Gana’s commercial projects are artworks you can afford

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Gana’s commercial projects are artworks you can afford


Gana Art Center helped coordinate the cover art for 2NE1’s second mini album, left, designed by Mari Kim and the cover art for Tablo’s first solo album, designed by Kim Nam-pyo. Provided by the art center

If you are a fan of such artists as Mari Kim, Kim Nam-pyo or Lee Dongi, now is your chance to pick up their work to take home - without burning a hole in your wallet.

Throughout the year, Gana Art Center in Pyeongchang-dong, northern Seoul, has collaborated with Korean companies to make art more accessible via commercial projects.

“Gana is perhaps one of the biggest and most recognized galleries in the country and we’ve been getting a lot of requests from large companies over the years to organize these kinds of art projects with them,” said Park Mi-yeon, a curator at Gana Art Center. “It’s a great opportunity for us to introduce our resident artists to a broader spectrum of people.”

This month, there are two such projects. To celebrate the merger of top beer maker Hite Brewery Co. and No.1 distiller Jinro Co. in September, the gallery collaborated with the new Hite-Jinro Group to launch special edition beer packaging by artists Lee Dongi, Yeo Dong-hun and Choi Yoon-jeong. The design by Lee Dongi features his signature character Atomaus, a variation of the cartoon character Atom, while Yeo’s design, “The Treasure Box of Captain Silver,” displays penguins, pigs and lambs in a colorful drawing. Choi’s design, “Pop Kids,” has a pop art sensibility and features a woman with blue, yarn-like hair and sunglasses.

Also this month, the gallery brought together artist Kim Nam-pyo and musician Tablo for the cover art for Tablo’s first solo album, “Fever’s End.” The drawings feature wild animals in otherworldly, surreal settings. The gallery’s resident artist Mari Kim designed the cover art for 2NE1’s second mini album which came out this July. Her involvement in the project, the gallery said, came at the insistence of Yang Hyun-suk, head of YG Entertainment, the group’s agency, who is said to be a collector of Kim’s art.

Meanwhile, the gallery has revamped major buildings in Seoul, including a seven-story building in Bangbae-dong that it turned into an art space called Mipihaus with building owner Mr. Pizza. Artist David Gerstein was commissioned to create a large print to cover Hyundai Department Store in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul, while it was being renovated earlier this year.

The gallery also engaged artist Ron Arad for an installation at D-Cube City, a shopping complex near Sindorim Station, southern Seoul. “Vortext” consists of 24,000 tiny LED screens in a 17-meter-high (56 feet) installation.

By Cho Jae-eun []
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