부산미술의 어제와 오늘 BUSAN MUSEUM OF ART
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  • Period 2018-08-24~2019-02-17
  • Work Type Internal
  • Artworks Count
  • Place Grand exhibition hall, 2F, Lobby
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Today, East Asia is home to many giant metropolises that embody the contemporary conditions of the region, which has been completely reshaped by rapid industrialization and urbanization over the past half-century. But even among these countries, Korea stands out for the astonishing speed of its development. One of East Asia’s most dynamic urban centers is Busan (home of the Busan Museum of Art), which experienced industrialization at an unprecedented rate. As a result of this transformation, cities like Busan, which once prioritized harmony with nature, are now dominated by artificial structures and elements. The East Asian worldview is based on ecology, in which there is no separation between people and nature. Based on the sublimity of the global ecosystem as a massive interactive network of life, these ontological reflections necessitate the recognition that every living thing—not only humans—is an autonomous subject. This perception permeates the works of contemporary artists of East Asia. Projecting these thoughts onto plants, the artists of the Botanica exhibition express their deep concern that the ecosystem is being destroyed by human desire. In order to rebuild our connection with the natural world, we must find ways to translate the traditional Asian concept of ecology, emphasizing symbiosis and reconciliation, into contemporary language. Otherwise, we may soon find ourselves trapped in a digital simulacra, where trees, birds, flowers, and insects have been replaced by edited images. This exhibition was organized to investigate how contemporary artists of Korea, Japan, China, and Taiwan have dealt with nature and plants in their works. Demonstrating their impressive acumen for nature, the participating artists use their innovative works to explore the illusions and fantasies fueled by human desire, the ways in which nature has been modified by human intervention, and the contemporary perspective of nature in Asia and the world. Through the astute eyes of these artists, this exhibition seeks to inspire new thoughts and deliberations on the evolving ecology of Asia, an endlessly complex issue that urgently demands our attention.
Artworks Count
67 works(261 pecies)
Grand exhibition hall, 2F, Lobby
Jeon Hyunsun questions the relation between humanity and nature, and finds surprising answers. Chinese artist Xu Bing shows that the natural forms we believe to be real are actually illusions composed of dead remnants. Lim Dongsik—who equates painting with farming—creates almost religious works that inspire self-reflection by igniting our awe of nature and reminding us of our diminutive status in the universe. Park Area brings nature into the room of his mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, demonstrating the healing power of natural images. Creating plants from inorganic materials, Kim Suyeon cultivates an artificial “garden” that forces us to question the definition of life. With her eye-catching flowers made from sugar, Koo Seong-youn reminds us of our own fragility, which is related to our susceptibility to glamorous appearances and deliberate temptations. Lee Kwangho’s huge hyperrealist paintings of cacti act as a projection of his internal mind, conveying his simultaneous fear and awe of nature. Kim Jiwon’s paintings of cockscombs are contemporary versions of vanitas paintings set in the natural world, conveying his thoughts on life, death, and daily existence. With her curious animal-shaped plants that she calls “botanimals,” Hur Unkyung shows that the essence of beauty is found in the life force that sustains every living organism. Despite the claim of its title, the lifeless artificial garden of Shon Jeung-eun’s Paradise Regained instills an even deeper desire for an unobtainable utopia. By demonstrating how plants can grow to devour familiar objects from our daily lives, Kim Juyon memorably visualizes the relentless power of nature and limits of human cognition. In an animated work created from ink-wash landscape paintings, Chinese artist Qiu Anxiong delivers worries and warnings about the destruction of the environment and our alienation from the natural world. In a project combining living and non-living entities (i.e., plants and machines), Taiwanese artist Chuang Chih-Wei symbolically reveals humanity’s tyrannical treatment of the global ecosystem. In works that expose fallacies that we often take for granted, Moon Hyungmin unveils the ecological structure of society and seeks symbiosis. Inviting viewers to explore a virtual forest formed by digital media, Lee Leenam demonstrates how even artificial recreations of nature can have a healing effect on people. Presaging the future synthesis of digital culture and nature, legendary video artist Paik Namjune unites plants and video monitors in Videochandelier No. 5. Kusama Yayoi expresses the psychology of obsession with a large pumpkin-shaped object covered with her trademark polka dots. Connecting flowers with politics, Cho Uram uses a mechanical device to represent the spectacle of a “mass game,” posing questions about human logic and social contradictions. Mai Miyake creates installations based on Japanese and Asian trees, which exemplify the network of life with their deep root systems; she particularly favors evergreens, which symbolize family prosperity in Japan. With their creative extrapolations and imaginings of the natural world, the nineteen artists of Botanica collectively remind us that this era of abundance is still haunted by the specter of death, the inevitable destination of every living thing.
Work Introduction