BC designs Francis Gallery LA to celebrate Korean art and culture


Gallerist Rosa Park has opened a space in Los Angeles to showcase the work of Korean artists and designers, with interiors by local studio BC intended to reflect the country’s visual culture.

Francis Gallery LA is Park’s second location and is an expansion of her original gallery in Bath, UK – both presenting the work of emerging Korean artists.

Dark walls at Francis Gallery LA
Places of worship informed the interiors of the gallery on Melrose Avenue

Situated on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, the new space was designed with Lindsey Chan and Jerome Byron, founders of LA-based BC.

The duo preserved the building while transforming the inside with references to traditional Korean architecture and art.

Paintings hung on walls
The inaugural exhibition displays the work of six artists, including photography by Koo Bohnchang

These include a curved partition wall influenced by a moon jar and a contemporary re-interpretation of a hanok courtyard.

“The space was conceived to pay homage to Korean art and design in subtle ways – whether it was in the curve of a partition wall, the colour palette of the interior paints, or the profile of a low bench in the courtyard,” said Park.

Corner view with window
BC designed the gallery to be pared-back yet warm

Places of worship like chapels and monasteries were also referenced in the design. These were accentuated by the use of “humble materials” and pared-back forms.

Although minimal, the intention was to ensure the gallery still felt warm and inviting, as well as provide an appropriate setting for the pieces on show.

Resin stools
Rahee Yoon’s translucent acrylic blocks are among the works on show

“I think this emotional connection to a space, to a work, is central to what I’m doing with Francis,” Park said.

“It was of great importance to me that the space acted as the ideal framework to house works that I hope will move people.”

The inaugural exhibition at Francis Gallery LA is titled Morning Calm, on view until 7 January 2023, and features the work of six artists of Korean descent.

Bo Kim, John Zabawa, Koo Bohn Chang, Nancy Kwon, Rahee Yoon and Song Jaeho are all at different stages in their careers.

Stones VI by John Zabawa
An abstract painting by John Zabawa hangs on a dark wall

Their painting, photography, sculpture and ceramics all explore Korean identity in an international context and offer insights into the artists’ cultural heritage.

“With Los Angeles being home to the largest Korean community in the United States and Park having roots in both Seoul and LA, the debut show seeks to explore the nuanced connections between the two places,” said a statement from the gallery.

Courtyard with low bench
References to Korean architecture at the gallery include a contemporary interpretation of a traditional hanok courtyard

LA’s art scene has grown exponentially over the past decade, and the city is now home to many new galleries and exhibition spaces.

Well-known names that have opened their own locations there include Hauser & Wirth and The Future Perfect, while others like Marta are using modernist buildings like Neutra’s VDL II House to exhibit.

The photography is by Rich Stapleton.



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