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Hakgojae Gallery seeks humanity in pandemic

"My Dear” by Lee Woo-sung (Hakgojae Gallery)


Hakgojae Gallery kicked off the year with an exhibition looking into the meaning of humanity after the devastating COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things. The exhibition, “Hakgojae Collection, 38˚C,” takes place both offline and online.

“People are focusing on their body now. They isolate themselves to protect it from the pandemic and react sensitively to symptoms. Thirty-eight degrees Celsius is widely considered a high fever for humans, which became a criteria for banning entry to public spaces,” said Park Mi-ran, exhibition director of the gallery. “The dangerous temperature of 38 degrees Celsius, however, is also the temperature of bathwater in which humans feel most comfortable.”

The exhibition was first unveiled online in December through the gallery’s online showroom, Hakgojae Oroom, while the on-site exhibition kicked off Wednesday, showcasing 16 of the 37 works of art shown at the online showroom. 

An online installation view of “Hakgojae Collection, 38˚C” (Hakgojae Gallery)
An online installation view of “Hakgojae Collection, 38˚C” (Hakgojae Gallery)

The 14 participating artists include Minjung art painter Kang Yo-bae, Korean contemporary painter Jang Jae-min, German painter Tim Eitel and English abstract painter Ian Davenport. The exhibition provokes different emotions through works that are divided into four sections -- nature, body, mind and matter.

The online viewing room was launched in October last year in an effort to strengthen the gallery‘s digital platform in the aftermath of the pandemic. An upcoming exhibition in February will be held on both online and offline platforms, according to the gallery.

“We will maintain the system in which we host an exhibition at both online and offline spaces even after the pandemic because the two different spaces complement one another,” Park told The Korea Herald.

The on-site exhibition runs through Jan. 31 while the online exhibition runs through Feb. 28.

By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)

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