Upon first reading the curatorial proposal for the exhibition Rules, I had an urgent desire to see in person the works. While some of the artists’ works were ones I had previously encountered in group exhibitions at Common Center and Ilmin Museum of Art, many of the works were not familiar and had parts that provoked various curiosities. After looking at all the works that the seven artists were preparing for the exhibition, I spent an extensive amount of time planning how to fit them all in the gallery. What gives me the greatest pleasure while preparing the exhibition is when i encounter newly produced artworks and the process of planning the installation. The aesthetic pleasure I feel when a work flows together with another in the space resembles the satisfaction one gets from placing complicated pieces of a puzzle in the right orientation. Every work is profoundly influenced by where it is placed, thus the same work can seem completely different according to the specificity of the site and method of installation. Since the number of works presented in this exhibition far exceeded the amount that the gallery usually accommodates, the plan necessitated an alteration of the spatial characteristics. Therefore, in order to diversify the spatial arrangement, temporary walls and display mechanisms were employed to subdivision (divide or block) the space.
In the first floor exhibition room, which is the tallest and widest space in the gallery, two temporary walls of distinct height were installed. The low wall assumes the form of a pedestal rather than a temporary wall. This wall provides both an exposed wall and a hidden wall and the paintings that were chosen to be hung on both sides have the contrast in the sizes and the textures of the surface. Thus, what the viewers can experience when they first enter the space is different from when they walk through the exhibition by experiencing finding hidden works. The other wall employs a grid structure and is painted in yellow, similar to the framework inside a temporary wall, divides the space without blocking the view entirely. The various colors that each painting has could weave together or get separated through this set up. The exhibition room on the second floor is almost a square, with an abundance of natural light. The square exhibition room always needs a little tension and a small grey patch painted on the wall that corresponds to the size of one of the paintings in the exhibition created a character for the monotonous space. At the entrance to the long rectangular third floor exhibition room, two temporary walls were installed. I was intrigued by Jeoungyoon Choi’s idea to block the immediate view of the works installed further inside the space. Instead of having a wall to block the view, two walls were built in symmetry with the space in between to produce the feeling of going through the tunnel. The decision of adding small modification with a light fixture; by adding a light source that is brighter and whiter at the back wall was made because of the characteristic of the paintings that was hung and also the characteristic of the last wall.
For this exhibition with several artists, the most significant element was the process of negotiating and respecting every participant’s opinions who were making the exhibition together. The interview responses from each artist that are included in the later part of this catalog helped me to imagine possibilities for a new conversation that would unfold when certain works were placed together. The decision for the location of works was based on the visual narrative reflected in each work, more than the narrative link beyond the paintings. One may not find a singular focal point across the seven artists’ brushstrokes on the surfaces of rectangular planes, but I believe the connecting dots exist between the subjects of these works.
Text by Kyungmin Lee