Handbags, literature inspire art exhibit in Sinsa

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Handbags, literature inspire art exhibit in Sinsa


Book pages reaching about six feet high and covered in typography (left) are displayed at the exhibition “Bag is Literature” at the Simone Handbag Museum in Gangnam District, southern Seoul. The museum invited local writers to create literary works inspired by handbags and then asked artists to create works based on the texts. An installation based on Han Yu-ju’s novel can be seen on the left, while a painting inspired by a poem from Ha Sang-wook’s poem is right. Provided by the museum

If you expect to see piles of bags on display at the Simone Handbag Museum’s underground exhibition hall in Sinsa-dong, southern Seoul, you’re in for a surprise.

Texts and artwork inspired by handbags are shown instead, as part of a collaborative project between writers and artists.

The exhibition’s organizer, Simone Limited, invited novelist Eun Hee-kyung, writer Han Yu-ju and poet Ha Sang-wook to create new literary works, then commissioned five local artists to add some visual excitement to the texts.

The artists came up with myriad ways to display the written work, including paintings, illustrations and a six-foot-high structure mimicking the pages of a book.

At the museum, a booth with a microphone is also available, where visitors can read the texts from a screen - as if performing karaoke.

“A bag not only carries one’s life, it is also a cultural icon that can bring out some social discourse,” said the museum in a press release. “Through this exhibition, we aim to show expanded ideas, from carrying a bag through a convergence of literary works and visual arts.”

Simone Limited, which runs the museum, is a Korean company that has designed and manufactured handbags for many different labels, including internationally known fashion brands DKNY, Michael Kors and Kate Spade, for more than two decades.

BY LEE SUN-MIN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]

The exhibition “Bag Is Literature” lasts until Nov. 30. The museum opens at 11 a.m. from Tuesday through Sunday, and closes at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 7 p.m. on Sundays. It is closed Mondays. Admission to the exhibition is free. For more information, call (02) 3444-0912, or go to www.simonehandbagmuseum.co.kr.

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