Floating art exhibit needs higher profileDAEJEON- Standing in the middle of Gapcheon, a wide restored stream flowing next to this city’s Expo Science Park, there is a statue of a girl whose head has been replaced with a huge fish. She has been there for over a month as one of the 45 pieces of floating art that have been on display as part of an international art festival.
The product of four years’ planning, the Fluid Artcanal International 2006/2007 is a project that involved co-operation between Switzerland, Germany, and Korea, with 15 artists participating in the open-air exhibition.
The exhibition began along the Zihl canal (Switzerland) in May last year, and arrived in Korea in September. It will continue until Dec. 1. In the summer of next year, the exhibition will move to Berlin.
Despite being the first floating exhibition in Korea, the sculptures has been struggling to attract an audience, partly because there has not been much promotion.
Although the exhibition has been running for over a month, it has received very little publicity even in artistic circles and has been mainly promoted in the Daejeon region.
Many visitors have also complained that the exhibition should receive proper lighting at night so that people can view the artworks when they are take walks after sunset.
"It was so dark I could not make out anything but shapes," said Seo Se-ra, a Daejeon resident. "Only one of the artworks had lighting- the others should too."
Lee Ji-ho, a curator of the Daejeon Museum of Art which co-organized the exhibition, said however that lighting was not part of the exhibition and that when it was exhibited in Switzerland, the artwork was not lit up at night.
"The intention was to exhibit the artwork within nature in a natural state, with no artificial lighting," she said.
Even so, those who visited during the day pointed out that the local exhibitor could have taken more care with the exhibition.
"I couldn't understand any of the art pieces and it wasn't until I had finished walking down the entire strip that I saw a desk where they were handing out pamphlets. They could have set up signs on the bank with the name of the artist and title of the artwork," said Lee Mi-hee.
Such complaints from visitors led the exhibitor to belatedly erect some signs at intervals along the bank in late October.
Hwang Gee-sung, a student who traveled to Daejeon specifically to see the exhibition, said that he wished the exhibition could have received more attention.
"I read somewhere that Daejeon city spent 100 million won to organize an international exhibition, and I'm a great art fan so that's why I came here. If the artwork was held in Seoul, I'm sure it could have attracted more guests, but it was hardly publicized," he said.
by Wohn Dong-hee
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