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Kabbala
by Daegu Art Museum
Location: Daegu Museum
Artist(s): CHOI Jeong Hwa
Date: 26 Feb - 23 Jun 2013

“Your heart is my art. My hobby is contemporary art.”

Choi Jeong-hwa (1961- ) creates whimsical, exhilarating works with diverse objects and daily articles he collected at traditional markets and flea markets around the world, seeking freedom in his art transcending the conventional category of contemporary art through his unique sense for display. Choi is an installation artist who has represented contemporary Korean art at many overseas biennales and art fairs since the 1990s, and a polymath who has worked in diverse genres including interior design, architecture, and stage design.

Choi’s idea penetrating such diverse activities is how to awaken and communicate with the general public through his various pieces. His art is vivid and familiar in that it easily mingles with our lives. Taking notice of ‘reality and site of life’, Choi creates his own style of art crossing the boundaries between life and art, East and West, old and new, artwork and commodity with such materials as miscellaneous living items, mottled plastic baskets, memorable trophies, and common vinyl.

Alchemyis the exhibition arranging Choi’s works in Daegu Art Museum space harmoniously. Kabbala, an installation set at the center of the UMI Hall, means tradition in Hebrew and further refers to the fundamental of Judaist mysticism, associated with the term ‘alchemy’. This work is a mammoth monument, 18 meters high, made through an act of piling thousands of plastic baskets. On display at the show are works that are easy to understand and interesting, without need for philosophical thought and description, such as Alchemy made of plastic vessels the artist collected in many countries around the world, Cosmos enabling viewers to have mystic experience through an optical illusion that space-time is repetitively extended with mirror sheets, Art Lounge, a rainbow-colored sofa to be a resting seat for a viewer, Up to You, a playground playing with magnets, and Housekeeping harmoniously arranging his private goods in the public space of the museum.

As Choi states “All is art, and everyone is an artist”, the exhibition is an occasion through which we realize art is already in our lives, and we can go through contemporary art closely, putting significance on ‘seeing, hearing, and feeling better’.

*image (left)
Kabbala
Plastic baskets, steel frame, 18x10m
© Jeong Hwa Choi

Courtesy of Daegu Museum

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