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ㅇ Title : Daegu ForumⅠ Playground for Poetry
ㅇ Period : June 15 - September 26, 2021
ㅇ Venue : Gallery 1(1,440m²), Umi Hall(750㎡), Daegu Art Museum
ㅇ Artists : Hyun Ki Park, Nam June Paik, Kang So Lee, Jung Lee, Via Lewandowsky, Eiji Okubo, Khvay Samnang, Hiwa K
ㅇComposition : Approx. 50 works including paintings, drawings, sculptures, Photographs, videos and installations.


Daegu Forum Ⅰ
Playground for Poetry
 
                                      
 In its 10th anniversary year, the Daegu Art Museum has founded the Daegu Forum, a theme-discovery exhibition for a new decade. The Daegu Forum, which will present the new curatorial direction of the museum based on continuous curatorial research, will annually present to viewers international-caliber exhibitions by creating major trends and issues of contemporary art. It holds in its background a will to think of the historic moment of the Daegu Contemporary Art Festival (1974-79) in the 1970s and inherit the experimental spirit of the  avant-garde toward a new world. Playground for Poetry is an exhibition raising the curtains for this, and the planning began with asking questions about the purpose and essence of art. The exhibition, which focuses on different cultural backgrounds' common denominator of poetry, sought to compare to poets eight artists speaking to us in a succinct and suggestive visual language.
 
 The exhibition's title, Playground for Poetry, scrutinizes the creative act of an artist searching for poetic imagination for a piece of poetry (art) and the significance of a place of possibility where that is attempted and manifested. As metaphors, the words poetry and playground can be understood differently depending on the perspective. From the artist's perspective, a playground is a place filled with boundless inspiration and imagination, defiance and failure, and, sometimes, a purposeless uselessness or idleness until poetry (art) is created, so that traces remain or are erased; and, further, it is a place of inspiration where art-making takes place. Play, to the artist, is art-making's profile leading from creation to destruction and recreation.
 
 The exhibition introduces works wearing poetry's various skins. Just as poets create imagery through words, the artist creates a tangible language forming a unified texture using paint, clay, images, light, or TV. Nam June Paik (1932~2006), according to whom the moon is the oldest TV set, imagined things advanced for his time while viewing the moon, where the Tang Dynasty poet Li Po once played. Hyun Ki Park (1942~2000) sought to include in scenery reflected in artifacts the poet's spirit of condensing great nature, which is revealed in the suggestive and succinct verses, and the artist uses architectural language to show how our senses and perceptions respond in space. Kang So Lee’s clay lumps became the essence after removing the negative space on canvas where free brush strokes passed through, and the language of Jung Lee (1972~) expressed as light as if to alternate between shouting and whispering in an unknowable and desolate landscape speaks of sensibility and intimacy through neon light. The Kurdish Hiwa K (1982~), who is from the border area between Iran and Iraq, likens his situation of leaving his hometown on foot to that of Gilgamesh- the hero of The Epic of Gilgamesh, known as the world's first epic- and recites like poetry, in the dark, a language as incommunicable as his mother tongue. Where is the Good God? This question is from the formerly-East German artist Via Lewandowsky (1963~), who crossed four borders to finally settle in Berlin just before the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. The Cambodian artist Khvay Samnang (1982~) expresses the essential link between land and ethnicity through delicate physical movements in primitive scenery. Through this exhibition, Japan's first-generation land artist Eiji Okubo (1944~) greets his unforgotten friend Hyun Ki Park after over 30 years. In this way, abstract forms connoting the artist's life, memories, and aesthetic experiences are based on the real stories. It is as how poetry's individual words consist of everyday language despite poetry being the most abstract and implicit art form.
 
This exhibition furthermore explores a wide range of contemporary art's major themes of the body and identity, refugees and migration, language and communication, and humans and nature. Based on resistance toward novelty, adventures, and a experimental spirit and sometimes through metaphor and humor, the eight artists reveal sharp insights penetrating their own era. Viewers will find themselves reading the exhibition like a poem as they collectively feel and imagine the artist's breath to create a piece of poetry, and they will finally exit the exhibition space  with their own poetry in their hearts. I hope this exhibition will serve as an opportunity to find that the now 10-year-old Daegu Art Museum has established itself alongside the citizens as an art playground.
 
 

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