Since May 22, the exhibition ‘Futuredays: Time Travel’ is on display at Platform-L’s Contemporary Art Center located in Nonhyeon-dong, Seoul. As with last year’s exhibition titled ‘The World’s First XR (Expanded Reality) Immersive Exhibition’, this second exhibition from Future Days has also been designed and produced by the creative group ‘Project ONN’.
The exhibition is composed of four works by Shin Junsik, the head artist at Project ONN. Upon entering the exhibition hall with a tablet provided by the organisers, one is immediately led to experience the work ‘Meeting Louis XV’. Viewed normally, the work is simply a white sculpture made of FRP synthetic resin coupled with an oil painting mounted to the wall. However, by capturing the image marker on the floor with the tablet and scanning the artwork with the tablet’s camera, an image that resembles a tetris block floats around the tablet screen, while a ‘snowing’ scene appears to overlap with the actual sculpture. In this overlaid impression, one can also spot the artist’s avatar. The avatar, which walks around the sculpture and even enters the oil painting, embodies the concept of an ‘instant mover’ that travels back and forth between past and future.
At this second exhibition, one can also experience the work ‘Unusual, Abnormal, Stranger’. By analysing a huge stack of information carried in the audiences’ faces, artificial intelligence plays a specific melody to each member of the audience. Similarly, the other artworks appear to form a single drawing when viewed in normal eyesight, but upon activating the application one is surprised to find various shapes popping up and filling the exhibition space in ‘Everything is Information’, while one is led to face the French hero Napoleon through the ‘virtual reality’ effects employed in ‘Nothing is Impossible-II’.
In this ‘Expanded Reality Art’, shaped by technology and imagination, one can discover how an artist’s explorations into virtuality and reality as well as time and space have come to be embodied in their means of expression. In spite of the complex captions that accompany each work, employing highly technical terms such as ‘covariant quantum field’, the exhibition content itself is fairly accessible and can be grasped intuitively. This is probably because the technology showcased here is not new but already familiar and has even embedded itself deep in our daily lives. Because of this, as one walks around the exhibition, it feels as though one is playing an augmented reality game such as ‘Pokemon Go’. The way one has to look around the exhibition hall for hidden images with the mobile device brings it even closer to resembling the game.
The exhibition art director Kim Inhyun expressed his hopes that ‘the audience will interact with and experience the art works in diverse ways when they walk by them’, adding his impression that ‘the audience themselves will become a part of the artwork and access the inner thoughts of the artist, thus enjoying the liberation from space and time intended by the artists’.
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the exhibition is only open to those with prior reservations. Those who purchase special entry tickets can experience a hyperrealistic exhibition through Microsoft’s HoloLens device. The exhibition will be open until July 19.
(top) Shin Joon Sik, It from bit ⓒShin Joon Sik
(bottom) Shin Joon Sik, Unusual, Abnormal, Strange ⓒShin Joon Sik