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Arario Gallery presents exhibition with two different themes

Artist Insane Park shares take on internet meme culture, contemporary art world

Installation view of “I Have No Idea, Because I Have No Idea” at Arario Gallery (Arario Gallery)
Installation view of “I Have No Idea, Because I Have No Idea” at Arario Gallery (Arario Gallery)

An artist presents two different ideas through the single exhibition “I Have No Idea, Because I Have No Idea,” which runs through Aug. 15 in Jongno, central Seoul.

Insane Park borrowed the title from a popular internet meme.

“The phrase is fundamentally ironic, and within that irony there is humor and a sense of vitality which has led to its mass consumption as a meme,” Park said.

“I skim through memes and comments (on the internet) before going to bed,” the artist added. “I think of these posts as art. They are often times more interesting and witty than some of the works by artists, as it is not a product of one individual but of a community.”

The exhibition has another section titled “Joy of Painting,” which presents a totally different theme: landscape paintings reminiscent of American TV art instructor Bob Ross, along with a video that parodies his famous show, “Joy of Painting.”

While the first part of the exhibition aims to introduce flooding memes on the internet, “Joy of Painting” criticizes the contemporary art world. The parodied “Joy of Painting” video satirizes the overall framework of contemporary art, including the attitude toward appreciating art, and how high art and low art are categorized.

Park also criticizes the contemporary art scene where works are easily plagiarized, and how the contemporary art market is greatly affected by the capitalist regime.

Screen capture from video work “Joy of Painting,” in the exhibition of the same name (Arario Gallery)
Screen capture from video work “Joy of Painting,” in the exhibition of the same name (Arario Gallery)

"I just wanted to criticize the gap in understanding contemporary art between art experts and audiences,” Park said.

Park, however, stressed that he did not intend to poke fun at any specific group of artists that appear in the video.

On the wall next to the video are landscape paintings that look similar to those of Ross. However, the landscape paintings are actually painted by Park, and signed by him.

“Questions such as ‘Can imitated works be recognized as artworks?’ or ‘What if the paintings that imitate Ross’ works are sold at higher prices that original ones?” are worth thinking about in the contemporary art world,” Park said.

By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)

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