Amid all the hype of minimalism seen right here in Korea (which encompasses lifestyle philosophies to aesthetics presented in varying levels of commercialization), Todd Selby’s first solo exhibition opened at Daelim Museum. The show is appropriately titled The Selby House, as the exterior walls of the museum are covered with the artist’s illustrations while displayed inside is a re-creation of the artist’s very own bedroom. The self-proclaimed embracer of maximalism comes as a fresh contrast to the dominant trend that’s been sweeping the local scene for several years. The mammoth showcase of photographer, illustrator and creative journalist Todd Selby is, especially in this particular context, one that offers refreshing inspiration. Selby mentioned: “Minimalism to me is quite boring. When I started shooting people and their spaces in the early 2000’s, that super-clean look was the dominant aesthetic. What I did was embracing maximalism and real life and messiness. It was a slap in the face to that whole thing.” The artist's unapologetically disruptive attitude is fully apparent in the first section of the exhibit, Selby the Photographer, in which ‘documentarian’ photographs portray people in their natural habitat—with whichever kind of lighting that was available and no props whatsoever. In a rather paradoxical manner however, this unique ‘Selby’ process questions how real a photograph can be, as the unconstructed images seem so professional and iconically Selby. As you pro
Last September, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art purchased master artist Kim Whanki’s abstract painting Dawn #3 (created in 1964-5). With a price tag of $1.14 million, the oil painting now holds the title of having the highest price paid by the museum for a single work of art. Dawn #3, along with 120 of the 932 artworks that have been collected between 2013 and 2016—excluding pieces that have already been exhibited—are what make up the narrative of the latest exhibition at MMCA Seoul. The title of the grandiose exhibition showcasing its recent highest-bid purchase is Samramansang: From Kim Whanki to Yang Fudong. Samramansang, which can be interpreted as “All things and phenomena of the universe,” reflects the changes and embraces the diversity of contemporary art. Viewers will be able to feel the effects of political and social transformations in the artworks as artists shift away from formalism and traditional mediums often found in Korean art history. Through this exhibition, MMCA aims to provide an overall understanding of the characteristics, aesthetics and concepts of contemporary Korean art. The exhibitions as a whole is well devised into 5 sections, each focusing on a specific theme. Although all pieces making up the exhibition is displayed in an engaging manner (with some pieces being highly interactive), it is easy to get lost in the concept of each overall theme. It’s surely an ambitious exhibition by MMCA, judging the high number of artworks on
If you’ve ever visited one of ADER’s showrooms, you might have left with a cobalt blue-colored shopping bag and a slight craving for more creative space. After all, ADER Error has begun to take claim as one of Korea’s strongest leaders in fashion, with Vogue referring to them as "the Korean Vetements". Interestingly enough, both urban cultured fashion ventures were born in the same year, in 2014. The founders of ADER, a ragtag group of Seoulites who have studied at Central Saint Martins, the Fashion Institute of Technology and ESMOD, cleverly devised the phonetic Korean pronunciation of the word ‘other’ as their brand name. Their brand concept is reconstructing the “near-missed things" (all the daily objects in our lives that can be easily unnoticed) in an unorthodox style. The exhibition set up by the design collective at D Project Space playfully highlights and gives a better understanding of such a slogan. ‘Near-missed things’ or the things we take for granted have been fantastically translated into interactive spaces that embody what is best described as a sensual mix of retro 80’s and modern chic. While vivid colors and plastic objects reminiscent of the era adorn the pathways (onto, laid throughout, etc...), the whole experience feels well-suited for today’s youth; As Korea’s contemporary youth culture is marked by boldness and an ever-longing for self-identity, ADER’s catchy ways of storytelling and style of revamping the mundane fit the bill. At D Project Space, ever
MMCA presents the Yangjiang Group, an artist trio (Zhen Guogu, Chen Zaiyan, Sun Qinglin) who in a contemporary fashion reinterprets the practice and concept of calligraphy. Having shown in various international exhibitions including the Gwangju Biennale, Venice Biennale and Documenta, they have arrived in Seoul to share ideas and perform how “Calligraphy Is the Way to Communicate with the Most Primal Power.” Through calligraphy, the main motif of the group’s art works, they express the ways in which the Chinese participate in daily social communication. Yangjiang Group is fond of using unconventional materials such as stacks of writing, mass produced clothes, left-over food (which can be seen on the artist interview video) to bring back relevance to the tradition. Although the artist performances are the highlights of the exhibition, the museum space dedicated to the group (open until August 27th, 2017) is a great preview to the grand scale which the group never fails to bring in their show. The space is also meant to be a rendering of what they describe as an "ideal paradise," a unique coexistence of the past and present daily life. The audience participatory performances such as After Dinner Calligraphy and Tea and Incense Ceremony will be held on February 18th (2pm – 3pm), May 13th (4pm – 5pm) and finally on August 12th (4pm – 5pm).