Monday, November 07, 2005

getting lost, finding art

With a cup of peppermint tea in my hand I set out in the early afternoon to find a specific artshow. I wanted to see works by Tim Noble and Sue Webster at Kukje gallery. I got lost and ended up taking a long scenic art tour around Insadong. It was a wonderful solitary artsy afternoon. I listened to The Philadelphia Experiment (the remixes) and wandered down tree lined streets littered with yellow gingko leaves and orange-brown maple leaves.

Once I realized I was far from the place I hoped to be I decided to check out where I was. I came across the Daelim Contemporary Art Museum. The building was interesting so I decided to check out the show, Our Mutual Crossing, with photos by Lee Won Chul & Andrew Wim Sheehy. The self-portraits were often of shadows. Something I've always loved. And a lot of the photos were taken of images reflected in water, puddles, mirrors on a car door, or windows. I thought this was a clever way to take pictures of people in public without them knowing. I thought about how you could set up pictures just as you wanted and all you had to do was wait for your random subject to walk into the frame.

As I continued on my detour I came across the Jean Art Center, that had a huge sculpture of a pumpkin with dots all over it sitting in the front. "That's cool. Wonder who did it," I thought. Turns out it's the work of Yayoi Kusama! One of my favorite crazy art ladies. I remembered going to her show LOVE FOREVER at the MOMA a while back. Man does she ever like dots. Apparently, due to some sort of mental illness, she's seen images of dots and flowers all her life. Her art is a way to control her world. I loved her room filled with strange little banana/phallic red polka dot pillow sculptures. I have no idea what the pumpkin is all about though. Regardless, it was like getting the update on an old friend, hearing that all is well. I left content.

I've been thinking a bit about artists as control freaks. At least creative control freaks. They want their vision to be pure, perfect. They want to have an environment, a medium, a platform to be the sole ruler of their universe. I guess it's kinda the same old story--that artists are narcissists with a god complex or something like that. Additionally, in many ways, I think that the art is what keeps many artists sane. It's a way to control themselves... maybe(?)

A block down the street, I found an empty gallery, Brain Factory. No one was even sitting in the gallery watching that no one stole the art. A show titled Tactile Illusion showed the work of Lee Ji Eun. Funky stuff, hard to describe.

I walked past the Blue House, where the president lives, and gazed past it to the beautiful mountains that stand behind all the guards, gates, and other hoopla. Finally I found The Joy of Sex, at Kukje. The drawings they featured were okay, but more impressive were the two shadow pieces at the front of the gallery. A Pair of Dirty Fucking Rats is a brilliant, funny, little piece. It's a pile of found objects, just garbage, strategically placed so that the shadow casts the image of these two lovely rats in the act.

Even more impressive were the paper cutout (sorry, no pic) mobiles. They cast the most intricate and fascinating shadows. So unexpected.

After my art excursion I went to see The Corpse Bride, and ended the night at a board game cafe with a bunch of fabulous people planning a party. All in all a good day.

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