Korea Now!

Exhibition, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France. Until 3 January 2015.

Anna Sansom November 2015
Korean creativity is spotlighted in a wide-reaching exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris as part of France-Korea Year. Spanning craft and design, fashion and graphic design, the show has been produced with the Korea Craft and Design Foundation and extends across all four floors of the Parisian institution. Three curators worked on the different disciplines with the overall result of 700 pieces by 150 artists and designers featuring in this ambitious undertaking.

It opens with furniture, glassware and porcelain presented in the nave. This vast overview offers fragmentary glimpses of many names but what shines through is how refined and elegant Korean craft and design is. Among the standout pieces are Wonmin Park's asymmetrical furniture made with variously coloured pieces of resin and the Human+Love+Light mobile by Lee Sung-keun composed of multi-coloured, cloud-like suspensions made from metallic threads and silicone. Also on the ground floor is a display of ceramics, traditional and contemporary approaches to making lacquer, and exquisite, delicate jewellery.
On the first and second floor is Korean fashion from the 1980s up to contemporary designers such as Juun J, whose silhouettes combine western influences and those of historical Korean costumes. One of the aspects highlighted is the importance of red, yellow, black, blue and white in Korean aesthetics and how these colours inspire designers.
Une saison graphique avec Ahn-Sang-Soo
Graphic design on the top floor begins with the work of Ahn Sang-soo, regarded as the father of Korean graphic design. There is another focus on Park Kum-jun, who created the Paju Book City (which has over 50 publishing houses, libraries and bookshops) and on young practitioners whose styles show a desire for creative freedom incorporating a more western-influenced style.

Korea Now! is an exhaustive survey show introducing the breadth of Korean creativity to French viewers. Unfortunately, though, the array of names is overwhelming and you're left wondering whether it might have been better to focus in depth on a few designers instead.
BAHK Jong-sun,Trans-14-005,006,007,Cherry,Black, Blue,Red, Yellow, White silk, 2014
Kim Hye Soon King's Costume book
SONG Seung-yong. Objet O
Human + Love + Light (2015) mobile by Lee Sung-keun, collection of the artist.
Right side: Wonmin Park's resin furniture
Ceramic stools by Lee Hun-chung from the collection of Seomi International; Obsession bench by Lee Kwang-ho; cabinet in wood and fabric by Soh Eun-myung.

View Profile

Anna Sansom

Anna Sansom is a British-born, Paris-based journalist who writes about art, design, and architecture for DAMN°, Frame, Mark, The Art Newspaper, Whitewall, Art Now and Noblesse (China).

Related Posts