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The Part In The Story Where Our Accumulating Dust Becomes A Mountain

The Part In The Story Where Our Accumulating Dust Becomes A Mountain

Dec 7, 2023 - Mar 3, 2024

61, Deoksugung-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, 04515, Rep. of KOREA

FREE

Weekdays (Tue–Fri) 10am - 8pm
Sat· Sun · Public Holidays
- Summer (Mar-Oct) 10am - 7pm
- Winter (Nov-Feb) 10am - 6pm
The last Wednesday of each month 10am - 10pm
Closed day 01.01

Dear all,

I write my first letter to you all, whom I have always anticipated in my thoughts. Seeing an exhibition, visiting an art museum―what does this mean to you? I am aware that each of you may have your different reasons for visiting the museum. It’s worth noting, however, that artists and curators produce their artworks and exhibitions with the intention of initiating a dialogue with you. The dialogue, the act of sharing words and thoughts, is particularly important to this exhibition. For this reason, I begin the exhibition with this very intention of speaking to you, of offering you words.

The Part In The Story Where Our Accumulating Dust Becomes A Mountain is an exhibition that considers the role of contemporary art museums within the context of ‘sharing’, the 2023 institutional agenda of Seoul Museum of Art. Traditionally, art museums have functioned as spaces for collecting, researching and exhibiting artworks. Today, however, museums are transforming into social spaces that build shared experience and collective values through engagement with diverse clusters of people. The ideas towards the relationship such as ‘mutuality’ and ‘interconnectedness’ become important values for museum activities. Sharing, which involves distributing what one owns, necessitates the presence of others. It is in this sense that sharing becomes a value that helps us reconsider the practice of contemporary art museums that place ‘relationships’ at its core. What, then, do we share in the museum, and with whom?

The Part In The Story Where Our Accumulating Dust Becomes A Mountain brings collections―the museum’s representative public resources― to the centre of sharing. It is a place for us to encounter and speak with each other, holding as its starting point the collections of three institutions: Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA), Singapore Art Museum (SAM) and the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA). Sharing, as practised by the art museum, is a journey to find common ground amidst misunderstandings, differences and surprises within unexpected encounters, thereby reconfiguring our own respective bounds of knowledge along the way. As such, the artworks in this exhibition go beyond objects of appreciation and instead become tools and catalysts that connect and intertwine our varying ways of life, creating a new practice of sharing.

This exhibition utilises action-words to imagine the movements that must take precedence when we attempt to practise sharing in the art museum, and more broadly, within life. The work of facing someone beyond my comfort zone (love-ing), the will to understand the language of an other (translate-ing), the process of discovering and forming a relationship with meanings beyond language (abstract-ing and silence-ing), the movements to build collective experiences and senses (statue-ing), the practice of connecting such movements in various directions (island-ing) and the attempt to thereby create new shapes (webbed-ing)―all of these unfold within a network of specific situations, movements and artworks. You may follow this chain of practice among the artworks or re-examine the meaning of sharing as you reconstruct your own relational network. Through these artworks, we encounter novel situations and share conversations, deliberating on and devising movements of common practice.

Only when we meet, we can truly learn how to share with one another and what we can produce together. The Part In the Story Where Our Accumulating Dust Becomes A Mountain proposes various situations and gatherings, through which I hope to build the meaning of ‘sharing’ together with you. This exhibition, therefore, takes time and relies on your continued participation. Slowly following the forms of practises each driven by the artworks, I hope you can reflect on what can be shared and collaboratively produced within the art museum, and to contemplate the significance of this exhibition itself, which embodies the very essence of sharing.

With participating artist Amanda Heng’s work title, I will end this letter here for now.

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