Monday, August 28, 2017

Gaps between d(r)eams and realities

When we are half awake and half asleep, it is difficult to spell things. That is why many of the brochures or online promotion of this project had no ‘r’ in the word, dream, instead it was published as ‘deams’. Interestingly, only one person asked me, “Mary, what is ‘deams’? I answered, “Well, it is supposed to be dreams, but it is easy to make spelling mistakes when we are in dreams.” Then, he answered, “I understand well that ideology. And active some world with smartphone’s creates own interference to live 100% real life.”

I, as a researcher and a curator, write a lot and find many misspellings. Things and ideas become very different stories from what we plan at first through misspellings. When artists make their artworks, similar situations happen. In this case, misspellings are in their language, artwork itself. Cultural Policy makers also experience similar things. What we intend to do through policies often ends up in a different form and meaning during the process due to what we did not imagine to happen. In the middle of all these, merchants also live their everyday life.

In this research project, Gaps between d(r)eams and realities, I interviewed artists who are involved in city generation whether they intend to do or not. I listen to stories from the artists in Space Ba421 in Sewoon Sannga (shopping mall), Seoul where city generation is going on radically day by day. Whether they wanted to get involved in city regeneration or not, artists have experienced their art projects in the middle of city regeneration with neighbors who are not always artists. Their stories are voiced-recorded during the interviews. Transcript of the voice will be published as an e-book.

Thanks to artists who participated in this project.

Space Ba421, Sewoon Sangga, Seoul, Korea

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mary's Art Cafe_Review

Thank you all for visiting my art cafe! It wa such a great time to see you enjoying art!

Mary's Art Cafe was a week long project curated by me, with the theme of ordinary life with artwork in a cafe. The cafe place was my studio which is offered by Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum's residency program. I showed fiver artists here: Maja Breife, Simon Kentgens, Jan Lemitz, Hans-Peter Schütt, and Heikki Takala.

All the visitors had to follow the rule;

1. Choose the menu-all the menu was in artists' names who are showing their artwork during the cafe time
2. You were allowed to smell mysterious menu while all the names of artists were written on
3. While you enjoy your drink you choose, you could appreciate artwork which was made by the same artist you chose for your drink (Some asked if these names are real or fake, for instance, not existing person in the world, but they are all alive, contemporary artists)
4. You had to pay with non materialistic method, if you paid with any material things, I resent those to the customers, instead, your hand photos with your menu were not taken.

Here are some photos from the cafe.

 Even though it was snowy or windy, all the customers were so eager to experience Mary's Art Cafe!! Thanks!!

Here are some photos of artwork in case you missed. Of course, you can also click the artists' names to see more works above.
Maja Breife

Hans-Peter Schütt
 This work by Maja Breife was supposed to be taken by participants. And many of them used the scissors to take those pandas with them. I was glad to see the reactions from the visitors.

Maja Breife

Heikki Takala's Animation

Hans-Peter Schütt

Simon Kentgens' 'Thank you for your understanding'

Mary and a customer

Jan Lemitz's Rooftops
The reason why I dressed up with my yukata with Obi (decorative belt) is because of the spirit you need to have for the customers. I went to Kyoto, Japan right before I came here Finland last summer. There was a tiny restaurant only one or two people might fit in. The owner looked super happy to entertain the customers. And also the customers were happy to be there not just for the food but also the converstation they enjoy. Since this is my curatorial project with my performance in it, I tried to have the same spirit I saw last summer in Kyoto. I hope all enjoyed!
Thanks for all your support! I look forward to seeing you again at my next project!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mary's Art Cafe

Welcome to Mary's Art Cafe!

Mary's Art Cafe is a one-week (4th-10th February) curatorial project by an independent curator, Mary Song.

She will perform as a cafe owner who will present several artists during her cafe hour (12-18).

You can experience the unique cafe culture of Finland as well as the artwork introduced by a 'performing curator' at the same time.

Please make your reservation to visit Mary's Art Cafe via email

You cannot pay with either cash or credit card.

Payment can be made only by a non-monetary form which will be given also with the menu-the artists participating in the show.

Mary is looking forward to your visit to her art cafe!

Mary's Art Cafe

Open: 12-18, 4th-10th February

Address: Vanha Littoistentie 7, Turku 20540,


*When your reservation is confirmed, you will get the phone number to call with the description of the location.