Young artists pursue pent-up artistic desires in ‘Pink Poison’ exhibit

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Young artists pursue pent-up artistic desires in ‘Pink Poison’ exhibit


Cannibal-themed drawings by Sim Rae, left, and an installation of organic forms by Koo Min-jeong are on view as part of the “Pink Poison” show at Arario Museum in Space in central Seoul. [ARARIO MUSEUM IN SPACE]

Outwardly, Koo Min-jeong and Sim Rae seemed to be too different to hold an exhibition together.

Koo has created artworks - paintings and installations - based on the swirl of emotions that a certain space evokes in her. Her work is the result of thorough, detailed research into an exhibition venue.

On the contrary, the fountain of imagination for Sim, instinctive and spontaneous, comes from a totally different place - her personal experiences from the past. She “throws up” fleeting images formed in her head in black and white paintings, which are later repackaged into motion pictures.

But the chemistry between the two actually turned out to be quite sufficient in the new exhibition “Pink Poison” at Arario Museum in Space in Seoul.’

The exhibition is part of “Project Underground,” the museum’s ambitious program to discover up-and-coming artists and show their work in the underground space of the historic building designed by Kim Swoo-geun, one of the country’s finest modern architects.

The building’s maze-like structure, low ceilings and narrow stone stairways ooze mystery and excitement. The dimly lit underground hall where the two artists show their new works has a womb-like coziness.

Sim’s cannibal-themed drawings perfectly fit into the dark, narrow space, which might remind one of human being’s internal organs. Her motion pictures produced with those drawings, with simple electronic background music, somehow attenuates the ghastly, eerie effects.

“I have been working on life and death since I became intrigued by serial killings and cannibalism,” the artist said during a press briefing on Friday. She added that her personal experiences in childhood, which she didn’t articulate, caused her to be interested in the subjects.

“It largely comes from destructive, warped desire to put other human beings under total control.”

Past Sim’s works deep into the red-brick-walled hall emerges Koo’s yellow installations comprised of interesting organic objects and a painting. Inspired by ivy covering the outer walls of the museum, the whole art piece seems as if it is a living organism that has been born out of it.’

“We thought the space is like a mother’s womb which can help the two artists express their pent-up desire for art,” said Song Ye-jin, the curator of the exhibition.

She explained that the motif of the exhibition name came from Pepto-Bismol, an American medication used to treat an upset stomach. One might readily take the medicine lured by its bright, inviting color, but soon realize what you see is not all there is. The uncomfortable feelings of deception can be a catalyst for art, she said.

“For the museum, running this project has a metaphorical meaning of giving birth to new artists. For artists, the space serves as a great outlet for artistic production,” she said, adding they plan to open the project up to four times a year. This event is the second since the first took place in March last year. Yonhap

The exhibition runs through June 11. Admission is 10,000 won ($8.95) for adults, which includes the museum’s permanent exhibition. Go to Anguk Station, line No. 3, exit 3, and walk for three minutes. For details, call (02) 736-5700 or visit
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