【Traveling the Outskirts of Seoul with Foreign Perspectives:’OLTA Reseech Drawing Exhibition’】
The Japanese art collective OLTA opened a drawing research exhibition in a small gallery called Open Circuit located in the Jongno Sewoon plaza.OLTA,centered on labour and the times,focused on events,space,and people in Camp-Space Became Lion as an unfinished project for the opening of the 16th SMT Festival.This exhibition shows how OLTA,while staying in the Seoul Nanji Art Residency for the last four months,has observed Seoul’s culture.
OLTA’s representative work,Camp-Space Became Lion was a performance carried out in the Garibong market,which is a place for Chinese immigrants,which is currently called the “Garibong Vegas”.Symbolisms related to native culture inside a traditional market were used.Along with the Guro industrial complex,Garibong-dong was the centre of labour during the 1990s rapid industrialization.Here,to pay respects for the dead,they dressed in shaman’s clothes and went around the market doing a dead man’s dance.The drawing work created through research has intertwining symbols of the traditional and modern aspects of Asia.Modern culture such as techno,nuclear bombs,manga are connected with traditional symbols such as shamanism,ancestral rites,and the ten symbols of longevity,and expressed through drawing.
Before coming to Korea,OLTA studied Nam June Paik,shamans,and K-pop,and taking a look at the traditional market when they came to Korea,they tried dog meat soup or participated in exorcisms,and thought about how to express Korean culture.
The second work in the exhibition,Tiger Alive? visits places like Seoul Station and Namsan-places with building still left from the Japanese colonial era-and gives each place a kiss.They visited each place with the form of a tiger on their backs;an animal that represents Korea but can no longer be found in Korea.As such,their work expressed the sense of loss and resentment created over the passing of time through performance art,drawing,sculptures,clothes,etc.They carried out a similar culture research work in Ukraine Kiev,with their work”GHOST OF MODERN”.
More recently,overseas artists have created a young reinterpretation of Seoul or Korea.Earlier this year,two young German artists recorded each of the buildings in Seoul in photos(SPACE,April 2014 issue NEWS),and the SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul 2014 which is due to open on Sep.
2 is expected to show various reinterpretations of Seoul from other Asian countries.Besides the message,the process of observation is also very important.OLTA’s exhibition is expressed through various mediums,with the experiences they experienced firsthand.The exhibition continued until Aug.5.
(by Ro Seongja,SPACE September 2014 NO.562-p18)