▲ A large installation art Oreum made from 30,000 LED luminants
The first Asia exhibition of world-famous light installation artist Bruce Munro will be held at Jeju Light Art Festa (hereafter LAF). Opening on July 27 at Jocheon-eup, Jeju LAF is themed “Peaceful Island Jeju: The Wind of Light.” Munro will showcase his large-scale installation work “Oreum,” consisting of 30,000 LED luminants.
He will illuminate the peace and history of Jeju using the art of light.
Although various big-name corporations and resorts had previously invited him, Munro had not responded because of the commercial nature of their work. He chose LAF as the site to release his new work and met with the press at Sungkyunkwan University on July 11.
▲ Bruce Munro, a world-renowned light artist, holding a press conference at Sungkyunkwan University on July 11. He spoke about his first exhibition in Asia at Jeju Light Art Festa.
Bruce Munro said, “My work uses ‘light,’ one of the technologies of modern age. Because I may become commercial if I’m not careful, I tend to be cautious about how I unveil my works.” He added, “I sympathized with the purpose of Jeju’s LAF, and with the theme of peace and consolation.”
This being his fourth visit to Korea, he explained the inspiration for “Oreum.” “During my third visit, I went to Jeju and experienced its beautiful scenery as well as the painful story of the April 3 Uprising.” His work, “Oreum,” installs 30,000 oreum-shaped pinwheel lights on a large field of 20,000 square meters.
The 97 circles of light demonstrate the process of life awakening in the oreum, connecting the flow of light through each circle. Munro describes it as “sewing the seeds of light on the tea field.” The process involved multiple tests, as “the pinwheels must not fly away in the strong winds of Jeju.” Munro used pinwheels because he was inspired by the signature gusts when he visited Jeju for the first time in 2014.
Using recycled water bottles, he built 49 water towers (1.3mx2.1m/tower) to symbolize Jeju’s water and the strength of haenyeo. The circular construction expresses the stability and peace for communication and connection between people. The author wants to relay “the message of healing and forgiveness.”
Munro remarked, “Art has the power and space to change. We have to create a better world together, and I believe art can make it possible.” Since the 1990s, he has focused on using large-scale light installations and became well known for using huge immersing installations. His work was selected by CNN as one of the 10 most beautiful exhibitions, and by Vogue as the must-watch exhibit.
▲ On a large 20,000 square meter field, 30,000 oreum-shaped pinwheel lights express the wind for peace.
His works are exhibited in the top museums in the world, including Oxford’s Ashmolean, the oldest public museum in the UK. Munro added, “When you see my art, your frontal lobes will be activated to maximize the emotions. Just enjoy them with your family or friends.
My art will shine brightly like hope in the dark to console your heart.”
Munro’s works have been showcased in numerous world-class museums and botanical gardens, such as Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Waddeson Manor for the Rothchild Collection in Buckinghamshire, and Sotheby’s Beyond Limits 2016 at Chatsworth House. His major work, “Field of Light,” was exhibited in Uluru, Australia, until March. Munro is preparing a permanent exhibition called “Moon Blooms” in September for Bicester Shopping Village in Oxfordshire.
At Jeju LAF, six globally famous artists including Bruce Munro will present 14 works. Chairman Moon Yi-sik at Art Flash, the host and the organizer of Jeju LAF, said “With eco and tech contents that fuse together the nature, cultural arts, and cutting-edge technologies of Jeju, we hope to satisfy the visitors from all over the world who visit the Jeju LAF.”
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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