Friday, March 9, 2012

MAD about Korea.

Sure I went to the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) for the strangely beautiful show featuring dust, dirt, and ash. But as is often the case, I discovered another show that may have been even more rewarding. That show was Korean Eye: Matter and Energy. You hear about how Chinese artists are taking over the Art world. But if this show has anything to say about the matter, Korea shouldn't be written off.

Here are a few of the works I liked.  Let's start with the piece that greets you as you step off the elevator, Ji Yong Ho's Bullman 4, 2010 (Synthetic resin, steel, used tire). This work is brilliant for its bold attitude and immense strength.

Kang Hyung Koo offers a strange and startling painting, Woman, 2008-2009 (Oil on aluminum). I can't really call this portrait photo-realistic because the eyes are too ethereal. It's a beautiful work that had me staring.

Strange portraits seem to be a popular with the Korean Art crowd. How about this opulent, magical work by Kim Hyun Soo: Breik, 2008 (Epoxy, human hair, oil color, steel, watercolor). I have to believe the curators saw the lovely synergy between this work and Bullman 4.

One of my favorite works was Lee Leenam's Ming and Chung Dynasty Paintings - Cross Over, 2011 (LED TV).  This work uses five LED monitors to recreate the panels of a traditional Asian screen. Only these panels feature subtle animations that allow the scene to cycle through all four season. In just four minutes, you can experience the seasons of an entire year. This picture can't possibly do the work justice.

Finally, I have to send a big shout out to Bahk Seonghi for his mind bending work Point of View 1110, 2008 (Coloring on mixed media).

The work is most amazing when you realize that it is a brilliant exploration of perspective.  Here's what the work looks like from the side:

Once again, MAD has drawn my attention to Art that that I probably wouldn't have considered otherwise. And the experience was inspiring. But not just inspiring, it was some pure Art-world fun. Unfortunately, the show closed shortly after my visit. So you'll have to look elsewhere to get your Korean Art fix.

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