2019.6.12 Museums & Galleries
National Museum of Korea, Yongsan District
Through Sunday: The exhibition features 88 Arhat statues from Chuncheon, Gangwon. Arhats refer to the historical disciples of Buddha.
The statues, which have lifelike expressions of happiness, anger and sorrow, were first discovered in 2001 by a farmer in Yeongwol County, Gangwon. The excavation project was launched and a total of 317 statuettes were unearthed. The site was revealed to be the location of the Changnyeong Temple during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). The Arhats were first revealed to the public at the Chuncheon National Museum in Gangwon last year and came to the National Museum of Korea in April.
The exhibit is divided in two sections. To offer visitors a sense of walking in a forest, contemporary artist Kim Seung-young, who worked on the design of the exhibition, created pedestals reminiscent of trees and added sounds of birds chirping. The second section has a tower-like installation made of 700 speakers . Twenty-nine Arhat statues are placed among them.
The entrance fee is 3,000 won ($2.50). Go to Ichon Station, line No. 4, exit 2.
(02) 2077-9045, www.museum.go.kr
Culture Station Seoul 284, Jung District
Through July 7: This exhibition, which wrapped on May 6, resumed after Craft Week 2019 took place at the venue. The exhibition is one of the largest contemporary art shows ever about the buffer zone between South and North Korea. Fifty artists have works displayed about the past, the present and the future of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) seen in various aspects, encompassing histories, politics, individual lives and natures from each of their perspectives.
The artists include big names, including contemporary Korean artists - such as Lee Bul, Minouk Lim, Yeondoo Jung, Kyungah Ham and Ahn Kyuchul - and foreign artists - such as Tobias Rehberger and Tomas Saraceno.
The exhibition also has a special section, titled “The Life Environment of the DMZ,” which features botanical specimens from the areas near the DMZ, where diverse species of wild flora and fauna are well preserved because of the lack of human activity in the area.
Admission is free. It is closed on Mondays. Go to Seoul Station, lines No. 1 and 4, exit 2.
(02) 3407-3500, www.seoul284.org
THE ISLAND OF THE COLORBLIND
Art Sonje Center, Jongno District
Through July 7: The exhibition features works by eight teams of artists who deal with the coexistence of humans and nature, as well as relations between humans.
Among the works, the paintings by artist Rim Dong-sik, 74, who meticulously depicts the details of a tree and other nature found in rural Korean villages, as well as the imitations of Rim’s paintings by his friend and amateur artist Woo Pyong-nam in a different style show both relations between humans and nature, as well as those between humans.
Rim happened to meet Woo, a restaurant owner, during his journey in search of subjects of his paintings and they became friends.
Woo would drive Rim, who has no driver’s license, to the places where the possible subjects of his paintings were. Woo himself began painting after his 70s.
The other artists are Kim Juwon, Bjorn Braun, Manon de Boer, Ursula Biemann, Paulo Tavares, Xu Tan, Yu Araki and Part-time Suite.
The exhibition title was taken from a book by the neurologist Oliver Sacks, who wrote about his travel to the small island of Pingelap, Micronesia, a place where over 5 percent of residents are completely color blind because of genetic factors but live in harmony with those who are not color blind based on mutual understanding.
Admission is 5,000 won for adults. The art center is closed on Mondays. Go to Anguk Station, line No. 3, exit 1.
(02) 733-8945, www.artsonje.org
Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA), Jung District
Through Aug. 4: The largest-ever retrospective of celebrated British painter David Hockney in Asia features 133 paintings, drawings and prints by Hockney, one of the world’s most influential living artists.
The exhibit includes Hockney’s iconic painting “A Bigger Splash” (1967) among his painting series of Californian pools, as well as “Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy” (1970-71) among his series of two-people portraits.
Among other highlights are the panoramic “Bigger Trees Near Warter” (2007) that measures approximately 12 meters (40 feet) in width and is composed of 50 small panels to show a scene seen from multiple slightly different viewpoints.
Admission is 15,000 won and can be purchased via ticket.melon.com. The museum is closed on Mondays. Go to Seoul City Hall Station, line No. 2, exit 10 and walk for five minutes.