Henry Lau, Mino, Kang Seung-Yoon: The K-pop stars taking on the art world

Written by ayunda · 5 min read >

Composed by Megan C. Hills, CNN

Initially look, the 3 names next to a collection of unique high-contrast paints, irritable black and also white pictures and also Jackson Pollock-esque splatters may not leap out amongst over 70 musicians showing up at a London art reasonable following week.

However followers of K-pop might acknowledge a minimum of among them: Henry Lau, a Chinese-Canadian vocalist that climbed to popularity with South Oriental boyband, Super Junior. Turning around an additional of the musician’s names, Ohnim, on the other hand exposes his identification as rap artist Mino, a participant of preferred K-pop team Winner. His bandmate Kang Seung-Yoon is flying under the radar utilizing the pseudonym Yooyeon.

The 3 entertainers have actually all created effective jobs in South Korea’s blossoming songs sector. Currently, they are trying to split an also harder market: the elite world of modern art.

The triad might not lack prospective purchasers when their art goes on reveal at begin, a five-day fair at London’s Saatchi Gallery. Keen-eyed Winner followers have actually currently provided Mino– that asked to be described as Ohnim for this item– hundreds of bucks for among his initial paints. Nonetheless, talking through video clip telephone call from Seoul, the rap artist stated he was reluctant concerning offering his job openly.

” Lots of my followers maintain providing all type of costs for an item, since they’re followers,” he stated through a translator. “However I do not wish to do that. I wish to really belong in the art world and also it be acknowledged by movie critics that my art work is (worth) a particular cost. I do not wish to make use of my followers … I need to care for them.”

Ohnim's fellow Winner band member and photographer Kang Seung-Yoon, who goes by the artist moniker Yooyeon.

Ohnim’s fellow Winner band participant and also digital photographer Kang Seung-Yoon, that passes the musician tag Yooyeon. Credit Scores: From YG K Plus/StART Art Global

When begin creator David Ciclitira talked with Ohnim, Yooyeon and also Lau concerning offering their art, they went to a loss for just how to value them– and even whether to offer them in any way. (Ciclitira, a respected collection agency of Eastern art, bought among Ohnim’s paints in advance of the reasonable, however decreased to reveal just how much he paid, stating through video clip telephone call: “They were so fired up that somebody wished to get something.”) With some persuasion, the artists jeopardized and also accepted generate 250 limited-edition prints (authorized and also valued at $500) for the reasonable, in addition to a budget friendly variety of face masks, cups and also carryall.

The popstars’ participation with begin will most certainly draw in brand-new eyes to their job– specifically in Western markets where they are much from family names. However the partnership is equally helpful. Ahead of the reasonable, they have actually been excitedly sharing leaflets and also previewing their art to their numerous fans. In June, Ciclitira arranged a Seoul exhibit called Korean Eye 2020: Creative Thinking and also Musing, including the triad’s art work, and also K-pop’s drawing power aided it get to a “a lot larger target market,” the collection agency stated, including: “It’s bringing individuals right into art.”

For Ohnim, nevertheless, the supreme objective is having his job valued by reliable sector voices. “I wish to truly be a real musician,” he stated.

Concealing away

With all the features of a K-pop celebrity– a big ring glinted on his finger as he fielded inquiries from behind colored glasses– Ohnim is not your common aesthetic musician.

Presently going after a solo songs profession while Winner is on respite, he at first started attracting as a leisure activity. The self-taught 28-year-old, that counts the suches as of Gustav Klimt and also Egon Schiele amongst his preferred musicians, ultimately came to be “extra significant” and also transitioned to paint, periodically uploading his art to his 6 million Instagram fans.

One of Ohnim's paintings, set to be displayed at StART Art Fair.

Among Ohnim’s paints, readied to be shown at begin Art Fair. Credit Scores: Beginning Art Global

His facing, extremely saturated pictures are an unlike the positive dancing tracks atrioventricular bundle is understood for, including bent numbers dropped over canvases and also skinny bodies being raised right into the skies. Amongst the art work showcasing at Saatchi is a vivid yet befuddling collection of paints from his collection “Conceal.” In one, a haunted face peers out in between red and also eco-friendly fingers. In an additional, the eye of a magenta number’s face is being required open by an incorporeal hand.

