2015.11.4 MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
National Museum of Korea, Yongsan District
To Nov. 15: For the exhibition, the museum used its international connections to bring in about 210 Buddhist sculptures from 26 institutions in eight countries.
The result is the museum’s third comprehensive exhibition of Buddhist art. Officials say this exhibition is different in that it focuses on how Korean artists developed their own aesthetics through exchanges with India, Southeast Asia, China and Japan.
One of the highlights is the seventh-century “Bodhisattva in Pensive Pose” sculpture from Korea’s Unified Silla period (676-935). Believed to be as tall as 3 meters (10 feet) when it was whole, the stone sculpture now has only the part below the Bodhisattva’s waist but is still impressive with its beautiful carving. Other must-sees include Buddhist sculptures from the first-century Gandhara Mathura regions of India and the fifth- to sixth-century Vietnamese Buddhist sculptures.
Tickets for adults are priced at 6,000 won ($5). The museum is closed on Mondays. The venue is close to Ichon Station (line Nos. 1 and 4), exit 2.
Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan
To Nov. 15: To mark the second half of the year, the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art has prepared a set of three exhibitions: “Mountains, Rivers and People: Eight Views and Nine-Bend Streams of Gyeonggi,” “Rhythmscape” and “Color Pool,” all of which feature works of numerous Korean artists.
The first exhibition itself involved 59 artists in total, all of whom created artworks that celebrate the remarkable scenic places, people and arts that represent Gyeonggi. Gyeonggi has been a source of inspiration and its landscapes the subject of many artworks for centuries. As such, the exhibition includes works by traditional artists and those of contemporary artists that have continued to revisit and recreate the same scenes.
The exhibition is composed of five parts, each with a particular theme, such “The River Leads into the Ocean” and “People Create the Village and the City,” among others.
Complementary to “Mountains, Rivers and People,” “Rhythmscape” serves to illustrate the interplay of life and art, while “Color Pool” functions as a reinterpretation of the collection of the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art.
Admission is 4,000 won. The art space is closed on Mondays. Go to Choji Station, line No. 4, exit 1, and walk for 10-15 minutes.
(031) 481-7000, www.gmoma.or.kr
INVISIBLE LAND OF LOVE
MMCA Seoul, Jongno District
To Feb. 14: The solo exhibition of Ahn Kyuchul consists of eight of the 60-year-old Korean artist’s recent pieces. It is the second edition of the MMCA Hyundai Motor Series sponsored by the auto giant.
The goldfish seem to be together but they can never meet one another, as each is in one of nine separate concentric tracks.
Most of the other works on display also deal with isolation and lack of communication. “64 Rooms,” a structure divided into 64 small cells by dark blue velvet curtains, is “a labyrinth of voluntary desolation and absence,” as the artist said. But in some of the other works, such as the audience-participation performance project “1,000 Scribes,” such isolation leads to a higher level of communication.
Admission is 4,000 won, which covers entrance to the other shows going on at the Seoul museum.
The museum is closed on Mondays. Go to Anguk Station, line No. 3, exit 1, and walk for 10 minutes.
(02) 3701-9500, www.mmca.go.kr
FAN HO: HONG KONG 1950S-1960S
Shinsegae Gallery, Jung District
To Nov. 22: Commemorating its 85th anniversary since its opening, the Shinsegae Gallery is exhibiting a collection of works by Chinese photographer Fan Ho.
Fan Ho found his love for photography at age of 13, when his father gave him a Rolleiflex camera as a birthday present. Primarily active in the United States, Ho has held over 300 exhibitions throughout his career so far.
He also dabbled in film directing in the past 35 years and directed 27 films in total.
This particular exhibition is dedicated to the time Ho lived in Hong Kong from the 1950s to 1960s. At this time, Ho, who had fostered an interest in journalism, had to halt his studies in college due to health reasons.
As an outlet, he began to use his Rolleiflex to photograph particular spots on the streets, capturing his love of people through geometric constructions and use of light.
When he found a spot he liked, he would remember it and revisit multiple times at various hours in order to determine the best moment to capture its atmosphere.
This solo exhibition marks the first time that Ho is displaying all 27 photos together in Korea, inviting the viewers to reminisce with him on his days in Hong Kong in his 20s.
Admission is free. Go to Euljiro 1-ga Station, line No. 2, exit 7.
(02) 310-1921, www.shinsegae.com
AERNOUT MIK: PARALLELITIES
Artsonje Center, Jongno District
To Nov. 29: The solo exhibition of Dutch artist Aernout Mik shows his four separate video installations that focus on borders and conflicts between countries, ideologies and others.
Among the works is “Ice Cream Hill (2014?15).” Commissioned by the REAL DMZ PROJECT and being shown for the first time at this exhibition, the films tells the story of tensions between the two Koreas on Sabseulbong Peak, located near the DMZ in Cheorwon, Gangwon.
Admission is 3,000 won for adults. The art center is closed on Mondays.
Go to Anguk Station, line No. 3, exit 1, and walk for 10 minutes.
(02) 733-8945, www.artsonje.org
THE POETRY OF DESIGN
Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Jung District
To Feb. 28: For his Korean fans, world-renowned Italian architect and designer Alessandro Mendini has organized a large-size exhibition, the biggest in Asia according to the organizer. The exhibit features about 600 works in a “labyrinthine interweaving of the poetic and the theoretic,” showing Mendini’s works, his inspirations, design thinking and so on. In the Childhood section, visitors can witness Mendini’s innocence and desire to realize his childhood dream of becoming a cartoonist.
The characters he designed for Baskin Robbins in collaboration with SPC will capture the attention of families and young visitors.
The other highlights include the various versions of the Poltrona di Proust - the chair Mendini created in 1978 and which has become an icon of postmodern design - including an enlarged version. And other giant monuments he created for the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain are among the exhibits.
Admission for adults is 14,000 won. The exhibition is closed on Mondays. Go to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station, lines No. 2 and 4, exit 1, and walk for five minutes.
(02) 3143-4360, www.ddp.or.kr or www.mendini.co.kr