Jul 14, 2012

2012 asia international fine art exhibition ~ chungju

Or as I now like to think of it, the worst exhibition I have ever been to.
 On the way there, I biked past an intersection with the markings of a previous car/scooter accident. In Korea, they always spray paint around the vehicles (and sometimes people) before moving them which always leaves an unpleasant reminder of past events. It always makes driving/biking in Korea seem even more daunting. And in this case, seem to foreshadow things to come.

 The greeting banner outside of the culture centre declaring the participating countries. I was psyched to see Canada on the list, psyched to see art in Chungju and extra psyched that it was an international exhibition in Chungju!
 Outside the culture center.
 It's right beside this park, which also has some historically dressed statues which creeped me out a bit the first time I stumbled upon it.
And the second venue was this gallery, right across from the park.

So why was it the worst exhibition I've ever been to? Well, I'll start with some good points first...
 When you aren't looking at work close up, it could be any exhibition. A few sculptures in the centre, nothing too controversial. Drawings, paintings and prints hung on the surrounding walls, hung maybe a little too close, but from a distance it could be your typical, safe, public exhibition. Nothing too risque.
Some benches to sit and admire the work. There were even full colour, 100 page, really nice books available with a listing of all the artists and their work. Obviously a lot of care went into promoting this exhibition, and the two ladies manning the exhibition halls were perfectly friendly and nice.
But the art itself once you saw it up close?
 WAS HORRIBLE. Frames were tape over badly cut, styrofoam, matte board, with warped canvas bubbling out.
 I guess at some point they must have run out of black tape because they went all out with green painters' tape to make pseudo frames over the styrofoam matte boards next. But at least it must've been easy to hang since they just stuck pins through the styrofoam.
Some did at least use legit matte board, like this drawing with glitter glue pieces falling off, but it also came with a nice big stain on the side.

But hey, at least the art made by Korean artists was framed properly (I take it the artists did it themselves) but most international art was presented in a way that wouldn't even be passable in the first semester of an art programme. And this was an international exhibition!
But some were ok, like this fire extinguisher, pepper, 2x2=ᄆ installation. At first I thought it was pretty amateurishly presented, but after viewing both exhibition sites, it became pretty impressive, I guess. 

I had been so psyched to see some art in Chungju, in an international exhibition no less. Well, from now on I'll keep my Chungju art expectations close to non-existent and just suck it up and make a trip to Seoul when I want to see some art.

At least I still have the Gwangju biennale to look forward to, I know I won't be let down there.

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