Please Don't Burst My Bubble, CICA Museum, So. Korea

Please Don’t Burst My Bubble

Seoul, the Big Party City

A giant city nestled amidst mountain ranges with a very wide and blue Han river flowing right through the heart of it – Seoul! We put up near the Hongik University in Hongdae. A bustling and youthful part of the town, full of restaurants music and colorful people!  A 40 minute bus ride from Hongdae was CICA museum surrounded by paddy fields, high-rises and mega stores conveniently fitted with Starbucks Coffee shop.

The food and forms of expression gives you a peek into the heart of a place.  Varied and complex the food was always delicious!  Tunes of songs floating out of restaurants and cafés mostly had a pleasant 101.9 FM sound to it.  Leejin Kim compared a discussion between myself and the collaborative artists.  The discussion led to a perfect synthesis of ideas between two different cultures,  two different places and two different age groups.

The Exhibit was about New beginnings, a promise of a fresh start – an act of  optimism, a perception of a different outcome…”Inside Outside” and “Sweet  Release” incorporate printmaking with photographs of landmark buildings – Segrada Familia and Torrre Agbar in Barcelona.  Being in conversation with my environment has been an obsession of sorts for may years, exploring inner and outer spaces is what happens in these works.   “Waiting for  the Sun”, “Miracles”, “Please Don’t Burst My Bubble” and “The Incidental Kim”  explores preexisting spaces and circumstances, that tells a story other than  itself bearing within it the potential of a new outcome, new and unexpected.   “Say Something”, the two Mickeys and “Corrupt” are a play on the obvious.  The  Subway stairs in NYC or the quintessential roadside news stand nestled within  the shape of Mickey bears a dark playfulness, as also in the twisted Coca Cola  letters resonating the outcome of dictatorial regiment.  Needless to say that this  piece along with “The Incidental Kim” are playful allusions to North Korea.

Theme of the Exhibit

The Exhibit was about New beginnings, a promise of a fresh start – an act of optimism, a perception of a different outcome…” Inside Outside” and “Sweet  Release” incorporate printmaking with photographs of landmark buildings – Segrada Familia and Torrre Agbar in Barcelona.  Being in conversation with my environment has been an obsession of sorts for many years, exploring inner and outer spaces is what happens in these works.   “Waiting for the Sun”, “Miracles”, “Please Don’t Burst My Bubble” and “The Incidental Kim” explores preexisting spaces and circumstances, that tells a story other than itself bearing within it the potential of a new outcome, new and unexpected.   “Say Something”, the two Mickeys and “Corrupt” are a play on the obvious.  The Subway stairs in NYC or the quintessential roadside news stand nestled within the shape of Mickey bears a dark playfulness, as also in the twisted Coca Cola letters resonating the outcome of dictatorial regiment.  This piece along with “The Incidental Kim” are playful allusions to North Korea.

A perfect Synergy with local artists

Nara Lee (이나라)

mentioned her works as reminiscent of her childhood spending time outdoors in parks and jungle gyms as opposed to children today who spend majority of the time on their electronic devices.

C2’s (탄소)

work comprising of shots from a post-concert party of upturned furniture, crushed beer cans, drugs etc. the concert she went to see was called Rainbow.  Her very first exposure to adolescent fun!

Mark Yang’s (양윤석).

work was the most complex and somewhat abstract, he mentioned that his art was a way of coping with the challenges he faced in real life.

Mickey features as a dark and ominous form as a reminder of the starkness that exists in a child’s world in many parts of the globe today.  How children cope with dire situations and are resilient to shocks that have become part and parcel of their lives. The subway warning put in place primarily to fight terrorist activities also are a familiar sight today, to which we don’t even raise an eyebrow.  Please don’t burst my Bubble – a photograph of a child lunging to touch a giant bubble in Central Park, Red, Brown and Blue, a story of my own journey of displacement, embracing and assimilation into a new culture.  This show is meant to remind us of the importance of keeping dreams alive.  When Borim Lee (이보림), an artist of his own merit, asked why my works were so dark?  I was caught quite by surprise and only managed to say, “that’s just how it is!”

Last but not the least, all this exchange of ideas was possible because of the superb translation and amicable personality of Leejin Kim, the gallery director, UPenn graduate currently residing between DC and Seoul.  Leejin, herself a conceptual artist, is now working on starting a branch of CICA near about NYC or DC.