Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Turning point

So, I came back to Korea after a year of Australia. And I realized all I know about art was Australian contemporary art which I saw everyday at work in Melbourne, but nothing else. I tried to get a job in Seoul. I applied for some positions in art galleries in Seoul. However, all the answers were same; Mary, you know nothing about Korean contemporary art!
Okay, guess what? I started studying at the Korean National University of Arts! Well, at that stage, I already had a job with some American computer software company as a sales administrator. They paid good amount for my salary. The job was not fun. That was the problem. Well, honestly, the problem was that I already got into art too much to work as a sales admin.
I also had another option which was a 6-month-certificate course for teaching Korean as a foreign language. I got admission from KNUA and this cert course as well, but I chose ART.
This was the very significant turning point of my life towards art.

While I studied at KNUA, I enjoyed it. Yes, I did. However, I needed something real. Everything sounded very vague at school to me. I decided to do something fun and real.
I submitted some exhibition plan for a gallery. And I got the award which allowed me to have an exhibition in the middle of Seoul. That was my first show I organized.


The title of this show was Foreigners? Aliens??. Three American artists-Ren Lee, Aaron Knochel and Ron Saunders-participated in this exhibition. I visited all the studios of these artists before the exhibition. I really liked Knochel's concept of the washed-off American flag, Lee's American idiom series, and Saunders' apartment complex and mountain series.

A lot of people came to see the show. I really appreciated all of them coming to see my first show. It was quite hectic at some stage, but it went well at the end. Whenever I organize an exhibition I always ask my co-curator to help me. At that time, I was working with Sonya Kim. She helped me designing the postcard, logistics, installation, and administration etc. She is one of the greatest collaborators I've had.

Many of my friends really liked this exhibition. Some of them ended up buying some artwork from the artists. That was very encouraging for all of us who had prepared this for a long time with such a great effort. The show Foreingers?Aliens?? started because of my boredom. I wanted to do something out of school, something real, something practical, something tangible.....
In the end, it turned me into a 'curator,' whether I like it or not, which is the only way I can describe myself right now. Do you want to be a curator? Why don't you start applying for exhibition opportunities? Why don't you discuss your idea with people who might be interested? Just start your action today. You shall see your future you wish for.

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