Art Class: Youth @ the D Museum
Although I have been to a few exhibitions here and there such as the Renoir exhibition up in Seoul at the Seoul Museum of Art, there hasn't been an Art Class post in quite a while but recently I hopped back onto the contemporary art trail and here are my findings.
Youth. It has been running in Hannam-dong at the D Museum since 9th February and will continue on through until 28th May. D Museum is a trendy off shot of the Daelim Museum up by city hall. D Museum's location is hands down the coolest part of Seoul at the moment. Wine bars, cafes, spas... It is the same area as the Leeum Gallery but it is more of a hidden place where trendy Koreans in the know frequent and has way less of a tourist foot fall. The D Museum is close to Hangangjin station on line 6 which is the stop before Itaewon Station. However, you have to get out at exit 2 and take the bus 110B towards Oksu and get off at the Hannam-Sibum Apartments.
The exhibition itself is as modern as they come. It's predominantly a photography exhibition but includes videos, graphics and installations. Each floor is given a theme and the exhibition depicts varying youth culture. From American hip hop and skateboard culture to British kids in rebellion and Russian youth. The result is a comprehensive look at the liberation and optimism associated with youth culture. These celebrations of youth identity in Korea is pretty virginal but I guess even youth itself is new thing, the rise of the teenager after the 1950's, the rejection of societal laws, the refusal to grow up. Society, especially lost adults I find, are keen to grasp that last look on what is considered to be the most beautiful part of life.
This exhibition I believe is a bit like marmalade. Some people will love it and others, won't be ready for it but it is one that helps give us something to talk about. The neon lights, the paintings of nude people smiling and comfortable, recklessness... did I mention nudity? Yeah there's a lot of it at this exhibition which considering I'm in a pretty conservative country surprised me a little bit. It's by an artist named Ryan McGinley and the piece is called yearbook and features hundreds of nude portraits adoring the walls on the second floor of the gallery.
Other notable pieces include work by Paolo Raeli, an Italian photographer whose work heavily features on the promotional literature for the exhibition and Lee Kwangkee's neon signs of harsh realities. Personally I liked Masha Demianova's work and there are pieces by over 20 different artists so in effect there should be something for everyone to appreciate.
I can't recommend it highly enough. Start the dialogue today, go down the the D Museum in Hannam-dong to see it. Bring a friend.