” Often I require to conceal and also (have) my very own area,” Ohnim stated, when inquired about the collection.

” Due to the fact that I’m a star, I can not reveal my feelings. I might be depressing occasionally. I might be ill, or I might not really feel excellent concerning something– however I require to keep a particular photo. That’s why I called it ‘Conceal’– to stay clear of revealing the public the feelings undergoing me.”

Like musicians all over, Ohnim has actually needed to actually conceal away over the last 2 years, investing a lot of his time inside as Covid-19 brushed up South Korea. While the pandemic placed a pin in his exploring routine, the time alone offered him time to concentrate on his art, he stated.Another painting by Ohnim, depicting a figure surrounded by colorful shapes.

One more paint by Ohnim, showing a number bordered by vivid forms. Credit Scores: Beginning Art Global

With Ciclitira’s assistance, Ohnim– in addition to Yooyeon and also Lau– located a secret workshop, far from the spying eyes of their myriads of followers. He shared a lot of his brand-new paints on social media sites, finishing 20 art work throughout the pandemic until now (11 of them will certainly go on display screen in London).

” I began really feeling obligation and also a hefty concern that I require to boost, to be extra enthusiastic and also devote myself as a musician,” he stated.

Referencing the supposed “K-wave”– a name for climbing passion in South Oriental songs, films and also television dramatization overseas– Ohnim thinks aesthetic musicians will ultimately take pleasure in a comparable limelight. “A component of me intends to be leading K-culture and also to provide other individuals the possibility to reveal their art around the world,” he stated, including: “I seem like I need to be just one of its leaders to carry out well.”

An assisting hand

Ciclitira might be called an art collection agency, however he has actually additionally taken pleasure in a respected profession in the songs sector. As chairman of occasions and also enjoyment team Live Firm, he has actually dealt with and also advertised the suches as of Girl Gaga, Michael Jackson and also Tina Turner. He has actually additionally functioned thoroughly in South Korea, establishing close relate to Ohnim’s tag, YG Home entertainment, which has actually handled several of the most significant names in K-pop, consisting of Psy of “Gangnam Design” popularity.

While Ohnim was currently reputable as an artist, among Ciclitira’s business’s supervisors, Sonia Hong, acknowledged his larger virtuosity after among his paints went viral on Instagram, acquiring over a million sort.

” I stated, ‘Oh my god, Mino paints?'” she remembered in a video clip meeting.

Herself a songs sector expert, Hong has actually dealt with the begin creator for 14 years and also has a close relationship with the taking care of supervisor of Ohnim’s tag. Picking Up the rap artist’s capacity, she spoke to the tag to see even more of his art, which she after that revealed to managers at Saatchi Gallery. (” We do not hire individuals even if they’re popular,” she stated.) After they regarded his job, in Hong’s words, “intriguing,” they moved on with the cooperation along with Yeoyeon and also Lau.

Ciclitira commends the triad’s perspective, stating they have “never ever as soon as included my face” the reality that they’re popular.

Featured StART Art Fair participant Henry Lau, who creates abstract paintings in black and white.

Included begin Art Fair individual Henry Lau, that produces abstract paints in black and also white. Credit Scores: From Beast Enjoyment

” They might do, since if you have actually obtained 10 million fans and also you stroll down the road in Seoul with everyone chasing you, that might most likely to their heads,” he stated. “However they’re courteous, they’re modest, they look for help. They really wish to ask what you really feel concerning their job.”

Ciclitira bewares to clear up that he and also Hong “do not handle” any one of the stars and also are rather “assisting them,” in addition to various other musicians revealing at begin. Ohnim preserves his very own monitoring, keeping in mind that his tag has actually been “extremely encouraging” however “careful” concerning his celeb being “mistreated.”

It continues to be to be seen if Ohnim will certainly have the ability to attend his Saatchi launching in London in the middle of organizing and also pandemic limitations. Ciclitira, that also scheduled the celebrity to be immunized in the wish it would certainly boost his possibilities of seeing the UK, should emulate the celebrity’s various other dedications: particularly a South Oriental truth television program, which starts firing about the time of the opening.

When asked whether he’ll participate in the art fair’s opening, Ohnim got into English for the very first time in the meeting. Looking straight right into the cam and also leaning forwards, he firmly insisted, “I wish to go there. Actually.”