Special Exhibition of Outstanding Galleries 2022, titled Dialogue, is a project presented as a part of a report on the achievements of the Grant for Artist Management program sponsored by the Korea Arts Management Service. The objective of the program, which launched in 2019, is to continuously support creative activities of visual artists and establish an environment of virtuous circulation for galleries through which they can discover and promote promising artists. Every year, the Grant for Artist Management program presents works of select artists through the Special Exhibition of Outstanding Galleries, which is an extension of the program. Nine outstanding galleries and 17 artists selected for the program in 2021 have been invited to exhibit 80 some works ranging from painting and photography to media and installation in Dialogue, which is open for one month, from October 12 to November 9, at the Glass Haus on the 7th floor of the Hyundai Department Store, Mokdong.
Dialogue is the third exhibition presented by the Grant for Artist Management program. This year’s exhibition overcomes the physical limitations of past exhibitions held amidst the pandemic and focuses on the individual stories of 17 artists through the organic communication between artists, galleries, curators, and collectors, rather than presenting a single artistic discourse. Through paired artist-curator interviews, we ensured that the philosophy of each artist reaches the audience more clearly. Curators participating in this project include Taehyun Kwon, Sun A Moon, Jaeho Shim, Annette Doms, Jinsang Yoo, Sunghui Lee, Sookhyun Cho, and Sungah Choo. Daehyung Lee, Artistic Director of Dialogue, interviews directors of the nine named galleries to shed light on their visions and philosophies as well as discuss future strategies to strengthen global competitiveness.
Rather than working with a specific theme, this year’s exhibition experiments with various formats and communication methods between artists, galleries, and curators to think about the values an exhibition in the form of an art fair can present. Superficially, the exhibition shows antinomic and contradictory combinations, but on the reverse side, we see social and environmental practice for a sustainable future. Dialogue is a special exhibition of works by 17 select artists, but the exhibited works are also available for purchase. For this reason, a space in a department store has been selected in place of a museum gallery space for the exhibition, and the works are installed on steel palette racks suitable for product display and storage at warehouse stores. A portion of profits from artwork sales will be donated to institutions specified by the participating artists.
Ultimately, Dialogue examines the direction at which added values created by art exhibitions can point to in a society. The scope of audience consuming and enjoying art will be expanded through this break away from the traditional gallery space, and the steel palette racks used for display will be recycled to serve a different purpose unlike panel walls that are discarded upon exhibition closing. This exhibition reflects on what art can do at the intersection of art and society. We hope that this exhibition will truly deliver on upholding the social values that art must rightly observe.