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a year abroad in south korea

Art Update: Yayoi Kusama @ Daegu Art Museum

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Hey peeps, here’s a little post about the museum I went to recently~ I was able to take lots of pictures this time because it was photo friendly for the most part.^^

About a 30 minute subway ride away from where I live in Daegu, the Daegu Art Museum is pretty easy to get to (even for me). At one of the exits is a shuttle that takes you to the front of the museum so no need to figure out buses and stops to get there. The museum itself is absolutely gorgeous. Situated at the cusp of the city and the beautiful rolling green hills of Korea, the museum spaces are expansive and bright with natural light. Glass, steel, and clean-looking marble made the museum like walking through an elegant glass box. There is an adjoining wedding hall where a wedding was underway, so museum patrons and well-dressed wedding goers were strangely occupying some of the outdoor spaces together.

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The Kusama exhibit itself, titled “A Dream I Dreamed,” had a wide ranging appeal because of it’s playful nature and immersive environments. Some spaces took up entire halls, and some spaces were concealed around a darkened corner, only visible to those who venture close enough to see it. Unlike the Seoul Art Museum, there was generous amount of space dedicated to the on-display work, so one could view artwork at his or her own pace. The pieces ranged from installation to sculpture to painting to video/performance, which made the exhibit a new experience in every room. There was a lot of play with illusionistic spaces, mirrors and features of the face. One space that you could look into forces you to confront your own reflection while viewing the work.

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One room, titled “The Obliteration Room,” allows viewers to place stickers anywhere in the livingroom-like setting. We had to take off our shoes to get in, and despite the poopy diaper smell from all the toddlers running around, it was a really dynamic space. It changes as you are present, with people carefully deciding where to place their stickers. Those kids though…so many kids…*shudder*

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This space was really cool – you enter with a few other people and stand on a platform surrounded by a shallow amount of water. The mirrored door is closed behind the group, and the small room transforms into infinite space. Suspended lights change colors and ever so subtly move amongst the chatter of awed viewers. Kinda magical. (There’s me with the white pants LOL,)

In all, I really enjoyed Kusama’s exhibition because of the attention she paid to each and every space. It was well considered, with a minimal amount of work but carefully selected pieces and installations. The beauty of the museum’s immense space is not lost, but instead complimented by the pieces that lure you through the rooms and halls. A huge problem I often encounter in museums is when the artist/curators try to cram too many pieces into too small of a space, and THEN cramming in tons of people. A museum I visited in NYC before I came here had an exhibit that would emit a piercingly shrill beep every time a patron got too close to a piece, and given the space it was impossible to walk freely AND stay within a 3 ft. radius of all the pieces.

One thing I missed was a gift shop! Go figure! We awkwardly walked around the wedding area, the ground floor…nothing! On my way out I grabbed another pamphlet out of sheer disappointment.

Well, this has been your Korean Art Update! I hope to spend a lot more time viewing art and taking pictures so expect a few more of these as the journey goes on~

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Author: Natasha

26, student of law but still a dreamer. currently living in chicago.

One thought on “Art Update: Yayoi Kusama @ Daegu Art Museum

  1. Pingback: Food and Dranks – Endless Sides | Vast Visions

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