Appreciating Art with the 5 Senses
Appreciating Art with the 5 Senses
  • Shin Won Sora
  • 승인 2009.05.10 19:13
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 Do you think art is appreciated only by your eyes?  If you think so, this exhibition will change your opinion.  ‘Art & Synesthesia’ is an art exhibition presenting an overview of synesthetic tendencies in contemporary art.  With it this art sheds light on how the five senses are represented in artwork, and how they work at the source of an artist’s imagination. 

The exhibition is divided into two main sections. The first is sensory illusions, displaying works of art that bring about sensuous transitions and associations.  While the term illusion is usually applied to visual phenomena, it is used here to refer to fictional imaginary situations, generated by all the human senses.  Included in this section are works of art addressing sensory illusions; that is, senses as illusion.  We often say we are “seeing an exhibition” or we are “viewing an art work.”  Even in a painting, which only involves our visual sense, other senses alongside it are stimulated so that diverse associations and transitions are involved.  Sonic image, wind image, seasonal image, and gustatory image: you can feel the wind, rhythm, noise and seasons by looking at art pieces.  Just seeing grass swaying in the wind, you will have an image of the wind.  Also, peaches and apples depicted on canvas make you smell the fragrance of summer.  Even though they are just works of art, you can enjoy them with not only your eyes.

The second section is multiple senses: crossing and blending, composed of pieces arousing fresh aesthetic experience through stimulation of the senses of hearing, touch, smell, and taste, as well as the sense of sight, regarded as perhaps the most fundamental element of visual art.  Alongside the sense of sight, sensations such as listening to music and sound, smelling a fragrance and responding to a touch are involved in this section.  While each can be referred to as the manifestation of chemical synesthesia, they can also be thought of as reflecting physical synesthetic tendencies.  In the physical stimulation of multiple senses however, chemical changes may emerge due to various bilateral connections and associations.  In this part, you can enjoy the art through your participation.  Art pieces that respond to your voice, touch or sitting on a chair attract the audience.  You can feel the art by just being with the work of art. 

There is no fixed way to appreciate art.  Unlike traditional art which requires only seeing, ‘Art & Synesthesia’ provides the audience an opportunity to experience artworks with a new method: using their 5 senses.  By just visiting this exhibition and feeling the artworks, you will have a wider perspective of art and enjoy the artworks even more. 
2009.3.18~6.7  Seoul Museum of Art

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