A Portrait in Fragments

A Portrait in Fragments, opening next month at London’s Korean Cultural Centre will shed some light on the fascinating, frequently challenging work of Korean photographer Theresa Hak Kyung Cha.

Aveugle Voix performance
Aveugle Voix performance

The artist tragically died in 1982 aged just 31, when she was murdered in New York.

Other things seen heard performance image
Other things seen heard performance image

Much of her work – which also included mixed media and film pieces – was left incomplete, alongside Cha’s unfinished thesis.

Theresa Cha 1975
Theresa Cha 1975

 Cha was born in Busan, Korea, in 1951, and aged 12 went into exile to the US with her parents.

Theresa Cha 1975
Theresa Cha 1975

However, her Korean roots are intrinsic to her artwork, which frequently documents what it means to be a Korean growing up in a Western culture. Alongside these personal explorations, her work examines the collective Korean trauma of invasions by China and Japan, which led to the displacement of many Korean citizens.

Other things seen heard performance
Other things seen heard performance

According to exhibition organisers, there is also a ‘pervading sense in [Cha’s] work that Korea itself becomes an allegory of the violated and beatified woman’.

Life Mixing performance
Life Mixing performance

The show will present films, film scripts and synopses and photographic contact sheets alongside intimate glimpses into Cha’s thoughts and working processes through notebooks and journals.

A 1975 work
A 1975 work

The exhibition will also see a number of ‘work station’ pieces by contemporary artists Ruth Barker, Sujin Lee, Jefford Horrigan and Bada Song, created in response to the works Cha left behind.

Bernadette Permutations.
Bernadette Permutations.

A Portrait in Fragments: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha 1951- 1982 runs from 24 September  – 26 October at Korean Cultural Centre London, 1- 3 The Strand, WC2N

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