A Great Journey

Year 2015, it has been 70 years since the shining freedom called independence came to this land. During the time, not even a century-long, since August 15, 1945, the Republic of Korea and its people experienced confusion, division, achievement, and hardship. Scars from the war, rapid industrialization and urbanization, and the “great journey” of democratization and globalization are now drawing new landscapes in Korean society and history. In this exhibition, diverse thoughts and perspectives on contemporary Korean society are presented, through the works of 17 artists who deal with the identity of Korea.

Part 1 Lifting Up the Heavy Soil

In Part 1, works based on themes concerning historical events and social phenomena that took place since liberation until now, amidst the vortex of rapid change, will be introduced. 8 artists use their sharp insight to capture political and social cross-sections of Korean modern and contemporary history, such as scars of the Korean War, ideological conflict, violence and oppression, social uniformity, modernization, and urbanization, unraveling these topics in diverse strategies and methods. The works speak of the confusion and division, conflict and confrontation, alienation and solitude, caused by rapid social change as well as the war, and by evoking memories of the past into meaningful experiences, propose that we ruminate on our past through these experiences. The works, which reflect the artists’ areas of interest and consciousness, present visions through which we may remove the heavy dirt covering our history, with an insight for the times, and draw plans for tomorrow.

Part 2 Following the Overflow

In Part 2, spectators can meet works that capture the other side of Korea, which is celebrating a phase of high growth, known as the “Miracle of the Han River.” The time it took for a country receiving aid from other countries to become a country that aids others was just a little longer than half a century. But the wave of modernization, which began by underestimating tradition as pre-modern, brought a mixture of traditional culture and imported culture, and rapid economic development, which took place unaccompanied by mental values, became a cause for mammonism. The 9 artists focus on the unique culture of Korea caused by such imbalance, which is “mixed up and hard to define.” From basic elements of life, such as living environment, clothing, and types of family, to mental elements, such as attitudes toward tradition, mass culture, and identity, viewers will be able to take a glimpse of the Korea they read and portray with their witty insight.