I recently discovered that I LOVE the city of Busan, South Korea. There are many reasons for this. The food. The fact that it’s a harbour city. The most spectacular one hour fireworks show that happened to be taking place the weekend I was there. I could go on and on. But I particularly loved the arts and culture scene of Busan. This is a city that takes art seriously, and its appreciation for art could be seen everywhere, including the abundant art museums that were on offer.
One of these museums was Museum 1, a contemporary art museum specializing in media and digital art. Needless to say I made sure to put it on my itinerary, and it did not disappoint. I spent several hours taking in the two floors of exhibition space and the dozens of artists on display. However, my favourite section was the main room in the centre of the building. This is where a gigantic screen that encompassed both the far wall and the floor was used to showcase the work of Kim Yong Min. There were over a dozen short films being projected one after another, and I stayed and watched them all. They were all visually fascinating and/or beautiful. But they also had something important to say, and Kim Yong Min is incredibly talented at getting this social commentary across.
One of my favourite pieces was a virtual rendering of a rollercoaster ride through a hellscape of environmental wasteland. It was appropriately titled The Last Amusement Park, and it was amazing. But my favourite in terms of the sheer beauty of the images was Red Dawn. As the scene above unfolded before my eyes, it quite literally took my breath away. It was that beautiful.
If you find yourself in Busan in the near future, please be sure to add Museum 1 to your list of places to visit. And if you’re not going to be in Busan in the near future, start planning that trip. Busan is an incredible city and I can’t wait to go back.
Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!