Friday, February 3, 2012

Shake Your Eyes and Devote Them to Your Heart

Hong Young In, b. 1972.  Acrylic, embroidery, scenic fabric
Tonight I had a small job at Carnegie Hall but instead of heading downtown I stayed around in midtown, which I usually avoid if I can. It's way too high rise and corporate and the money is obvious, and it's where tourists with no imagination hang out. Wow, that sounded really mean.

 But there was someone in midtown I wanted to meet up with so I wandered into one of the city's more off-the-radar museums, The Museum of Arts and Design, which happened to be open late (and taking donations for admission).  MAD markets itself as blurring the lines between craft and fine art:  you can see the work of contemporary jewelry artists there, but you can't try anything on.

And it happened to be open late.  And it was pay what you wish!

The exhibit I had been reading about was still being installed, so I saw what was available to be seen and was unexpectedly blown away by the second floor exhibiting the work of Korean artists. I've never thought much about what the contemporary art scene might be in (South) Korea, but it wasn't austere or minimalist, like the Japanese art up on the third-floor of the museum (it was often wry, ironic, and funny--playing with and twisting Asian tropes), and I'm sitting here typing this filled with longing to go to Korea suddenly to find out more--a place that would be usually near the bottom of my list as possible destinations. And there's no good reason for that.

I sat in the lobby, my feet hurting from the brown boots I had chosen to look nice for an earlier event, and leaned my head against the springy wire bars keeping me from tumbling backwards into a stairwell.   Today is Gertrude Stein's birthday, but I'm going to reference and revise one of her hangers-on, Hemingway, when I say that I was grateful to have a free, clean well-lit place to sit.

Other stuff there:  some vintage, downtown arts videos and movies.  They've had all this no wave cinema stuff up here and I didn't even know it.   Midtown's cooler than I thought.  Speaking of which, the review of the Debbie Harry concert will be here tomorrow.   I just have a few things to say.
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"Handle,"  Lee Dong Wook.  Metal, plastic modeling material
"Shake Your Eyes and Devote Them to Your Heart"  Inbai Kim, b. 1978.  Medium-density fiber board, plaster, wood


  1. i was just picturing you wandering around midtown. cute! my friend, a painter and cook, is obsessed with korea. she had a show there last year and then hosted a show of korean women artists in the northwest. she watches korean drama on dvd and has gotten me to watch with her. it's pretty good stuff. and she makes a fantastic korean pancake. guest blogger?

  2. also, i really like the textile piece and the shake of your eyes piece. they look powerful even in a tiny little blog pic.