Hugh Hartigan: Keeping It Real Exhibit

“Keeping It Real,” exhibited at the CU Art Museum is subtitled, “Korean Artists in the Age of Multi-Media Representation”, a theme that rings true throughout the exhibit.  Pieces are in conversation with the technology boom, as well as scientific issues, each creating a unique, yet incredibly contemporary meaning.  The first piece one notices when entering the gallery is Sun K. Kwak’s “Untying Space_CU Art Museum.”  The undulating black marks streak across the wall, through the door, and into the gallery.  It is hard not to associate this piece with graffiti, but Kwak’s intention is to remind viewers of East Asian ink painting, already connecting tradition to the contemporary.  While the work exudes a feeling of speed and randomness, it was executed through strenuous efforts and thorough planning for over a month, using masking tape and vinyl bits, which have become her signature media.  The piece is site specific to the CU Art Museum, playing with its architectural space and exploiting it… (continued in document)

Keeping It Real

One Response

  1. I was drawn to reading your paper because I too attended the CUAM’s “Keeping it Real” exhibit. It was entertaining to read your paper and compare our different personal experiences that we got out of the same artwork. I like that with each piece you describe, you incorporate your own interpretation before you explain what the artists actual intensions are. Where you saw hope and life in Shin’s “Approach in Truth,” I saw hopelessness and despair. I found the piece unusually depressing. The soft withered colors of Astro Boy made me think youth, whose future is being withered/ taken away by those of us who think only in the present moment and act without thought of future generations.
    I like your incorporation of Michael Michetti’s contemporary Chinese collection with the “Keeping it Real” collection in the CUAM. Comparing the two bodies of work and pulling out major themes in both of them tied this paper together. In your last few sentences you mention that contemporary art is indefinable and should not be ethnically defined either. Do you think having the exhibit at CU categorized, as specifically “Korean Art” is an injustice to the artwork itself? Does the title of the exhibit automatically define the art?

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