The latest group exhibition at Ilmin Museum of Art presents a rather serious theme for the beginning of the New Year ― the survival of humanity.
But with forecasts warning of a worsening economy, survival may not be a distant theme to consider: Art is a reflection of the world we live in, it is widely said
Five artists ― Kang So-young liilliil, Song Ho-jun, Ahn Doo-jin, Chung So-young and Will Kim ― present their own interpretations of survival in the forms of film, painting, installation and more.
|Paintings by Ahn Doo-jin are on exhibit at the “Galapagos” exhibition at the Ilmin Museum of Art. (Ilmin Museum of Art)|
Kang, also known by the pen name “liilliil,” documented the faces of residents on Kinmen Island of Taiwan who, for 40 years, were not allowed to travel outside the island under martial law declared in the location by the Taiwanese government. Kang saw it as a unique cultural study like how researchers studied the Galapagos Islands for its unique species.
“About 90 percent of the residents have the same last name Huang and under the military rule, people were not allowed to go outside the island and had to find jobs and spouses within the island,” said Kang at the press tour of the exhibition last week.
Ahn focuses on today’s dominant emotions ― anxiety, regret and fear ― in the paintings that depict a world of imagination and mythology.
One of his paintings, “Road,” shows a man fading from the center stage of history while being scolded by his predecessors.
“With the crack in dark paints, I tried to express the anxiety of people today ― the evidence of their struggle to survive,” Ahn said.
Will Kim’s approach to the subject of survival is inspired, as he creates a story through watercolor paintings of the colorful fish and peacocks of Galapagos Island.
Song Ho-jun’s film tells a personal story of survival. He presents a video journal of a personal project to launch a satellite and his struggles to make ends meet during the process. His project was funded by selling t-shirts that cost 39,000 won.
What started as a documentation of incidents and stories happening around the project, the film shows how the satellite project drained the scientist-artist of all his energy.
“It made me think of survival for more than five years,” Song said. “Whether it succeeds or not, I am going to launch it in May in Russia,” said Song.
Song’s story of launching a personal satellite can be viewed on the second floor of the museum.
The exhibition continues through Feb. 17 at Ilmin Museum of Art in Gwanghwamun, Seoul. Admission is free. For more information, call (02) 2020-2050.
By Lee Woo-young (firstname.lastname@example.org