MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2018: CHOIJEONGHWA – Blooming Matrix

5 September 2018–10 February 2019

Exhibition Overview


CHOIJEONGHWA, Dandelion, 2018, Used Kitchenware, Steel structure, 9MØ.

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art will present MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2018: CHOIJEONGHWA - Blooming Matrix from Wednesday, 5 September through Sunday, 10 February 2019, in Museum Madang and Gallery 5 of MMCA Seoul.

Artist CHOIJEONGHWA(b. 1961) works in a wide range of installations utilizing common, cheap, or discarded goods from everyday life, such as plastic baskets, piggy banks, brooms, and balloons. Choi's methodology gives everyday consumable goods new life as works of art, breaking the boundary between high-end art and popular culture. Choi’s work is a metaphor for post-1990s Korean society, borne of rapid economic growth.

CHOIJEONGHWA's works were featured in such group exhibitions as Museum (1987), Sunday Seoul (1990), and Show Show Show (1992). Throughout the 1990s, Choi designed spaces for youth that blended food, music, exhibitions, performances, and seminars: Bar Ollo Ollo (1990), Space Ozone (1991), and SAL Bar (1996) and Ggool(2010). Surrounded by Korean consumer culture, which underwent dynamic changes in the 1990s, CHOIJEONGHWA drew the club scene and popular culture into art, thereby weaving an intimate relationship between contemporary art and popular culture. The unique sculpting principles of the artist, who deciphered an era, were unfettered by mainstream discourses, which were polarized between Minjung art and Modernism. The artist not only expanded the limits of contemporary Korean art, but also garnered attention in the international arena for works that captured both regionality and universality.

Along with the eponymous piece Blooming Matrix, this exhibition presents Dandelion, Blooming Matrix, Ice Flower, and Young Flower. Each work is a manifestation of the artist's intention to give meaning to objects that have lost their functions and sublimate them into art. Working in wood, steel, and cloth in addition to plastic, which has been representative of his work thus far, the artist reveals an expanded materiality of objects. Blooming Matrix is a spatial installation wherein the artist brings together objects that he has collected from different places to exist in harmony. Through a forest of some 120 erect towers of flowers, in a space where light and darkness contrast, the artist blends time and space and connects heaven and earth, transforming the gallery into a space of silence and memory.

(Courtesy of MMCA Seoul.)

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