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Welcome to the Dormitorium

Posted July. 20, 2020 07:57,   

Updated July. 20, 2020 07:57


An exhibition “Quay Brothers: Welcome to the »Dormitorium«,” a stop-motion animation work using puppets by Quay brothers, is to be held at the Hangaram Art Museum Gallery 7, Seoul Arts Center in Seocho-gu, Seoul until October 4.

Stephen and Timothy Quay are twin brothers born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1947. After graduating from the Philadelphia College of Art and the Royal College of Art in London, they founded their own studio in the U.K. in 1979 and have been actively producing animations for the past 40 years. They displayed originality in other areas such as set design for plays and operas, music videos, commercials and TV program titles.

They were influenced by the late Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel (1900-1983) and Czech puppet stop-motion animator Jan Švankmajer (86) and produced dreamlike animation works. Being invited at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival, their “Street of Crocodiles” garnered attention of the film industry.

The exhibition will display more than 100 pieces of work including carefully designed miniature sets, drawings in the form of film posters and text design images, which are the background of animation, illustration and puppet shows. The title is based on the fact that the Quay brothers called the background set of their puppet animation “Dormitorium.”

They are assessed to have showcased animation that applied irregularities and anxieties in industrial society, surrealism and eroticism influenced by works of Franz Kafka (1883-1924). The mysterious and gruesome backgrounds of their animation is reminiscent of American filmmaker Tim Burton’s “Stainboy,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Beetlejuice,” and “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” Artworks of Kim Woo-chan who worked with the Quay brothers and Tim Burton will be displayed together.

Taek Kyoon Sohn sohn@donga.com