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Reflecting on the Present Day through an Ecological Worldview: ‘Time of the Earth’

exhibition Han Garam​​ Jan 17, 2022

Image courtesy of National Museum of Korea​



Since 25 November, the special exhibition ‘Time of Earth’ has been on show at The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea (MMCA) Gwacheon. This exhibition examines our present era, which demands a new zeitgeist from an ecological perspective rather than a human-centred perspective in light of the growing pressures presented by climate change and pandemics. The sixteen domestic and foreign artists participating in the exhibition explore themes of symbiosis, connection, and the restoration of balance. Wet Matter, a huge chunk of soil placed in the corner of the entrance to the exhibition hall, is an installation work by Kim Juree that expresses the vitality of soil and water. Seo Dongjoo has long studied the vision of living creatures, and his video work Vision features the eyes of various living things that have been created, transformed, and evolved, and how light and nature have been projected in various ways. Jeong Kyudong delivers a message of harmony and balance, respect and consideration through the work Causality, a column structure that depends on and connectswith its exhibition space. In addition to new works by Na Hyun, Beak Jungki, and Jang Minseung, works by Jean-Luc Mylayne, Giuseppe Penone, and Christian Boltanski are also on display. In keeping with the theme of the show, the exhibition hall was constructed based upon ecological values; to reduce industrial waste, a large silver ball was hung from the ceiling instead of a temporary wall to separate the work and circulation around it. After the exhibition, vent the air, store it in a box, and reuse it later. The central hall traces Korean ecological art since the 1970s. In addition to individual artists such as Chun Kookkwang, Rim Dongsik, and Jeoung Jaechoul, we also collated materials from artists’ groups such as Baggat Art and Yatoo. Meanwhile, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) announced that, based on the contents of this archive, it plans to publish a collection of materials and hold a symposium based on the archival papers in December. The exhibition runs until 27 February.