2021 Exhibition of Clayarch Gimhae Museum
- Period: March 26 – November 28, 2021
- Venue: The Whole Dome House
- Participating Artists: Kim Young-won, Ahn Kyu-chul, Yeon Bong-sang, Lee Kang-hyo, Choi Dan-mi, Han Ho, Hur Kang
Due to the spread of COVID-19, the situations that we have no slightest idea of what will happen next along with the anxiety and solitude that have not been experienced thus far have changed our ordinary routine into a special one. A museum without viewers is unthinkable, but the unprecedented pandemic situation, which is beyond imagination, has been aggravating our feeling of danger in life and death for a long time.
Clayarch Gimhae Museum has encountered a question of ‘How to contain the social value of the art?’ in the unprecedented social and cultural crisis. In order to take such crisis as an opportunity for new takeoff and conversion, we have prepared an exhibition that will present a nature-friendly art of healing with ‘the moon’ as the theme that has appeared in numerous literature and art works as the symbolic meaning of the unknown world, ideal, faith, longing, and inspiration regardless of all times and places. As the space exploration became possible with the development of science and technology, ‘the moon’, which used to be the object of unreachable dream and infinite imagination of the humanity, has long been flattened as a reference point for the geographical position of ‘the target spot’ of exploration rather than its abundant symbolic value. Nevertheless, the moon is still loved by many people as an object of wishes, a material for many artists’ works as well as a source of artistic inspiration. This exhibition will introduce of seven contemporary artists who have adopted such ‘moon’ as the main motif of their work and highlight the relationship among humans, art and the moon, and various ambivalent interpretations and creative attempts by the artists.
Lee Kang-hyo works on the modernistic reinterpretation of the grayish-blue-powdered celadon technique (“buncheong”) that was popular in the 15th century on a large earthware. , to be introduced for the first time in this exhibition, is a new work that he did while staying in the Ceramic Creation Center for about two months in 2020, and its difference from the existing works is that he made a form with soil, applied grayish-blue powder and dismantled and recombined the fired ceramics to try a landscape with completely different texture. The finished work is beautiful to look at as an independent entity, but when the mountain and the pottery in the form round moon are placed in a close relationship, the landscape painting in the screen looks like a real thing in three dimensions. In addition, it is produced in various landscapes according to the viewers’ gaze, location, and direction. Meanwhile, at the viewers’ shelter, a performance video demonstrating the production of the grayish-blue-powered celadon which has engraved an artist named Lee Kang-hyo on the world people is available for the viewers to appreciate. It is a performance showing a so-called ‘grayish-blue powder action painting’ on a large pottery along with the Samulnori rhythm.
is Kim Young-won’s early work, which has expressed the reality and ideal by comparing it to the gravity and non gravity. This work contains the artist's agony as a youth who sought to find his raison d' tre through artistic act. In the artist's work, it is another self in the ideal that raises up a human being who is frustrated by the reality different from the ideal. As all of us know, we have personal experiences facing ourselves who are feeble at the moment of frustration and, though there exists the reality that seems impossible for us to solve like an invisible gravity, we should find the power to overcome it in for ourselves. It will be an opportunity to emphasize with the emptiness and wounds which the artist might have felt at the moment of frustration, and his firm will to stand up for himself at that moment.
Choi Dan-mi heals the sense of lack called longing through the work of drawing the moon. For the artist, ‘longing’ is collectively named not as a feeling of wanting to see a specific object, but a sense of lack not even perceiving what the object is. In the artist’s early works, the moon was expressed as an object that she wanted to be in the street alongside everyday items such as teacups, giftboxes, umbrellas, flower pots, and balloons, but in the works introduced in this exhibition, the moon exists as a background where the spacial distance is felt. In the space provided by the moon, butterflies fly away and plastic bags float. Though the butterfly’s wingbeat is facing toward the moon, it cannot eventually reach its destination. This work visually shows that the plastic bag floating in the night sky has lost its function, and the tower stacked with plastic bag with air in it contains nothing in the end. That figure resembles that of us who manage to live in the world even though we know that we will have nothing in the end. And there is always a moon in the background of our life.
