▲ A tree is created upon the wall with reflections. Photographed by Kim Hye Ri.
With the sun burning during the day and modern technology that lights up the human world by night, light always exists anywhere. Light is also what brightens up the world so that people can see colors. Just a single ray of light in a room filled with complete darkness would be the greatest key that would lead to the outside. The exhibition Spatial Illumination—9 Lights in 9 Rooms not only shows people this primitive function of light, but also presents ways in which a single beam of light can create masterpieces.
￼￼￼￼￼D museum introduces a new genre of art named "Light Art" through its inaugural exhibition named Spatial Illumination —9 Lights in 9 Rooms. The exhibition is divided into nine unique rooms that display different artworks, each presenting the subject of light in a unique style. The rooms are arranged in a way that allows viewers to experience light in all kinds of different settings.
The visits to each of the nine rooms show the infinite potentials of light. In other words, one room might show how people can even communicate through light, while the next room might display the beauty of nature with light. By using light, the exhibition shows the intimate relationship between nature, people, and space. Through combining other artistic materials with light, such as music or videos, the entire exhibition continuously stimulates the senses of the audience.
Today, light can shed any color if it is artificially controlled. However, whether it is because of sunlight or light bulbs, people naturally think white as the original color of light. In the first room, the entire art work is burning lucid, clean, and white light. This room presents light in its purest form, and it seems to be deliberately placed in the very front of the exhibition. Before industrial revolution created light through technology, and before Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, this purest shape of light would be the one similar to that of the first room. The lights gleaming with white fill the entire room as if they were resisting any artificial touch of human technology.
From the next room to the ninth room, light continues to take on colors that create an emotional resonance between the works of art and viewers. Red, green, and blue, those three main colors of light are dressed upon numerous triangular pyramid-shaped objects. When seen from the front, the work simply seems to be an inverted triangle. However, in order to see the true colors and the light that they shed, viewers must move their position to look at it from the side of the work. Although the work only uses three colors, the harmony that the three colors create gives an illusion that the work uses numerous hues of light. While the whiteness of the first room might have created a feeling of inner peace, starting from the second room, the various colors create splendor within the rest of the exhibition.
Even though most of the rooms simply shed lights on their own, the fifth room, named the “Mirror Branch,” creates beauty by using the reflections of a sculpture. In this installation hangs thousands of mirror discs from the ceiling and reflects the discs with light to create shadows that resemble nature. While the mirror discs simply give the impression that shiny things are pretty, the true beauty of the room lies in the shadows created by light. The shadows created on the farthest part of the room create a bountiful tree. Completely made up of reflections, the shadows generate the feeling of walking through a beautiful forest with light beaming through the leaves, high up on the trees.
▲ The room symbolizing a gigantic whale. Photographed by Kim Hye Ri.
After walking through the shadow forest, viewers face a completely different kind of nature. Upon walking into the sixth room, one would either be amazed or frightened. Suddenly, the bright light from the fifth room turns into darkness. The arch-shaped room consists of hundreds of hexagon tiles that continuously create different kinds of light. The floor is made up of a mirror that creates a delusion that there is nothing underneath but darkness. However, the most interesting characteristic of this room would have to be the noise ringing throughout the entire room. The music resembles that of a howling whale, and this, along with the dark-colored times, makes the viewers mistake themselves as if they were trapped inside the stomach of a large whale.
▲ A viewer creating art with shadows. Photographed by Kim Hye Ri.
Passing through the world created with light, viewers are able to take part in creating artworks themselves. Using the colors red, green, and blue, three different-colored shadows are created every time a person enters the room. The overlapping shadows create great photos since they escape the common conception that shadows are black. By changing the gloomy color of shadows into bright, charming colors, the room gives yet another experience to the visitors. With only the three colors of lights stuck to the wall, it is the viewers themselves in charge of making the artwork. Therefore, the final part integrates all visitors as artists and alchemists of light.
Although the exhibition is created within one subject of light, each of the nine rooms stimulates different senses. Combining light with music and the viewer's participation, each of the human senses can be stimulated. Those who love the simplicity that light sheds would love the first part of the exhibition. Those who want to experience a whole different setting should visit the world created in the fifth and sixth rooms. The nine different emotions and experiences that the nine rooms create are something that people living in continuous patterns of spaces should meet.
Exhibition Information Location: D Museum. Address: 5-6 Dokseodang-ro 29-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. Date: December 5, 2015 - May 8, 2016 Time: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00A.M. - 6:00P.M. Friday, Saturday 10:00A.M. - 8:00P.M. (Closed on Mondays) Price: 8,000won (adult) / 5,000won (age: 8-18) / 3,000won (age: 3-7).