Creating a whimsical world through conversation : Design duo M/M Paris bring their colorful design language to life
At the “M/M Aime/Aime” exhibition now open in Hyundai Card Storage in Itaewon, central Seoul, some 50 works created by the duo prove how their work is like a language that speaks on its own. Even though almost all of the exhibits are actually works that were created in the past for other projects, the poster that was designed especially for the Seoul exhibition hangs in perfect harmony with the rest of the works, as if the whole set had been created for a single collection, rather than separately.
Each work, a poster, photograph or an object, therefore, can stand alone for a set purpose, but put with the duo’s other works, its meaning changes according to its surroundings. For instance, some of the posters were designed to be used as actual promotional posters for commercial events, such as theater productions. Yet, their appearance on the walls of the Storage gallery gives them a new identity as art.
“The first time we did an exhibition at Tate Modern in London, it was called, ‘In Many Ways the Exhibition Already Happened.’ The name had an underlining effect [which explains] that the project we have been working on was already considered an exhibition [in itself]. And the exhibition was like a retrospective of the exhibition that already happened before in the real world. When we do an exhibition in a context like a museum, it’s like a retrospective monograph of the things that we’ve already done,” said Augustyniak.
This particular retrospective includes a new poster the duo designed for Korea, which took its influence from the Korean national flag. The poster takes its main form similar to the flag, then uses red, blue, white and black, but is amended to fit the M/M philosophy.
“It could look like your national flag, but with a closer look, it looks like an interpretation of the flag; it’s a way to announce this exhibition, ‘M/M,’” said Augustyniak.
A work called “Infinitable [Light Version]” has everyday objects strewn across it, which without explanation, looked trivial and meaningless.
Yet the objects, such as bags, skateboards and cardboard boxes, have been decorated with patterns similar to those used for other graphic posters, carrying a hint of the artistic world created by the duo. Through this, M/M Paris conveys how their artistic world exists in layers within the real world, and that it is not just a fantasy that only exists in the designers’ heads.
“This is like a visual proposal of our world, that I hope is pleasing to see at the same time,” said Augustyniak. “We have designed a garden in which you can stroll through, then look and hear things we’ve created through our conversations. We have produced some objects that are milked out of this world, which could be inserted in the world again, but decorated with signs that can be found in this garden.”
BY YOON SO-YEON [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Admission is 5,000 won ($4.63) for adults and 4,000 won for students and children. To go to Hyundai Card Storage, get off at Hangangjin station, line no. 6, exit 3, and walk 10 minutes. For more information, visit www.storage.hyundaicard.com or call (02) 2014-7850.
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