Uncommon creations in Norwegian arts & crafts

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Uncommon creations in Norwegian arts & crafts


The contemporary Norwegian arts and crafts exhibition “Constructions” features 25 works by 16 artists, including “Necklace” by Liv Blavarp, above left, and “Ende-lyst (“End-light”) by Ingrid Larssen, above right. Provided by the Norwegian Embassy in Seoul

When people think of Norway, the first thing that often comes to mind is the natural beauty of the fjords. The country’s artwork is likely to be less familiar, and there have only been a handful of exhibitions featuring Norwegian artists here.

“Constructions,” an exhibit of contemporary Norwegian arts and crafts that opens to the public tomorrow, will show visitors some of the visual art the Scandinavian country has to offer. It features 25 works of art by 16 notable contemporary Norwegian artists.

The exhibition, which was initiated by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts, has previously been displayed in Ireland, Russia, Spain and Chile, according to a press release by the Norwegian Embassy in Seoul, which plays host to the event here.

The exhibition focuses on the way art pieces are made or “constructed,” as its title implies, revealing that the techniques and materials used to make a work are closely related to an artist’s underlying concept for the work.

Liv Blavarp made her piece “Necklace” from rosewood, dyed maple, ebony and horn, and says that her ideas about a work always influence her choice of materials.

“While I have mainly used wood in my art, I build up elaborate assemblies of elements to form flexible and tactile pieces of jewelry, taking pleasure in the idea of soft, flowing shapes that alter as you move or rearrange the piece on your body,” the artist said in the exhibition catalogue. “Natural forms are constructed by joining the various elements in a logical, numerical sequence and I am excited by the possibility of creating sensuality by means of structured calculation.”

While the works in the exhibition vary in terms of style and materials used, they clearly have something in common.

“This exhibition of contemporary Norwegian arts and crafts is based on the concept of ‘construction’ - in the sense of the way something is put together,” Edith Lundebrekke, the exhibition’s curator, said in a statement in the exhibition catalogue.

While the term “construction” is used in many other fields such as architecture, engineering, geometry, music and language, in the field of arts and crafts, the term is used to describe methods for building three-dimensional forms and creating patterns in surfaces, or a fusion of the two, her statement said.

“For this exhibition, I have selected artists who approach construction in different ways, mainly in relation to wood and textiles,” the curator’s statement said.

“One thing the artists have in common is that they have developed their own, individual methods of construction to establish the formal, structural and organizational foundation for their particular visual expressions,” the curator was quoted as saying. “Another common feature is that the visual, aesthetic and physical presence of their works gives these pieces a voice.”

“Constructions” will run until Feb. 9 at the Korean Craft Promotion Foundation in Insa-dong, central Seoul. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (02) 733-9040~2 or visit www.kcpf.or.kr.

By Park Sun-young [spark0320@joongang.co.kr]
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