The masks people wear today are thrown away casually. Toys used to play with are now thrown away because people don't need them, and boxes that come when people order new shoes are thrown away. Food with perfectly good taste and quality is not sold because of its strange appearance, and fashion items that are no longer fashionable are thrown away. Is this the end of their lives? Surprisingly, all of these things have been reborn as works of art. SMT visited to see eco-friendly works that begin with small changes from the perspective of artists that make us reflect on our own actions.
Things that were waiting for disposal because they are old and defective have been completely transformed. The Daelim Museum of Art is holding a special exhibition, "Tong's Vintage". The exhibition is co-hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' preparation planning group for the 2021 Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) Summit and the Daelim Museum of Art to commemorate the summit, which was first held in Seoul in May. In accordance with the exhibition's focus on the environment, there are no paper tickets to emphasize zero carbon emissions. Instead, tickets are replaced by SNS photos that prove participation in the campaign called "#CHANGEWEMAKE." Participants post a picture of their small actions for the environment with the hashtags like #CHANGEWEMAKE and #DAELIMARTMUSEUM. The idea is that simple efforts to think about the environment can lead to enjoyable cultural and artistic experiences.
The offline exhibition ran until July 25th at the Daelim Art Museum in Jongno-gu. However, Daelim Museum also hosted the exhibition online due to COVID-19. This SMT reporter also watched the exhibition online. Viewers can watch a video titled "Tong's Vintage" on Naver TV, where an online exhibition tour was conducted live on June 7th. The online exhibition does not require tickets and can be viewed at any time. The tour video is about an hour and 20 minutes long, and viewers can get a detailed description of the exhibition's work from the museum's directors and artists.
From the unused to artworks
Tong's Vintage allows visitors to look at how objects of various materials that had been almost abandoned have gained new lives. Also, it asks people to question how they themselves affect the environment. The exhibition hall consists of three floors and seven sections. As visitors walk up the stairs of the exhibition hall, they can see glass, plastic, iron, fabric, wood, paper, and objects made of eco-friendly ingredients in turn. The exhibition video was also carried out in this order. There are four most impressive works of art among them.
First, in the "Playful Plastic" section on the second floor of the museum, artworks using waste plastic are located. There are chairs made from disposable masks and stools made from waste pipes thrown away every day at factories. Stool's waste pipes not only renewed the texture of them and the color applied to the plant itself, but also intuitively conveyed environmental issues about discarded pipes. Next, "Fabulous Fabric" on the third floor, is a space for works based on discarded fabric. Among them, there are six pieces made by Artist Open Plan from blankets or curtain fabrics that are no longer sold in IKEA. They refer to the six "guest etiquette" that "visitors" should have, in the sense that they are not the owners of the Earth but guests traveling around the Earth for a while. In addition, the writings explaining the production process written in handwriting on the wall behind each work shows human sensibility. As the title suggests, the sections of "Wonderful Wood" and "Painted Paper" present works such as illustrations and furniture using old objects of wood and paper. Illustrations of people, animals, the environment, and love stories on old used LPs breathe life into the atmosphere of the LP bar. It contains the writer's hope that eco-friendly messages will spread just as the music on the record comes out of the LP bar. Lastly, the "Magic Material" section on the fourth floor consists of a large media room, showing a balance of three things: 3D printing technology, hand-made work, and materials from nature. Living products such as eco-friendly face masks, side tables that decompose easily and trays are on display. Media art that shows corn, mushrooms, some milk and eggs on the walls of the hall, hints about the relationship between the objects placed there and the foods. In this unique exhibition, there are clues about what materials were recycled from the displayed objects and how they were produced, making finding the answer fun. In the exhibition hall, visitors can take pictures wherever they want, so they can keep a memory of the objects and messages created by the artists.
Ratings : ★★★★☆
The exhibition seems significant in that it expresses environmental protection issues in a hopeful and enterprising way through the artists' reborn objects. It was sad that this SMT reporter could not go to the exhibition directly due to COVID-19. However, the online exhibition was satisfying because the meaning and production process of each work was introduced by artists that would not have been possible in an offline exhibition. There were many works that were made to be used as daily necessities right away, so the title "general store" in the Korean title of the exhibition fits. Furthermore, some were so impressive because of their good design and practicality. However, some works made this reporter feel that the production process and appearance were excessively one-dimensional. Simplicity makes it easy to convey the meaning to visitors immediately, but it could make the artworks less memorable. This SMT reporter recommends this exhibition to anyone who wants to have a meaningful experience not only artistically but also environmentally.