Arario Gallery is pleased to present Forêt, a group exhibition featuring works by artists who participated in this year's Art Basel Hong Kong and Frieze New York OVR featuring works from the early 70s by central figures of Korean modern art, such as UM Tai-Jung and CHOI Byungso; contemporary drawings by NOH Sangho, who recently joined Arario Gallery; sculptures by Kohei NAWA, one of Japan's leading sculptors; and a painting by Christoph RUCKHÄBERLE, a member of the New Leipzig School, Germany. The exhibition transcends time and space through the presentation of modern and contemporary works by 14 artists.
The title of the exhibition Forêt derives from KIM Soun-Gui's photographic work Forêt (of which the first edition is placed in the Centre Pompidou collection). As a forest reveals itself by embracing the codependency and diversity of the various living organisms within its ecosystem, modern art, and anything we call contemporary art, reveals itself in the works of artists. Contemporary art has a specific flow from country to country, which embraces yet another stream of institutions and galleries specific to each nation. The identity of such art museums and galleries is formed by the gathering of represented artists and artworks. This exhibition brings together the artists who not only have worked with Arario Gallery to present their respective diversity, but also implement the values pursued by Arario Gallery, including 'experimental spirit', 'art historical presentation', and 'new experimentation' of works.
In the exhibition, Birds of Heaven, which UM Tai-Jung—the pioneer of Korean abstract sculpture and the father of metal sculpture—worked on with a desire and challenge to create a new sculpture at the age of 31 in 1969 is presented with Reclining Figure 1 (2020–2021) by GWON Osang, who forged a new realm of photographic sculpture in the 1990s. CHOI Byungso's conceptual photography Untitled 9750000-2 (1975/2020), which was exhibited at the Daegu Contemporary Art Festival in 1975, will also be shown alongside KIM Soun-Gui's landscape photographs, Forêt 1, Forêt 2 (1998–1999), taken by the artist in a remote French country forest. LEE Jinju's work Unseen (2019), which focuses on the various intimate moments of her experience as a mother, artist, and woman, is in juxtaposition with Monument of Hanbok (1998), an abstraction of the hanbok skirt, symbolically expressing the patience and sorrow of Korean mothers. Kohei NAWA's Ether (2021), which resembles the motion of water dripping, coexists with UM Tai-Jung's CARYATID-85 (1985), inspired by Constantin Brancusi's Endless Column, revealing the meaning of the sculptures going beyond time and space.
Arario Gallery has continued to deal with the values that contemporary art should pursue and the values that artists should pursue with artists from various generations, nationalities, and backgrounds. This exhibition provides an opportunity to reconsider the role and value of art as well as experiencing works of historical, experimental, and individual value.
Press release courtesy Arario Gallery.