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Diversity and unity at the Jeju Art FairJeju Art Fair showcased the talents of some of Asia’s finest young artists
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승인 2016.11.01  11:02:42
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▲ Hyeon Ji-ju Photo by Myeongji Kim

Jeju Art Fair concluded its third annual event last Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Held for four days at the Setmulgol Inn Alley located in the heart of Old Jeju City, it featured artwork by young artists from Korea, China, Japan, and Thailand.

Designed to help young artists gain exhibition opportunities and market experience, the Jeju Art Fair was open to artists aged 39 and under, in all genres of visual art.

Hosted under the theme of ‘Diversity and Unity’, this year the event brought together the talents of not only 41 Korean artists, but also 15 other future-leading young artists from China, Japan, and Thailand.

▲ Arists displayed their work in motel rooms on Photo by Myeongji Kim

In the Setmulgol Inn Alley, near Dongmun Rotary, far away from the influence of commercial galleries, the artists had the chance to present their own inspiration and interact directly with the public.

Artworks were displayed making use of the guest rooms in several guesthouses along the alley. Each artist was located in their respective rooms, and the resulting individual spaces allowed the visitor to engage intimately with each artist and their work.

Stone artist Kota Kinutani from Japan brought with him stone sculptures with the new concept ‘Souchichoukoku’, or ‘Sculpture that creates knowing’. He believes that the stones are alive and convey the message of the importance for men to be at peace with nature.

▲ Kota Kinutani Photo by Jia Min Tan

Kinutani hopes to remind people through his works about the need to learn from and be in awe of nature. The six blue stones represent the six continents, while the red stone with a crack down the center, shows that we are all one despite being separated.

The young and energetic Hong Ga-ram, returned to his hometown to present the unique experiences of Jeju through colorful two-dimensional prints and animations. His works features Jeju landmarks such as Mt. Hallasan, the Jusangjeolli Lava Tubes, as well as the haenyeo, women divers of Jeju.

Print artist Ju Hyeon-ji, who presented work at the Jeju Art Fair for the first time, expressed regret about the lack of publicity for the art fair among locals. She hopes the event will become a more integrated part of Jeju and see more locals coming to the art fair in the future.

▲ Hong Ga-ram Photo by Jia Min Tan

Lee Soo, who combined painting with real plants to create drawings that come alive, reveled in the opportunity to see Jeju’s beautiful nature and get inspiration for her future works.

This year’s Jeju Art Fair also featured a special Haenyeo themed photo exhibition by photographer Lee Seung-eun, and paper-looking ceramic installations by Heo Ji-ye.

A Cultural Exchange Seminar discussing the ‘Identity of the Contemporary Art in East Asia’ was also held in conjunction with Jeju being selected as the ‘East Asia Culture City’ alongside Ningbo, China, and Nara, Japan.

▲ Heo Ji-ye Photo by Jia Min Tan

Although the variety of art genres was wanting, the majority of the featured artworks were paintings, Jeju Art Fair has nonetheless been a venue for showcasing the dreams and ambitions of the young artists of East Asia.

Visitor to the art fair, Myeongji Kim, expressed delight in the opportunity to see artworks from various young artists in the city (and not in art galleries) and marveled at the use of guesthouse rooms as an exhibition space.

As the young artists grow and new artists join the scene to take up the challenge, we can look forward to seeing even more exciting artworks at the 4th Jeju Art Fair next year.

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