Wednesday, October 5th, 2016,
6-7 PM (Media/Press Only) / 7-9 PM (Public Reception)
The exhibition title, ‘맛:[MAT],’ literally meaning ‘taste’ in Korean, describes how the 맛:[MA:T] As It Is exhibition focuses exclusively on the notions of taste of Korea and the Korean attitude towards nature and man-made objects. Formulated from a designer’s perspective, the exhibition explores several dynamic aspects of ‘taste’ that relate not only to the consumption of food, but to the different styles of cooking and sharing food, the objects that surround food, and the physical and emotional ‘taste’ of the dining environment and experience as a whole.
The idea for 맛: [MA:T] As It Is originated from contemporary Korean food culture that stems from traditional methods, customs, and habits passed down through generations. This exhibition breaks down Korean food culture into four broadly defined categories--steamed rice, alcohol, kimchi, and delivery--which allows viewers to gain a clearer understanding of the perception of food in Korea. While these four categories offer a palatable, comprehensive definition of Korean food culture, the exhibition does not follow a folkloristic approach and is not based on systematic research in cultural anthropology, and therefore does not try to comprehensively capture the intricacies of food and taste in Korea.
Yet an overwhelming strength of this exhibition is its fresh outlook towards Korean culture. Unlike previous exhibitions, which have often presented ornate and carefully manicured symbols of Korean culture, the MA:T exhibition showcases common objects that are typically considered unsophisticated or not “special” by Koreans. This exhibition works to shatter existing stereotypes and introduces a new stage for Korean culture to present itself in a more positive light to New Yorkers, and through its realistic, authentic, and objective points of view, encourages the audience to interpret this art as their own.