Korean Craft 2020
The Shape of Senses, The Shape of Colors
by Korea Craft & Design Foundation
The Shape of Senses, The Shape of Colors
The exhibition to experience the inner and outer scapes of Korean craft
that connects to life through key words including shape, color, sound,
and scent. Through the interaction between the wide spectrum of the
five colors simultaneously embracing both achromatic and rich colors
and the five senses that connect through ‘sound’ and ‘scent’, the
diverse and profound world of Korean craft crosses between the
borders of experience and self-reflection, visibility and invisibility,
practicality and beauty.
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.
Theme 1 | Shape of Sound_Seeing the Sound
The Buddhist bell that is considered the apotheosis of sound is installed at the center of the stage while contemporary Korean traditional crafts made of natural materials such as hanji, silk, wood, ceramics, hwamunseok, and mother-of-pearl are spread over the overlapping space like a work of painting.
Theme 2 | Shape of Color_Touching the Color
Various crafts of ceramics, lacquer paint, metal, woven accessories that create harmony of formative shapes and color objects are presented. Through the color variations of the five traditional Korean colors and arrangements, Korean emotions and aesthetics are waiting to be revealed.
Theme 3 | Shape of Scent_Listening to the Scent
Incense is burned within the inner space created by naturally dyed cloths, and meditation objets and hanji collage paintings are arranged. External and internal sides of Korean crafts that are closely linked to life are exposed and questions the essence of Korean aesthetics that lead to experience and introspection.
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
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.