Exhibit addresses communication, and the lack of it
The work “Nine Goldfish” marks the opening of Korean artist Ahn Kyuchul’s solo exhibition at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s (MMCA) Seoul branch. Titled “Invisible Land of Love” after a Korean poem, the exhibition consists of the 60-year-old artist’s eight recent pieces. It is the second edition of the MMCA Hyundai Motor Series sponsored by the auto giant.
Besides “Nine Goldfish,” most of the other works on display deal with isolation and lack of communication.
And “64 Rooms,” a structure divided into 64 small cells by dark blue velvet curtains, is “a labyrinth of voluntary desolation and absence,” the artist said at a press preview last week.
“Many viewers could feel fear in it, not only from the sense of isolation but also from another viewer they might suddenly encounter in it,” he added.
And visitors who enter the “Room of Silence,” a huge sphere that is completely white and empty inside, will feel “a state of cosmic void and nothingness where the sense of ‘here and now’ is removed, transcending a mere physical separation,” the artist said.
And in some of Ahn’s works, such isolation leads to a higher level of communication. In the audience-participation performance project “1,000 Scribes,” 1,000 participants, one by one, transcribe Korean and other literary works for one hour in an isolated small room located in the exhibition hall during the exhibition period. The manuscript, filled with the handwriting of many visitors, will be reproduced in limited editions after the exhibition and distributed to the participants. So, although they work in an isolated space without direct communication with each other, they are as good as working together.
BY MOON SO-YOUNG [email@example.com]
The exhibition runs through Feb. 14, 2016. Admission is 4,000 won ($3.40), which covers entrance to the other shows going on at the Seoul museum. During the Sept. 26-29 Chuseok holiday, the museum is open for free. It is closed on Oct. 1. For details, visit www.mmca.go.kr or call (02) 3701-9500.