Doors Open exhibition

August 13 - September 23, 2009

The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea is pleased to present Doors Open, an exhibition of 11 cutting edge Korean artists, from August 13 through September 23, 2009 at the Korean Cultural Service NY located on 460 Park Ave. 6th Fl, NYC and Sylvia Wald & Po Kim Art Gallery located on 417 Lafayette St. 4th Fl. NYC. Doors Open is the first exhibition in New York City featuring the artists, who are alumni resident artists of the National Art Studio since 2002. The participating artists are Kira Kim, Hee-seon Kim, Se-jin Kim, So-yeon Kim, Tae-eun Kim, Mioon, Kiwoun Shin, Kang-hyun Ahn, Doo-jin Ahn, Jung-ju An, and Biho Ryu. The opening reception is held on Thursday, August 13, 2009, 6-8 pm at Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Art Gallery with the presence of the artist Kira Kim, Mioon, Kiwoun Shin, Kang-hyun Ahn, Doo-jin Ahn, and Biho Ryu.

Although we live in different countries and time zones, we are all connected by the virtue of sharing the same space. This connectedness on a global scale can create the widely spread sense of fear and anxiety, whose origins vary from immediate and physical reasons—the U.S.-origin and globally affected economic depression and the outbreak of the new pandemic influenza virus—to indirect and psychological reasons. In South Korean society in particular, individual citizens have experienced imminent threats to life from wars, disease, and starvation, while feeling unrelenting sense of angst from the pressure of daily survival in the society of materialism and anonymity—a society that is seemingly peaceful on the surface yet beyond any individual’s capacity to control. 
The sense of fear and anxiety that each individual perceives in the society of standardization, obsession with speed, and tacit rules is neither same nor objective. The degree to which and the object toward which we sense fear also differ tremendously. What gives comfort and peace to someone can threaten another’s life; individuals living in the same society can experience different levels of oppression and control. This exhibition therefore presents artworks of young Korean contemporary artists, with a goal to locate these artworks’ connection to society—be it tenuous or direct—in four possible origins of fear and anxiety: war and violence, capital, speed and social structure, and cultural difference. 

In order to overcome the fear that originates from the social system and its structure, one needs to make multiple attempts at breaking out of the society’s “false image” seen from the surface. And for artists, these attempts can be made in artist-in-residence programs that provide a space far removed from the “false image” and the comfort zone of everyday life. Then, the exhibition Doors Open in New York is not an effort to hastily define these artists under a national identity. Its aim is, rather, to show through these artworks the linkage between South Korea’s particular social situation and the arts, in the hope of providing the viewers with an opportunity to come in contact with the shared reality of “us” who live in this globe.  

Miro Yoon