“Sweet Potatoes and Garlic Olympus ― A Well-Being Meal for Colon Cancer Patient Mr. O” by Chun Young-kyoung (Sejong Museum of Art)
Exhibitions stimulate five senses by melding art with cookery and music
A giant cabbage hanging from the ceiling greets visitors at the entrance. Made of hanji and dyed in red and green, it is an instant reminder of the spicy flavors of Koreans’ favorite dish.
“Is this real kimchi?” asked a boy who looked to be about 5 to his mother on Monday afternoon. His friends started to argue over whether it was real or not.
“Art & Cook,” currently running at Sejong Museum of Art, is an art exhibition ― but a mouth-watering one. Starting from the supersized piece of kimchi, 22 South Korean artists filled the exhibition space with tasty-looking exhibits or artwork made of eatable ingredients.
Chopsticks are literally frozen mid-scoop, clutching strings of “jajangmyeon,” or black bean paste noodles. Elsewhere a big green “Breathing Apple” inhales and exhales in a corner. Piggy banks lined up in front of a wall are made of colored and dried cooked rice.
Paintings and modified photos explore whimsical ideas like giant oranges being squeezed on building tops and an “Olympus” made of garlic and sweet potatoes, which the image’s title specifically points out is “a Well-Being Meal for Colon Cancer Patient Mr. O.”
Not exactly appetizing but a definitely eye-catching exhibit is Choi Chan-mi’s “Dress CMDR10102711,” a cocktail dress made of several hundred fish bones.
Artist Kim Nam-pyo poses with his work “Instant Landscape” at the exhibition “Art Forte.” (Gana Art Center)
About 147 centimeters tall, the dress looks good enough for any average-sized women to slip into right away, although it might be a bit spiky. A signboard posted next to the work explains the types of fish bones the artist used to make the dress.
The show is popular among children who are on winter vacation, especially for the side programs in which they can learn how to make cookies and muffins. About 15 kids can participate in each class, which takes about an hour. The programs run during the exhibition period.
Targeting a slightly older audience, Gana Art Center in Pyeongchang-dong, central Seoul, went for a mix of art and music. It is currently showcasing the results of “Art Forte,” an art collaboration project between the gallery and Samick Musical Instruments Company.
The main exhibits are grand pianos. Five Korean artists toned down their original grandeur and instead pepped them up with their own colors. Yu Seon-tae painted the four seasons and Kim Nam-pyo an “Instant Landscape” all over the musical instruments while Mari Kim gave it a funky makeover using chains and bone figures. Ha Tae-im banded the piano with rainbow colors and Bahk Seon-ki added a giant barcode on his.
Also, 14 up-and-coming artists who reside in the art center’s atelier in Jangheung, Gyeonggi Province, transformed smaller instruments such as violins, guitars, clarinets and cellos. They altered the instruments radically ― cutting them or covering them with acrylic or oil paint, presenting viewers an unexplainable feeling of satisfaction.
“Art & Cook” runs through Jan. 29 at Sejong Museum of Art in central Seoul. Tickets range from 4,000 won to 5,000 won. Experience programs cost 8,000 won to 15,000 won. For more information, call (02) 399-1152, 1022 or visit www.sejongpac.or.kr.
“Art Forte” runs through Jan. 8 at Gana Art Center in Pyeongchang-dong, central Seoul. For more information, call (02) 720-1020 or visit www.ganaart.com.
By Park Min-young