formation in nature and chaos theory.

Stewart is the author of Nature’s Numbers (1995), The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World (1994) and What Shape is a Snowflake?, among other publications. What Shape is a Snowflake? analyzes the hexagonal patterns found in snowflakes and their molecular structure—a phenomenon he compares to the growth principles seen in spider webs.

In his analysis, Stewart takes a step beyond merely analyzing the snowflake’s shape, inquiring after the true nature of its diverse structures and questioning how it is possible that every flake is unique. His conclusion is that, after all, “a snowflake is just snowflake-shaped.” The shape of each snowflake is affected by an infinite number of conditions, but the lesson of Stewart’s observation is that life is symbolized by the delicate structures of the crystalline and how they dictate form. Through his metaphysical question, “what shape is a snowflake?,” Stewart examines his own role as an observer, underlining how the process of investigation becomes an analogy of time and curiosity.

Each of the four artists participating in A Snowflake – Choi Yun, Gim Ikhyun, Mire Lee, and Junghae Park – will introduce both new and important works that reflect their generation through their unique empirical and experiential observations. The curatorial framework of this exhibition closely examines how young contemporary artists “perceive the world” and furthermore, “how an object is perceived” and “what shape an object takes.” According to the curator, the snowflake in the title of the show stands in contrast to “a snowman,” a familiar object understood and recognized by all. Whereas a snowman is an object that symbolizes charm and seasonal festivities (and is an instantly recognizable icon), a snowflake is a fragment and an impalpable substance, a material and a metaphor for something that cannot be intuitively identified. It is this balance between the familiar and intangible that frames these young artists.

The conceptual ideas and practices used by each of the four artists rest on their common approach to observation in the lived world. The artists’ unique methods for creating their individual methodologies are based on these experiences and empirical analysis. A Snowflake examines the ways in which conceptual paradox manifests in the contemporary world, for example, how fragments constitute a whole.