Here’s Looking at You, Candy

Insa Art Center, Seoul

Early one evening, I was on my way to the Artsonje Center where the opening of freaky conceptualist KIM Beom‘s new show was about to take place. I took a detour through Insadong-gil, though, and found myself in front of the Insa Art Center, what seems to be a rentable gallery space—kind of like the Art Center Berlin that hosted an exhibition of North Korean paintings in 2008 (see my review).

Namjoo WOO: Good-Bye My LonelinessGerman philosopher Odo Marquard wrote: “Me, I do not collect—I just do not throw anything away.” (910) And who does? Well, Namjoo WOO (우남주) aka Dakini not only keeps some things, she also wraps them in cellophane foil and mounts them from the ceiling. I take a look around her room-size installation “Good-Bye My Loneliness” that re-unites some of the material substrata of her life in Europe.

First circling  around, then (no one is looking at me?) I finally enter the glittering world of things past—books, records, video tapes, drawings, concert tickets, postcards, clothes etc.—, trying not to touch a thing, without success, obviously. It is old stuff, anyway, I think, as I sneek through this enchanted forest of rotating packages while taking some pictures—just for you:

Namjoo WOO - Good-Bye My Loneliness

Namjoo WOO - Good-Bye My LonelinessNamjoo WOO - Good-Bye My LonelinessNamjoo WOO - Good-Bye My LonelinessNamjoo WOO - Good-Bye My Loneliness

Namjoo WOO - Good-Bye My Loneliness

Namjoo WOO - Good-Bye My Loneliness

It is a strange feeling passing between those souvenirs kept fresh by non-clinging foil. Many individual objects evoke my own memories (…we’ll always have Paris). Some others suggest that the artist-cum-nostalgic-messie identifies with certain countercultural currents long history (…in a coat he borrowed from James Dean). When browsing through the things we left—not behind, but above—, we are doomed to strike some chords of this fragile mobile.

In any case I am lucky not to have missed this trip down that rocky lane, as the exhibition is on show only for a week—here today, gone tomorrow, just like me in this short month of May. I leave (typo: live) in a hurry, not without signing the guest book guarded by a guy almost sleeping. There is an expiration date to everything, not only to love and pineapple. Sometimes I just forget.

(If you do, too, this might help…)

— 14 May 2010 (金)


About Jan Creutzenberg

Jan Creutzenberg, friend of theatre, music, and cinema, comments on his performative experiences in Seoul and elsewhere.
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2 Responses to Here’s Looking at You, Candy

  1. Hilary says:

    Wow Jan! You are a fantastic writer. I look forward to more entries.

  2. Glad you enjoy — there’s more to come, only very slowly (e.g. about the Red Rockets and their fabulous hula hoop contest ;-). I’d love to see a piano performance of yours someday, though…

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