To an artist labeled as the ‘conceptual artist’ whose eye was drawn to the absurdities and contradictions of the world, the ‘moon’ was a material that became a new turning point. The moon, which was a source of inspiration for numerous poets, composers and painters, was acting the same for him, which was revealed in his works in early 2010. ‘How to Draw the Moon’ was the work released for the first time in the , the exhibition of Nam June Paik Art Center, and it was the homage to the artist Nam June Paik and is an installation art in the form of recreating the full moon in the most analogue approach.
Toha Yeon Bong-sang is a craftsman who insists on the pottery technique of firing potteries in the traditional wood burning kiln as well as an artist who did not follow the traditional ceramic concept but got inspiration in the traditional pottery making process to mix red clay into the glaze and create a unique texture, and then developed the technique of double pricking up of the glaze, thereby establishing his own way of making potteries. It is particularly noticeable that he has been continuing the experiment to sublimate the ceramics into a modern one while maximizing the original essence of earth and ceramics. In this exhibition, new works in the form of a vessel symbolizing the moon and the universe such as the Blue Moon as well as the work of 2005 which was completed in one masterpiece by producing countless small pieces of plate containing each character of Heart Sutra.
Hur Kang is an artist who has been working continuously with the ‘moon’ as the subject, crossing over the works of three dimensional structure, installation, and video. In particular,'Eurasian Moonlight Drawing' is a huge project and a large performance that started with the purpose of drawing the Eurasian Continent with a single line of the moonlight, and actually crossed China, Mongolia, Russia, Poland, and then the Brandenburg Gate in Germany. The Eurasian Continent was once cut off in terms of the ideology. However, the Mother Nature provides us with a beautiful landscape by making rivers and mountains meeting with each other and again continues the cultural bond. Such attempts of the artist provides an opportunity to communicate and exchange with people of foreign land under the moonlight and made us realize the value of art and the energy of the artist.
Artist Han Ho’s ‘Eternal Light – the Creation’ is an act of mediating humans and nature through the light, and it is a kinetic art in which the light painting drawn over the entire space with a high ceiling moves slowly. The images of dream, such as stars, birds, butterflies, fish, and animals perforated on the surface of an 80cm-size ball, are revealed on the walls, floor, and ceiling as a repetitive illusion of dreams like a situation of escaping from the reality due to the light source emitted from the inside of the ball and the slow rotational force of an electric motor. This work metaphors all memories of the past, present and future of human life as well as the interpretation of the dream and reality in the illusory space state through the organization of the light, time and space on the Creation.
While presenting the installation art of the method that the viewers enter the dark space of work, move through it, and get placed in an immersed situation, the artist makes the viewers realize the existential awareness that the viewers themselves are a part of the work and also a part of the universe. Through this, the artist designs the visualization of the panoramic thought that we exist in the history where the changes of long human thoughts, images, civilizations, and life and death are connected.
This year marks the 11th year since the Large White Porcelain Jar has been officially called the ‘White Porcelain Moon Jar’. The Large White Porcelain Jar, born in the hands of master artisan of porcelain from the late 17th to the early 18th century of Joseon Dynasty, was later called the ‘White Porcelain Moon Jar’ and has received a lot of attention and was loved. It is not known who first gave a name of the ‘moon’ to the Large White Porcelain Jar, but there are guesses that it is either abstract painter Kim Whan-ki (1913-74) or art scholar Hyegok Choi Soon-woo (1916-84). It is no wonder as their special love of the White Porcelain Moon Jar is revealed clearly in their works and writings. Koo Bon-chang, a photographer, and Lee Seung-hee, who pioneered a new field named ceramic painting, also reinterpreted the aesthetic sense of the White Porcelain Moon Jar and expressed its unique aesthetic value through the medium of photography and flat surface ceramics.
The seven artists introduced in this exhibition will use the symbolic keywords of 'space', 'light', 'longing', 'hope, 'nature', 'consolation and communication', and the characteristics of different media, with the moon as a motif, thereby unfolding their own world of art. Even though half a hundred years have passed since the exploration of the moon, and the era is rapidly changing into that of artificial intelligence, we hope you find out through this exhibition the answer to the reason that the subject of the ‘moon’ is still loved.