Arario launches one more Jeju museum

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Arario launches one more Jeju museum


Osang Gwon’s photography sculptures in his signature style are on display at the Arario Museum Tapdong Bike in Jeju City’s Old Town on Jeju Island. His solo exhibition, titled “Pivots,” shows how the artist’s photography sculptures evolved from portraits of his friends to partly surreal juxtapositions of religious and banal objects. Provided by the museum

JEJU - Another museum with a red exterior has emerged in Jeju City’s Old Town on the northern coast of this southern Korean island.

Arario Museum Dongmun Motel II, set up in a remodeled building that was once a cheap hotel with strange triangular floors, opened to the public on April 1. For its inaugural exhibition it is presenting pieces from four teams of contemporary Korean artists until Sept. 6.

The new venue joins three Arario museums that opened in Jeju City six months ago. The renovated buildings, newly colored bright red, were once a multiplex cinema, a bike shop and another cheap hotel.

“Until ‘Dongmun Motel II’ opened, the first part of our Arario Museum Jeju project was not yet rounded off,” Ci Kim, chairman of Arario Group and one of the most influential art collectors in Korea, told reporters during a press conference Wednesday in Jeju.


Chung So-young’s installation “Light Collector,” left, is part of the Arario Museum Dongmun Motel II’s opening exhibition. Right: A view of the museum’s building.

Kim explained that Arario Museum Tapdong Cinema and the adjacent Tapdong Bikeshop make a pair, with the former housing a long-term exhibition of pieces from Kim’s vast collection and the latter focusing on relatively short-term special shows. In the same way, Arario Museum Dongmun Motel I and II are a set, he said.

Dongmun Motel II’s opening show “Resonating Triangle” features artists that specialize in very different genres: film director Kelvin Kyungkun Park; installation and media artist Chung So-young; rock band Jambinai, who combine Western rock and traditional Korean music; and conceptual artist Lee Joo-young.

Through their art, however, all four teams hone in on the changes the former motel went though or the evolution of Korea’s modern urban areas.

Among them, Chung’s “Light Collector” is an installation of illuminated glass panels cast with the texture of old bricks and the cement of the structure’s walls.

“Many of the building’s windows disappeared when it was renovated into a museum,” Chung said. “In this work, I have revived the light that once came into the building through the windows.”

Osang Gwon, an artist recognized as a pioneer of photography sculptures, has started his solo show at Arario Museum Tapdong Bikeshop.

The exhibition, titled “Pivots,” shows how the artist’s installations evolved from his early works - mainly portraits of his friends - to the recent pieces that are partly surreal juxtapositions of religious and banal objects.

The sculptures are 3-D models made with light material, such as Styrofoam, covered with numerous photographs of models and taken at different angles under various kinds of light.


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