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A Midsummer Night`s Touch

Posted August. 20, 2007 03:02,   


A visual art exhibition was held in Suwon. The films produced by six young visual artists, Ga Eun-young, Kim Kyung-min, Kim Shi-heon, Kim Hye-ran, Jo Na-hyun and Choi Seung-joon, were projected on the walls of Hwaseong, the fortress walls built hundreds of years ago.

Lines created by the joining of bricks or rocks have become the backdrop for the films, and the rough textures of bricks and rocks harmoniously blended into the films have transformed the 18th Century Hwasung Fortress into a stage for 21st Century digital art.

The works were explicit, yet abstract at times. It was like watching a cartoon, animation, or a movie. Their visual works attempted to reflect on contemporary society by embracing new technologies. In particular, Kim Hye-ran made the characters of her work look both human and animal-like in an attempted to show the agony of modern people.

However, what mattered more to the audience was the atmosphere of the visual arts exhibition rather than the messages themselves. More than 1,000 people showed up in front of Seobukgongsimdon to take part in the event. The roads around the venue became congested when drivers, who were surprised to see an exotic scene unfolding at a midsummer night, parked their cars to watch the exhibition.

About half an hour later, the sound of drums and whistles came from a long distance. The sound was being made by the actors of the French theatrical group “The Trans Express,” participating in the 2007 Suwon Hwasung Fortress International Theater Festival. After livening up the atmosphere of the crowd, they were lifted about 30 meters above the ground by a crane. Their various instrumental and theatrical performances delivered up in the air perfectly harmonized with the diverse visual artworks displayed at Seobukgongsimdon.

The outdoor exhibition was made even more beautiful as it was held on the Suwon Hwaseong fortress. A range of aesthetically appealing scenes can be created on the Hwasung fortress because it is one of Korea’s most scientific and beautiful castles whose walls and structures are very colorfully designed. This world cultural heritage site has the perfect structure and aesthetics to be a venue for an art festival.

The exhibition, titled “A Midsummer Night`s Dream,” pushed the limits of indoor visual arts exhibitions by inviting audiences to an old castle.

“We tried to open up a new world of art by combining digital multimedia arts with a historic site. We also put an emphasis on communication between tradition and modernity, and ordinary citizens and art, by transcending time and space,” said curator Lee Hye-lee, who planned the exhibition.

Even thought it was midnight, audience members did not leave the exhibition. In fact, street vendors were busy shouting, “Buy Ice-cream!” Ice-cream vendors in an art-exhibition? It was an unpredictable, but a delightful scene. The art world came a step closer to ordinary people on that night.