Exhibition Paper, CU Art Museum

Laura Marshall.

Exhibition Paper 2, CU Art Museum

Taking advantage of our campus’ fantastic museum, I decided to visit the exhibit, Keeping it Real: Korean Artists in the Age of Multi-Media Representation. This exhibit is especially relevant in the contemporary world because it showcases non-Western artists without highlighting their cultural identityand instead presenting their work in a scope of globalization. The exhibit was very well put together, showing several notable Korean artists. The layout invited the visitor in, first drawing attention to a large snarling cougar sculpture made out of rubber tires, in the direct center of the gallery. Each artist had their own niche of the gallery, spanning two rooms and directly adjacent to a collection of rare pieces that the CU art museum has. These two exhibitions contrasted each other well, the old with the new, the new always questioning the old.

The first piece I was drawn to in the gallery was a three piece video installation by artist Jaye Rhee, titled Cherry Blossoms. It looked from far away like a cherry tree’s blossoms falling gently onto the ground, but as one approaches the piece, there is a sound of the pink objects hitting the ground, which of course cherry blossoms would not make. Still resembling small pink pebbles or something to that effect, it was not until I read the description that I realized they were pieces of chewed up bubblegum, spat out by Rhee’s assistants. This work was just utterly fantastic for me. The level of deception was so high I did not even know the pieces were bubblegum, and after that discovery, the piece took on a whole other meaning. What was a symbol of ephemeral and fleeting beauty became a visceral act of chewing and spitting methodically, while also littering in the film’s space. Rhee has a wonderful talent with working with the audience’s assumptions and how narrow perspectives limit the scope of contemporary art.

One cannot walk away from this exhibit without highlighting Hyungkoo Lee’s piece there. Hyungkoo Lee is one of my very favorite artists, his work is extremely insightful and delightfully scientific, taking a methodical approach to the art making process. The piece showed here, titled Felis Catus Animatus, is a “life” size anatomical model of two iconic cartoon characters Tom and Jerry. Lee has a knack for making these bone models of cartoons, questioning their warped facial structures and their impossible proportions. The best part of this piece is that at first glance it would not have looked out of place in a science exhibit.

What surprised me about this exhibit is the many video and projected installations. The title multi-media representation suggests many mediums working toward a cohesive whole, and yet a fair amount of the pieces, while performances in part, also relied on video to make their points.

3 Responses

  1. I have been to this exhibition as well and my reaction to the three piece video installation was just how my experience went. The display of the monitors was pretty high so i got the idea that they were going to be blossoms of some sort. Well written paper on an interesting exhibit.

  2. I did not go to this exhibit but it sounds pretty interesting seeing as you said that they presented the artists in a way that focused on the art work at hand and how that fits into the world that we live in rather then them focusing on their cultural identity. That is important but not always the most important thing especially in this case. I also like the art that you chose to discuss. I like when artists take things that we see and use everyday such as gum and tom and jerry and turn them into something else and use them as art. It makes you looked at thing differently, good paper.

  3. I have not been to this exhibit but it sounds very interesting, so maybe I will have to go check it out. I also love what you said about how they presented to artists in a way that focused more on their art work and less on their identities. Although I do feel you could have done a bit more outside research on some of the pieces to give your paper more depth and meaning behind it. Besides that it was a very well written paper.

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