Each artist has his or her own unique style of painting, but not many people notice that a work of art is highly affected by the artist’s brain type. The exhibition Brain: Inside of Me leads you to recognize how artists are innately motivated to produce their creative artworks by their brain.
▲ Provided by Savina Museum
Despite the relatively small size of the Savina Museum of Contemporary Art located in Anguk-dong Jongno District, where the exhibition Brain: Inside of Me is being held, it still fully conveys the interrelation between brain science and art. With the purpose of digging up the artist’s unrevealed link between art and “brain type,” the exhibition contains analyses of 14 contemporary artists to achieve this purpose.
▲ Glove-flower by Kim Joon
In this exhibition, 14 artists are grouped to four distinct categories according to brain function (strongly right-brained, right-brained, slightly right-brained, and left-and-right -brained), with their artworks classified in the same way. Considering that people engaged in the field of arts are all somehow developed in their right brain, which is the dominant side for having the inborn tendency to being talented in art and sense, the left brain seems to be neglected.
The first section that visitors will visit is the basement, where art works produced by the creative and sensitive strongly rightbrained artists are exhibited. In these art productions, artists express topics related to human relationships. Park Hyung Jin can be an exemplary artist in this category. His paintings “Hug a Bud” and “The Sprout” seem emotional in the sense that they do not describe every bit of reality in great detail, but can be interpreted as an instant capture of a particular scene. Kang Kyung Koo’s “The Path of Water” is another example in which the artist utilizes an everyday theme of flowing water but tries to reveal a more sentimental message by placing a person as the main figure. Overall, paintings drawn by artists who are strongly right-brained evoke sympathy in viewers, meaning that they have a high sociality index.
▲ Glove-cloud by Kim Joon
It may be quite difficult to distinguish the characteristics of a right-brained person from those of a strongly right-brained one. However, the former is distinct in that the brain operates more vitally; the indexes of progressivity, practicality, and physical activity are higher than in the latter. Thus, their art productions are less emotional and usually deal with topics that are less personal. Each artist’s approach to art is unique as can be proved by Kim Jai Kwan’s “Myth of Cube.” Rather than trying to reveal a direct message to viewers, Kim depicts an abstract idea that requires profound understanding. The artist does not focus on his personal story in his painting but delivers a universal theme of travel from reality to imagination. Lee Dae Il’s “People in the Street (Insa-Dong)” is a creative piece of work that is produced in the following two forms: musical notes and a single channel video. Something special is that Lee implicitly describes his personal situation in which he has become almost blind; through his creations, he wanted to emphasize the need for auditory sense that can substitute for vision.
Artists who are slightly right-brained have a tendency to signify left-brain thinking, such as logic. The works produced by these artists do not look like aesthetic “art,” but rather like a practical “production.” Kim Byoung Ho’s “A Colloidal Body” clearly reveals his rationality, where he seeks scientific investigation. This allows his piece of work to be somewhat esoteric, as it contains a philosophical message that cannot be interpreted by only its external features. Gim Deok Yeoung’s “Spit” is similar in a sense that the artist focused on something intangible: a process of destruction.
▲ Fantasiless by Jang Jun Seok
Artists who belong to the left-and-right brained category produce sculptures and paintings that consist of images that might seem contradictory. While looking through these art productions located on the second floor, visitors can notice their uniqueness. For example, Lee Il Ho’s “Chaos” is a sculpture of an unclear person; it does not show which side the person is facing since the shape of the body is ambiguous. It seems that Lee intentionally wanted to cause confusion to reveal a mixture of feelings. Likewise, left-and-right-brained artists tend to produce art works with logical themes that arise from their left hemisphere through sentimental depictions that are highly affected by their right brains.
It is not that artists artificially think of themes and ideology in order to produce their art works. Their innate brain types are what have immense impact on the productions. Although this exhibition may have limitations in the way that it over-generalizes the traits of artists and their productions according to brain type, it still has value because it provides viewers with a new standard of interpretation of art. While walking through the aisles in the exhibition hall, they can have fun looking at their drawings or sculptures and guessing which type of brain the artist has.
▲ The Sprout by Park Hyung Jin
For those who are not knowledgeable about brain science, they can refer to a documentary on the second floor the museum that provides explanation of brain function. This short clip can enhance the overall understanding of the exhibition. The museum also offers MSC tests at 5,000 won to visitors in order of application, which can be helpful in revealing their innate talents and interests.
This exhibition is recommended even to people who are not interested in art. With a primary focus on finding the interrelation between the artist’s brain and his or her art production, Brain: Inside of Me does not limit itself to aesthetic value, as most other exhibitions do, but tries to find a meeting point of two seemingly opposing subjects; art and science.
▲ The Annunciation 4 by Nam Kyung Min
Venue Savina Museum of Contemporary Art
Date 2012. 7. 25 ~ 2012. 10. 19
Time 10:00 ~ 18:30 (Tue~Sun)
Price Adult 3,000 won Student 2,000 won