The five senses is like an umbilical cord that connects us to the world and the five color scheme is a visual system that is fundamentally connected to the Eastern view of the world. The five senses refer to the five exclusive senses the human body feels and the five color scheme refers to the five pure, unmixed, and unique colors found in nature and objects. Mankind has been perceiving and interpreting oneself and the nature, and building objects and symbolic systems through these five senses and the five color scheme, thereby developing a rich and diverse civilization.
The five colors encompass both achromatic and brilliant colors. The Korean traditional visual culture is characterized by harmonious amalgamation of achromatic colors (as can be found in the white paper and black ink of Confucius culture and the appearance of the "white-clad folk") and brilliant colors (the radical color composition found in dancheong of Buddhist culture and multicolored jeogori). The wide spectrum of the five color scheme that embraces both profound achromatic and brilliant colors are skillfully exercised by artisans to create diverse craftwork. It is a colorful banquet unique to Korean crafts.
This exhibition takes an attempt to reinterpret the Korean craft through focusing on the auditory and olfactory senses. Through the ‘sound’ of a Korean traditional bell and the ‘scent’ of agarwood incense, it is designed to expand the boundaries of Korean craft into the indiscernible territory. The ring of the bell which represents the height of the Korean sound gently resonates throughout the space, and within it the aroma blooms. Objects and existence connect anew and confront each other through this sound and scent. The Korean scent and sound is directed towards (the inner workings of the human mind) oneself rather than being conscious of what is around. Going beyond the use and experience, this exhibition aims to encourage visitors to look into the intrinsic nature and spirituality of objects and self-reflect.
The reason this exhibition is composed of the five colors and senses that centers around the auditory and olfactory senses is because invisible and synesthetic elements such as sound and scent is one of the key elements (much like the invisible air) that has sustained Korean crafts. The interpretation of Korean craft that has thus far been based on its visual-usage-touch will be expanded into the invisible territory, and the fundamentals of Korean aesthetics that connect to self-reflection through experience will be revisited. Through this effort, the exhibition aims to confirm that the Korean aesthetics is much more diverse, flexible and open than the handicraft tradition or modern-day machine aesthetics that we know. It is also the goal of this project to not only reinterpret and expand Korean craft tradition but also to resonate with modern craft as well as everyone living in this age of artificial intelligence.
Myungsun Kang, Bohyung Koh, Minjung Kim, Jungok Kim,
Chunho Kim+Dongchun Lee, Seonkeung Park, Yunhwan Park+Hyesu Kim,
Honggu Park, Kwangsik Won, Byungchan Lee, Hyunjung Lee,
Kwangsoon Rim, Jinwon Chung, Jiman Choi, Myoungwook Huh, Monk Neonghye
Monica Moonjung Go
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Republic of Korea
Korea Craft and Design Foundation