25 Photos - Dec 23, 2012
Photo: "Tall Tree and the Eye (2009)" - This work was inspired by the poem cycle Sonnets to Orpheus by the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Based on the myth of Orpheus, Rilke's sonnets are powerfully shaped by the poet's own imagination, and full of conflicting images of life and death, reality and myth, this life and next. The title is borrowed from Rilke's lines praising Orpheus for playing the lyre with such skill that even the trees extend themselves to become taller and higher. Comprised of dozens of mirror-like stainless glass steel spheres, the work itself becomes an eye that reflects images endlessly, lavishing meaning on the work and enriching the relationship between the viewer and the viewed.

Due to the snowing condition, outdoor exhibition was out of bound. In a way, I am glad that it was so. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to take this photograph, quite possible one of my favorite ones from our holiday trip to Korea.Photo: This is our second attempt to visit Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art. It was closed on Monday (guidebook needs an update!)

Emerging from the subway station, Cynthia and I were greeted with falling snow, as predicted by the Jeonju tour guide yestserday.Photo: For the permanent exhibition in Leeum, photo-taking is not allowed. Hence, I took a picture of the staircase for memory instead.Photo: A very cute exhibition piece at the lobby of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art. This is Takashi Murakami's work based on the Japanese sub-culture and its "Otaku" generation.

The three - I think - are called Saki, Max, and Simon. They are the main characters in his animation film "Jellyfish Eyes".Photo: Behind us is the special exhibition of Anish Kapoor where photography is allowed.Photo: While I was still obsessed with taking picture of this bizarre reflective bowl, Cynthia has moved onto the next piece.Photo: Title of this piece of art is "To Reflect an Intimate Part of the Red (1981)". Inspired by colorful pigments used in rituals and festivals in Hindu temples, this is one of Anish Kapoor's series of pigment works. The forms (of this piece) appear to have sprouted organically from the ground; like the tip of an iceberg, they allude powerfully to an invisible world beneath.Photo: "Mirror mirror on the wall, tell me who's the h- ..."Photo: Title of this piece is "Yellow (1999)". It is a six-meter-square sculpture, a monochromatic painting: a negative form of sculpture, merging art and architecture, art work and the wall on which it hangs. In front of this huge, radiantly colorful work, the viewer experiences an awe-inspiring sense of the sublime  accessing a new world of consciousness beyond the boundaries of artistic convention.

No wonder I stood in front of "Yellow" for so long.Photo: Here is another angle to look at "Yellow".Photo: This one is called "When I am Pregnant (1992). Its concave, dome-like structure is a potent metaphor: as a space of creation and birth. It suggests both the female womb and the curvature of maternal breasts in negative.

To make this sculpture more visible, in the next photograph, I am going to apply digital filters that enhance the curvature.Photo: This is an image enhanced version of "When I am Pregnant (1992)" so as to make the curvature of this sculpture more visible.Photo: To demonstrate the size of "Cave", I deliberately took this photograph with two Korean museum agents.Photo: This piece - "Cave (2012)" - is one large indoor exhibition. It is Kapoor's most recent Cor-Ten steel work. A massive oval steel structure weighing 13 tons is balanced on top of an iron rod. The resulting form  which appears to be perched lightly on the ground - overturns the viewer's usual conception of weight and balance and one feels uneasy in front of it. Despite the fact that the work itself has a rough finish, with a very tangible materiality, it has a subtle psychological impact. A shadow is cast over the heads of those standing before it, which inspires in the viewer a paradoxical mixture of excitement and fear.

As a viewer, it is a pretty massive. And it took a lot, a lot of patience (and my pretending to walk around) to wait for the waves of people to disperse.Photo: The title of this one is "Untitled". The surface of the sculpture is covered with a dark blow powdered pigment that absorbs light, creating a deep blue abyss who depth is impossible to gauge. As the sculptural recess expands visually, transcending the limitations of the space's physical depth and giving the illusion of infinite space, the viewer experiences a profound sense of awe in the face of the sublime.Photo: I don't know what this is. It is crafted high up on an empty wall. There was a Japanese tour guide spending a considerable amount of time in front of a crowd talking about this sculpture. It must mean something for sure. A profound sense of awe in the face of the sublime?Photo: This one is called "My Body Your Body (1999)". Similar to other pieces by Anish Kapoor, it has a void inserted onto the wall. At the center of the piece is a deep, narrow, funnel-like cavity entering the wall. Slowly sinking into its red pigmented surface, the darkness of the central hole powerfully though abstractly reminds the viewer of the pores and vessels that link our internal organs.

Man, that is intense.Photo: The piece by the wall reminds me of some sort of demonic altar. Very evil looking!Photo: Like the hand of a giant clock, a massive hammer slowly makes one rotation around a circular vat of red-pigmented wax, scraping and reshaping its surface in the hammer's path to produce a vast, continually changing sculpture in red wax.Photo: "My Red Homeland (2003)" is as if the work reflects in constricted form the cyclical order of the universe, wherein destruction and creation coexist.Photo: "My Red Homeland" is one of Kapoor's auto-generated works. The work appears to be self-created rather than being completed by the hands of the artist. A metaphor for the universal homeland, an organic place of creation and birth.Photo: That means because of this massive moving hammer and the ever changing red-pigmented wax, "My Red Homeland" would look subtly different every time you look at it.Photo: Some visitors may miss this piece of art by Anish Kapoor hanging on the wall at a dead end by the exit.Photo: You can probably guess where I stood (in the middle). Can you spot Cynthia? Encounter of the Third Kind!Photo: When we finished our visit to Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, the snowing intensified causing chaos on the street. The road was slippery. To take this picture, first I needed to find a shelter to hide (water is bad for camera!) Next, Cynthia needed to get out into the snow, pose, and smile while waiting for me to work my magic with the camera.

Fun time we had.