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Emerging artists get their own online platform with launch of 'Manifold'

By Park Yuna

Published : Feb. 3, 2021 - 15:35

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Description of Yoo Yong-sun‘s exhibition ”Long Journey For“ (Screen capture from manifold.art) Description of Yoo Yong-sun‘s exhibition ”Long Journey For“ (Screen capture from manifold.art)

While the coronavirus has closed borders and restricted travel, virtual space remains wide open, offering new possibilities.

Taking advantage of such possibilities is the online exhibition platform “Manifold,” which introduces emerging Korean artists to the international arts scene at a time when the pandemic hinders in-person exhibitions.

Manifold is part of the Korea Arts Management Service’s Grant for Artists Management’s project, begun in 2019, that aims to support rising artists by matching them with galleries. Twenty-five artists and 11 art galleries from Korea are featured on Manifold. They were selected from among 96 artists and 45 galleries who applied to participate in the project. 


Description of Im Sun-iy‘s exhibition “Slow Time in Quantum” (Screen capture from manifold.art) Description of Im Sun-iy‘s exhibition “Slow Time in Quantum” (Screen capture from manifold.art)

The online platform is a first attempt to run the project in virtual space. The emerging artist program has previously been held in offline spaces and this year’s exhibition was to have taken place at Hangaram Arts Center Museum in Seoul. However, the continued spread of novel coronavirus resulted in the move to virtual space. The online platform can be reached at www.manifold.art.

“We have put in a lot of effort into creating the online platform. I consider it as a turning point for the project to introduce talented artists globally. That’s why the online platform is offered in English,” said Artistic Director Yoo Jin-sang, a professor at Kaywon University of Art and Design. 

Poster for online art platform “Manifold” (Korea Arts Management Service) Poster for online art platform “Manifold” (Korea Arts Management Service)

“The online platform is sustainable because it would remain as an archive of the artists at designated galleries that support the artists even after the online exhibition ends. This is a very important point. Many offline exhibitions tend to end up being a one-time event," he added.

The Manifold platform focuses on introducing artists and their works in depth. Each exhibition includes a description of the artist and works and a curriculum vitae.

“For an artist, there are advantages to online exhibitions. It is much easier to learn about an artist by going through each artwork in the online space while viewers tend to see the entire vibe of the exhibition itself at offline exhibitions rather than learning about individual artists,” said media artist Guem Min-jeong, who is introduced via Manifold. 

“Draw the Wind“ by Guem Min-jeong (manifold.art) “Draw the Wind“ by Guem Min-jeong (manifold.art)

Guem, who explores three-dimensional space through architectural installations, is showcasing the exhibition “Hues of the Wind” on the online platform, showing works that combine video art and actual rafters, pillars and crossbeams taken from demolished hanok, or traditional Korean houses.

Other participating artists and exhibitions include Im Suniy’s “Slow Time in Quantum,” Yoon Sang-yoon’s “Easy to Please,” Shin Dae-jun’s “Forest Rhapsody,” Jeong Ju-jeong’s “Facade,” Jang Sung-eun’s “I Swallow the Description” and “Yoon Se-yeol’s “Retrotopia.”

“The transaction volume of the international art market is around 400 billion won ($359 million), and it is really important to promote Korean artists to the international stage and connect them with global art critics, gallerists and art dealers,” said an official from Korea Arts Management Services.

By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)