'My Sleep' exhibition is no snooze
“Korea is a country that conventionally thinks that sleep is something that should be reduced to the bare minimum in order to find success in society. But sleep is a necessity, and this exhibition aims to explore just that.”
During a press preview last week, Yoo Jin-sang, artistic director of the “My Sleep" exhibition, stressed the importance of having enough sleep, something that although most know, many also neglect.
The exhibition is on display at Culture Station Seoul 284 in Jung District, central Seoul and is being presented by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and organized by the Korea Craft & Design Foundation (KCDF).
“The exhibit’s name [‘My Sleep’] comes from the fact that even though sleep is universal, sleep is also very personal, because it is different to everyone. We hope that visitors will have their own experiences in the first person while seeing the artworks here,” Yoo said.
A total of 19 teams of artists are showcasing their works that vary from installations, video, paintings and even books. Though not in chronological order, the artworks are classified according to six themes, which each pinpoint a specific time or state while sleeping, such as “23:30 Half Asleep” or “7:00 Time to Wake Up.”
The first artwork in “My Sleep” is a 12-piece installation titled “Community of Silences” (2017-19) by artist Gim Hong-sok, which features mannequins of people of different ages and occupations each wearing a different animal mask in various poses. A sign is placed alongside each of them, describing their background. For example, the mannequin wearing a dog mask is said to be a truck driver who was “paid to come perform” for Gim’s installation.
“Dawn and Civilization” (2022), a bed of salt that is partly covered in a blanket of ash, by artist Choi Jae-eun, likens salt to sleep. As the line between sleep and reality are sometimes vague, salt and ash can be the same way, director Yoo explained, because salt-turned-ash simply disappears with even a slight breeze.
Other artworks can be as simple as “Sleep Book” (2004-22), a series of photographs artist Choi Yoon-suk took of himself, with the aid of his acquaintances, whenever he fell asleep, over a number of years.
“My Sleep” runs until Sept. 12. Culture Station Seoul 284 is open every day except Mondays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free. For those who are unable to visit the venue, the exhibition is also available to view online via www.2022mysleep.kr
BY SHIN MIN-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]