The exhibition lets the works speak for themselves without bothering much about names and titles (so i stick to that same principle in this case), but to regular visitors they will be recognisable or even familiar.
In the mean time i hope to see and hear more of future initiatives by LhGWR, maybe even in this village of pomp and rubbish.
According to the exhibition text the cardinal question is “How can we analyze mechanisms of power and abuse both from the past and the present, towards the future?”
As usual the way to find an answer is more interesting than the answer itself.
It results in an interesting exhibition with works varying from very expressive to very hermetic.
The works by the Koreans reflect, as far as it is manifest, on the victim role of Korean women during the Japanese occupation and the Korean War.
With such a heavy and still open historic trauma it is probably difficult not to reflect on.
As such the danger is that too little attention is given to the present position of women in war, or even at war, and to a diversion from the victimhood that is too narrow a focus to assess the role of women (or others) in war.
Most works are interesting, but some need more explanation.
For instance, the untitled video work by Min Cheol-hong looks quite wonderful but what is the connection with the issue?
Even one of the most beautiful works in the show, Bouquet of Memories by Kim Su-hyang, surely has more to say than just itself.
The Russian-born French sculptor Ossip Zadkine (1888/90-1967) has a special relationship with the Netherlands, in particular with Rotterdam, where his monument The Destroyed City, placed in 1953, became the ultimate modernist war monument (click here to see some pictures of the monument in situ).
Zadkine is clearly the proverbial artist of the second quarter of the 20th century with a lot of expressionism and cubism and a touch of Modigliani in his portraits.
As such he was an inventive craftsman and a prolific artist, and there is a lot to be admired in the show.
However, his prolific output also makes his work a bit predictable which becomes clear in this exhibition of one hundred works (!), crammed into this otherwise very spacious museum.
The presentation is more or less chronological in a kind of makeshift galleries and more loosely arranged in the left over open space, an approach that tries to bring some order in this forest of sculptures.
As such the presentation lacks good sightlines which might have expressed the special qualities of certain works in dialogue with each other.
What lyrical power the individual works may have, is destroyed by this massive, wholesale approach.
However, for the aficionados who just want to see a lot of Zadkine this is probably their best chance.