Six Feet Forward Exhibition – Grant Report

Posted by: Lauren Barnes  |  Posted on: February 14th, 2024

Six Feet Forward exhibition by Jisoo Jit Seo 

13th – 22nd October 2023

Organised and curated by Vera Hadzhiyska 


The Events and Activities supported 


Thanks to the financial support of the British Korean society I was able to successfully complete the activities proposed in my finding application. In this report I will outline all the activities accomplished and the impact they had, and comment on future goals and developments. 


Activities undertaken: 


The BKS funding allowed me to organise a solo exhibition “Six Feet Forward” showcasing the work of emerging Korean artist Jisoo Jit Seo at Art Space Portsmouth (established artist studio and gallery space) in Portsmouth, UK from the 13th to 22nd October 2023.  

Jit Seo’s work was an excellent choice as it focuses on timely subjects of Artificial Intelligence, with the increasing discussions in the art world on the impact and ethical implications of using AI in art. Her work also invited visitors to question the integration and impact of technology on humanity, as well as the impact of capitalism on art production and consumption.  

Vera Hadzhiyska (left) and Jisoo Jit Seo (right) at the “Six Feet Forward” exhibition in Art Space Portsmouth

Kate Street, a resident artist and curator at Art Space Portsmouth, who invited me to use the space for the Six Feet Forward Exhibition, shared her observation that this show has been a much needed breath of fresh talent and international perspective in the Portsmouth art scene.  


As part of the exhibition we created an audience interaction space where visitors were invited to reflect on their experience of the work and share their thoughts on how technology has already, or will impact humanity in the future. This had an excellent participation and engagement rate. The whole wall dedicated to audience responses was filled up by the end of the show (see photo below).  Jisoo even mentioned she has been creatively inspired by the public responses saying she is “eager to dive into experimenting with a manifesto inspired by the texts left by participants in the exhibition.” 

The audience participation space and responses at the “Six Feet Forward” exhibition in Art Space Portsmouth

The opening evening was very well attended (45 people) and created a vibrant hub for networking with the local art community for both Jisoo and myself.  


Alongside the exhibition I organised student visits with a guided tour and talk by the artist. As a Lecturer in Photography at the University of Portsmouth, I was able to integrate an exhibition visit as part of the curriculum for first year Photography students (20 people). They were able to see the show, hear Jisoo speak about each artwork in the exhibition, talk to the artist and ask questions. This provided an excellent opportunity for knowledge and cultural exchange between Jisoo and the students.  

University of Portsmouth, Photography Students visit to “Six Feet Forward” exhibition in Art Space Portsmouth

We also held an in-person Artist and Curator in conversation talk, which was well received and resulted in an active discussion with the audience about the use of AI in art and its ethical implications. The feedback from the audience was very positive. 


Throughout the duration of the show we had a total of 92 visitors in person. In addition, we recorded an Instagram Live exhibition walkthrough (Watch here) to allow for international engagement online and showcase the exhibition to audiences who weren’t physically able to attend the show in Portsmouth. This has been seen by more than 1000 people already (based on the post insights on 27 Dec 2023).  


Overall, the exhibition and accompanying events were successful and well attended by local artists and curators, university lecturers, technicians, researchers and students, and the general public. This made it possible for me to introduce Jisoo to a wide network of people and allow her to build new connections.  


Artist and Curator in Conversation talk at the “Six Feet Forward” exhibition in Art Space Portsmouth

Feedback and Reflections 


Artist Feedback: 


For me it was really important that this exhibition is beneficial for Jisoo and allows her to build up on her practice so I asked her to answer a few questions reflecting on her experience of the exhibition. 


Here are some excerpts from Jisoo’s answers: 


“Throughout our remote conversations, Vera meticulously checked even the smallest details, showcasing a remarkable passion for establishing a platform for exchange between the UK and Korea. Above all, inviting the students added richness not only to the exhibition’s quality but also to the student’s experience.” 


