通 | 통

September 23 - November 6, 2011 (45 days)

Haeinsa Temple (www.haeinsa.or.kr)


Chief Curator: Yu Yeon Kim
Organized by: Haeinsa Temple
Directed by: Haein Art Project Association, Inc.
Sponsors: Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Gyeongnam Province, Hapcheon County in Republic of Korea

通 | 통 

An International Exhibition of Contemporary Art
Haeinsa Temple, South Korea


Tong is the first international art exhibition at the historic Haeinsa Temple, South Korea. It is organized by Haein Art project and curated by Yu Yeon Kim. It opens September 23rd, 2011 until November 6th, 2011. 

Tong is expressed by the Chinese character 通 or the Hangul (Korean) character 통. The literal translation of Tong is "link".Tong has other meanings, such as "passage', "opening" or to swiftly reach an understanding. In this sense it is intended that "understanding" correlates with an expansion of meaning as the links within links are revealed. 

While Tong 通 is an exhibition of international art that may be exemplified by its cultural, social and religious differences - it also demonstrates the fundamental connection that all art shares. This is that artists, limited only by their imaginations, may externalize the principals that are within us all - thus achieving an enlightened expression of what we share: our humanity. Art can be regarded, even in its most abstract form, as a means of engaging reality and of understanding that the embedded concepts in a work of art both magnifies and conjoins the individual with the universe. 

Haeinsa Temple and the Tripitaka Koreana

Constructed in C.E. 802, in the idyllic ancient woodland of Gaya Mountain, Haeinsa (해인사, 海印寺: Temple of Reflection on a Smooth Sea) is a head temple of the Jogye Order (대한불교조계종, 大韓佛敎 曹溪宗) of Korean Buddhism in the Gaya Mountains (가야산, 伽倻山), South Gyeongsang Province South Korea. Haeinsa Temple is renowned as the home of the Tripitaka Koreana - 81,350 wooden printing blocks that contain the complete Buddhist scriptures. The temple is an active monastery and is one of the Three Jewel Temples of Korea. 

The Temple of Haeinsa and the Depositories for the Tripitaka Koreana woodblocks, were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995. The UNESCO committee noted that the buildings housing the Tripitaka Koreana are unique because no other historical structure was specifically dedicated to the preservation of artifacts and the techniques used were particularly ingenious. The Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks are housed in the Janggyeong Panjeon complex which was also designated a national treasure in 1962. The building is unique because its architects utilized nature to preserve the Tripitaka. The storage complex was built at the highest point of the temple - 2,149 foot (655 meters) above sea level. The building faces Southwest so as to avoid damp southeasterly winds from the valley below while the mountains shelter it from the cold North winds. The various sizes of windows are used on the South and North exposures provide ventilation and temperature regulation through efficient convection. The clay floors were also filled with charcoal, calcium oxide, salt, lime, and sand, which reduce humidity by absorbing excess moisture which is then retained during the dry winter months. The roof is also made with clay and the bracketing and wood rafters prevent sudden changes in temperature. Additionally, no part of the complex is exposed to sun. That the woodblocks have survived in good condition to this day is testimony to the wisdom of the architects. In 1970, a modern storage complex was built utilizing modern preservation techniques but when test woodblocks were found to have mildewed, the intended move was canceled and the woodblocks remained at Haeinsa. 

Tong | 通 | 통 Exhibition

There are three main exhibition spaces: the temple interiors, the museum, the temple grounds and surrounding mountainside. This allows for a transition which amplifies the exhibition theme - a place of pause , a place of meditation and the extension of nature. 

The artists: 
Ahn Doo-Jin, Miya Ando, Ahn SungKeum, Magdalena Atria, Bill Viola, Blake Carrington, Chang Yoonseong, Cho Duck Hyun, Chong Woon Choi, Rodney Dickson, DMP, Sonam Dolma, Buhm Hong, Hey-yeun Jang, Heon Joonho & Kyungwon Moon, Shi Jing, Sun Mu, Atta Kim, Kim Seong Young, Tammy Kim, Igor & Svetlana Kopystiansky, Hyunseok Lee, Young Sun Lim, Malini Nalini, Kit Reisch, Faisal Samra, Wang Zi won, Xu Bing, So Young Yang, Yu Araki, Zhang Huan

Further information about Haeinsa Temple and the Tripitaka Koreana:
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/737
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haeinsa 

Miro Yoon