[Sponsored Report] KDB opens outdoor art gallery at headquarters

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[Sponsored Report] KDB opens outdoor art gallery at headquarters

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KDB Financial Group Chairman Kang Man-soo speaks at the opening ceremony for Pioneer Gallery yesterday.


KDB Development Bank opened its Pioneer Gallery at the outdoor garden of its headquarters yesterday.

This piece of nature is part of the company’s social contribution activities meant to support artists and improve the quality and competitiveness of domestic art.

Kang Ik-joong, a highly regarded installation artist, helped to create Pioneer Gallery based on a pioneering spirit that confronts challenges - the same themes that make up KDB’s company theology. The 58 meters (190 feet) of art express the beauty and artistic value of the Korean language and provide an aesthetically pleasing outdoor gallery at the same time.

The front consists entirely of art by Kang Ik-joong, while the backside is a variable cube through which roughly 200 pieces of art and handicrafts can be displayed.

UV film and dehumidifiers protect the valuable pieces of art from damage by the elements, which would not be a problem in an indoor setting. And thanks to LED lighting, the garden is open at night and makes for a beautiful sight.

“To stimulate the arts, which are weak compared to other fields, we thought of Pioneer Gallery as a place where anyone can come to view and enjoy artwork,” said Kang Man-soo, KDB chairman. “It also provides an exhibition area to many people. We plan to use it as a true cultural communication area.”

“When people think of Yeouido, many think of finance and politics - rendering a rather stiff image,” he continued. “In the future, we believe that Pioneer Gallery will become a new landmark of Yeouido and a icon symbolizing the pioneer spirit.”

Kang, the creator of the gallery, is known for expressing clips of life and various thoughts through drawings and writings on 3-by-3 canvas and wooden molds. He aims for a harmonious global world based on acceptance of many races and cultures. Through symbols, cartoon images and collages on canvas, he expresses Western and Oriental, spiritual and mundane worlds in an equal and combined manner.

Since winning the special prize at the Venice Biennale, the artist has been concentrating on creative art based on large-scale public projects rather than on traditional art gallery and art museum exhibitions. His often works on pieces relating to Korean reunification and world peace. The flexibility expressed in his Korean-language art that hangs over the past and present and the Western and Oriental has been noticed by experts in the artistic world.

In the future, the bank expects that other arts and handicrafts will also be displayed at the Pioneer Gallery just as they would be at any other art establishment. Any profits made from the operation of the site will be donated to charity.

“Art is not just for special people and art exhibitions are not just for special artists,” Kang Ik-joong said. “Pioneer Gallery is a gallery for everyone where anyone can participate in the culture and become an artist.”

From Nov. 2 to Nov. 16, 200 winning pieces of art from the first “KDB Student Art Contest“ will be displayed at the outdoor gallery. And from Nov. 19 to Jan. 3, winning art from the “2012 KDB Traditional Art Contest and Market” will be on display.

By Lee Ji-hyun

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