Influencer Rozy, Kpop group Aespa, and avatar production application Zepeto. When you think of the metaverse, these might be the first things that come to your mind. The world is jumping into the virtual world with the metaverse. Then what about art? The NFT art market is booming, and artists are creating NFTs of their artworks. Digital artworks in 3D graphics can be seen in many galleries. Technology is changing the future of art. SMT invites you to the new world of art combined with technology.
Art enters the metaverse
Every industry is broadening its range to the virtual world. The field of art too is rapidly moving online. Especially, digital works that have infinite scalability in the non-face-to-face era are attracting attention. Collectors and companies have moved on to the metaverse and NFT works, and artists continue to create new forms of art. In this change, ARTSCLOUD, an art management company, held a digital art fair. From October to November 2021, the first ARTSCLOUD Digital Art Fair was held. 3,041 works from 52 countries were submitted and finally, 100 artists were selected. The <Art in Metaverse> exhibition presents the works of 100 selected artists and the works of eight media artists who are currently most active in digital art.
The exhibition is being held at "UNDER STAND AVENUE" near Seoul Forest station. To get to the exhibition from SMWU, take the subway from SMWU Station on Line 4. Get off at Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station, go out of exit 10 and walk for 3 minutes. From there, take the bus 2014 and get off at Seoul Forest. Then, walk about 2 minutes to arrive at the exhibition. UNDER STAND AVENUE is a creative public interest culture space made of 116 containers. There are 26 spaces, and the exhibition is held in spaces numbered 15~18 and 24. The exhibition consists of three halls, all of which are scattered about, so you need to look around carefully. Tickets can be bought for 18,000 won, due to a 10% discount through Naver reservation, or 20,000 won in the main booth. The booth is in Hall 1 and after buying the ticket, the staff will give you a bracelet for entering every exhibition hall.
See the world differently
The <Art in Metaverse> exhibition begins with an explanation of the digital art fair. Introduction to the exhibition and the works selected as the top five are included. The exhibition is divided into three sections in each hall. The first section displays 100 digital artworks of the selected artists. In the second and third sections, there is an exhibition of eight Korean and foreign artists who are currently most active in the new media art scene. To give the audience the experience of hyperlinking from offline to virtual space, there is a screen at the entrance of each section. Passing through the screen, visitors can face the world of artists and have a multi-sensory experience of digital art beyond the screen.
"Award Exhibition," the first part of the exhibition, is designed as a media forest where natural objects and technology are harmonized. As soon as you enter the exhibition, there is an audio-visual work of Beryl Bilici, named <Locked>. Selected in the top five of the 100 works, this work represents a mechanical person trapped in a container. It symbolizes modern people trapped in the expanding boundary between time and knowledge. Next to it, there is a QR code for visitors to enjoy Belici's other artworks. In the section, there are more digital artworks using videos and sounds. "Special Exhibition," the second and third sections, have many artworks that visitors can experience. On the first floor of the second section, <Genesis Canyon> by Choi Sungrok, a 3D animation video projection, greets the visitors. Using various colors, the video shows the process of creating a virtual space of nature. There is also a car racing game next to it. You sit in a motion chair, become a game character who throws away the trash, and experience what your choice results in by running away from the police. On the second floor, there are artworks of NFT, coding, and VR that visitors can enjoy. This SMT reporter recommends registering in advance for the VR experience, as the wait is long. The last section is an experience of VR by Hayoun Kwon named <Bird Lady>. Visitors wear a device in a large space and walk around freely. It takes about 8 minutes but when you walk around the virtual world, it will feel quite short. By viewing and interpreting various digital works, visitors will fall into the virtual world.
The exhibition allowed this SMT reporter to think about the changing world of offline to online. Viewing the works made this reporter feel as if she was traveling in another world. It was good that there were many works the visitors could experience. However, it was disappointing that the first section of the exhibition was small even though there were many artworks. Also, this reporter was unable to understand the metaverse and the virtual world of each work, so the enjoyment factor decreased. Nevertheless, people who like digital arts and want to imagine the future of art would view the exhibition as interesting.