“Beyond the landscapes of Seoul in South Korea and Berlin in Germany, where I had been actively involved, the opportunity to exhibit in Portsmouth, UK has profound significance for me. Despite my prior studies in the UK, my exposure to the British art scene was somewhat limited, making this experience even more valuable. Through this opportunity, I came to realise the cultural development and the extensive learning potential that the UK has to offer. Particularly in Portsmouth, the strong bond of community and interconnection among locals stood out. Despite the relatively brief exhibition period, I engaged in diverse interactions and successfully concluded the exhibition. The experience in Portsmouth is one that I will cherish and never forget.” 


“I’ve come to realise how crucial it is to build relationships within networking and communities, fostering an environment for continuous dialogues about the work and also the role of the curator. “ 


“Beyond simply showing visual images, it was a time that I could share my thoughts, background, research topics, and the process of my work allowing others to get to know more about me. Moreover, it was deeply meaningful as the exhibition became a point where the audience could not only visually experience it but also engage in a multi-layered dialogue, exchanging their thoughts and perspectives.” 


Organiser Reflections: 


Vera Hadzhiyska:


“In addition, I would like to share some of my reflections on working with Jisoo on this exhibition. 

I am passionate about continuing to work with Korean artists, learning about their art practice and being able to showcase them in the UK, fostering connections for both Korean artists, myself and the local creative community. Therefore, for me as a curator the opportunity to organise this first (of hopefully many) exhibition of a Korean artist was a dream come true. Working with Jisoo on the planning and execution of this solo show was a brilliant experience. 

My curatorial practice is centred around collaboration, therefore Jisoo was involved in all elements of the production, including consulting on the poster and leaflet design (which were professionally designed by Becky Boyes-Major), the printing – choices of paper and size of prints, the curation of the work within the space, the installation of the exhibition and the contents of the Artist-Curator talk and Instagram live.

It was a collaboration which I really appreciated because it allowed me to work closely with a Korean artist for the first time. It was a great learning experience in terms of dealing with the slight language barrier and understanding our cultural differences and learning about the way the other person sees the world and communicates. It has been a valuable experience. I am especially grateful for the conversations I was able to have with Jisoo about the Korean art industry. Her knowledge as a native Korean artist gave me a particular insight into how the art world operates in Korea which will be very useful for the future. Particularly as I intend to work with more Korean practitioners and also hope to be able to work on projects within Korea as well.

I am confident that through the activities detailed above, we were able to support the British Korean Society values. Through the exhibition, by sharing Korean art with the British audience, we made positive contributions to British and Korean cultural exchange. Leading artist talks and engaging visitors, including young people, supported the development of lasting contacts, friendships, and activities involving both countries.

I would like to express my gratitude to the British Korean Society for supporting this creative endeavour. It would not have been possible without your support.” 



Contact information 


Jisoo Jit Seo 

Jisoo Jit Seo is a Korean visual artist and an art writer. She explores the relationship between post-humanism, neo-capitalism and the post-internet era. Based on her interest in technology and digital culture, Jit Seo aims to create a visual and auditory discourse about our lives and their impact on the world we live in through photography, sound and text. 

Jit Seo holds a MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Arts, UAL and a BA in Textile Design. She is currently a PhD student of the Interdisciplinary Course for Studies of Art at Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul. Her work has been exhibited internationally in Korea, Germany and the UK, among others. She received a grant from the Arts Council Korea in 2022 for her project, ‘Softness: An Alternative Paradigm of Technology.’  



Vera Hadzhiyska 

Vera Hadzhiyska is a Bulgarian multi-disciplinary artist, curator and photography lecturer based in Portsmouth, England. Her art practice is informed by the study of migration, cultural and national identity, history and collective memory. She examines historical and political events in Bulgaria and Eastern Europe, their impact on people’s lives and identity. 

Hadzhiyska has a BA and MA degree in Photography from the University of Portsmouth. She has exhibited internationally in Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, France and the UK. She is a winner of the VID Foundation of Photography award 2020, Danny Wilson Memorial Award 2022, ‘Developing Your Creative Practice’ Arts Council England Grant 2021, and Belfast Exposed Future Curators Award 2023 to name a few. 


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