The most popular art hotspot in Seoul right now is D Museum — a new exhibition space in Hannam-dong operated by Daelim Museum. The museum’s inaugural exhibition is “Spatial Illumination – 9 Lights in 9 Rooms,” which has been drawing crowds with large-scale light installations, sculptures, videos and interactive works by international artists.
The exhibit leads visitors through a maze-like space divided into nine rooms showcasing different pieces. The hallways (as well as many of the rooms) are darkened almost entirely as all of the artwork uses light as its medium.
The journey begins with the neon installation of Cerith Wyn Evans, a British contemporary artist. “Neon forms (after Noh II and III)” are inspired by Japanese Noh theater.
Next came one of my favorite rooms: Flynn Talbot’s color-changing piece, “Primary.” The light sources are concealed and the room is completely dark, which really gives you a chance to focus on the work and enjoy its strange, soothing qualities as the colored lights gradually shift from pink to blue to orange and everywhere in between.
Another favorite piece is Carlos Cruz-Diez’s “Chromosaturation.” Before entering the room, everyone is required to slip cloth covers over their shoes to protect the installation. The room is filled with different walls and shapes suspended from the ceiling. Different colored lights create interesting images when they catch all of the dimensions of the room.
After leaving the “Chromosaturation” room, visitors ascend the stairs. As you climb, Studio Roso’s “Mirror Branch” installation becomes visible. This piece is comprised of thousands of tiny mirrors forming the shape of a tree, which casts bright, twinkling reflections and bouncy shadows around the room and down the stairs.
Next, you open a door and are transported into a very cool room: “My Whale” created by a Russian creative group of sound engineers, musicians and visual artists. The tunnel is lined with mirrors, creating the illusion that it goes on infinitely. The room plays whale songs and its pulsing light projections change in time with the sounds.
Paul Cocksedge filled one of the exhibition’s largest rooms with his piece, “Bourrasque,” which looks like sheets of lighted white paper blowing in the wind.
I particularly enjoyed Dutch artist Dennis Parren’s room. His “CMYK Corner” and “CMYK Wall” are specially-designed lights that project cyan, magenta and yellow on the surrounding walls. These pieces are simple but intriguing, hinting at the deconstruction of light.
Parren also presented a CMYK installation called “Don’t Look Into the Light,” which uses its audience as the subject. The colorful shadows and shapes you create as you move through the space are really fun.
“Spatial Illumination – 9 Lights in 9 Rooms” is definitely a cool exhibition, and it’s totally worth checking out if you enjoy wandering around in the dark, appreciating neon and/or taking lots and lots of Instagram photos. I’m very curious to see what D Museum will present next.
Spatial Illumination – 9 Lights in 9 Rooms
5-6, Dokseodang-ro, Yongsan-gu
Tickets are 8,000 KRW for adults, 5,000 KRW for students (ages 8-18), and 3,000 KRW for children (ages 3-7)
The exhibition runs through May 8.
For more information, visit www.daelimmuseum.org.
G-Dragon is a masterful multimedia artist. Not only does he produce some of this generation’s most interesting and cutting-edge pop music as a member of Big Bang and as a solo artist, but he’s also delved into other styles of art. He’s an influential, worldwide fashion icon (he recently collaborated with designer Giuseppe Zanotti to launch a fantastic collection of glitter-covered footwear), and this summer he presented a collaborative, mixed-media exhibition called PEACEMINUSONE at the Seoul Museum of Art.
The exhibition included G-Dragon’s work alongside pieces from 14 other contemporary artists and teams including Park Hyung-geun and Bang & Lee, whose works ranged from photo illustrations to sculpture installations.
PEACEMINUSONE: Beyond the Stage included a “(NON)Fiction Museum” featuring clothing and accessories G-Dragon designed and wore during memorable performances, furniture from his own collection and other items of inspiration.
Although evidence of G-Dragon’s pop culture influence was certainly present, it did not overshadow the other artists’ works or GD’s overall vision, which was kind of cerebral. He explained “PEACEMINUSONE” as his vision of the world — the meeting point between peaceful utopia and imperfect reality.
Dongdaemun is one of Seoul’s most popular neighborhoods for shopping and tourism. A central point in the district is the Dongdaemun Design Plaza — an architectural hotspot built to house conventions and exhibitions.
A walk around the DDP at any time of the year will show you some interesting art: from pop-up installations to rooftop gardens, historic artifacts to the neofuturistic building itself (neofuturistic architecture is real big in Seoul). This March, Seoul Fashion Week was held at the DDP.
A garden of more than 21,000 LED long-stemmed, white roses planted into the DDP’s rooftop garden has been a most popular art installation in the area lately. The rose garden will be on display from April 18, 2015 through Feb. 29, 2016.
The sight is super breath-taking and goes on forever. You will almost definitely have to nudge some selfie-taking couple out of the way to get a good look, but, you know, that’s 2015 for you.