Dialogue : Mind Map
DIALOGUE: Mind Map, a Special Exhibition of Outstanding Galleries 2023, showcases 13 promising Korean contemporary artists selected through the Grant for Artist Management program. This exhibition marks its 4th anniversary this year and was planned as a non-linear response to numerous linear analyses and projections discussing the crisis and opportunities of Korean art in light of the international trend in which Korean contemporary art is gaining attention. There have been a variety of interpretations of the quantitative expansion of the Korean contemporary art market at present, resulting from the arrival of mega art fairs and the influx of international galleries. Dialogue: Mind Map focuses on the method of visualizing data that supports such diverse interpretations.
The exhibition operates on the premise that if analyses and estimates of the art market are expressed through graphs and charts, which are linear tools, then interpretation and exploration of artists and their art worlds require other visual means. Market dynamics, rooted in numbers and data, are delineated using graphs and charts. These tools lay out the data in a structured and systematic manner, revealing linear relationships such as trends, shifts, and anomalies among varied variables. As such, what are the visual tools available for interpreting the artist’s artistic world and philosophy? This exhibition employs the “Mind Map” for this visual portrayal. Mind maps exhibit nonlinear characteristics with no limitations as to directionality and causality, and they contain iconographic features that organically link various concepts or ideas in a segmented manner. Furthermore, a mind map may consist of a series of outliers, which are combined into one conceptual structure. The segmented elements may not appear to be related causally, but upon closer inspection, a hidden link or relationship may be revealed.
DIALOGUE: Mind Map utilizes the visual characteristics and structural elements of these mind maps to observe the artists’ artistic spheres. Byun Sang Hwan, Choi Euncheol, Choi Hyesook, Jeong Zik Seong, Jo Jong Sung, Kim Gemini, Lee Fi Jae, Lee Jungmin, Min Sunghong, Park Ju Ae, Rhee Donghoon, Shin Junmin, Yang Jung Hwa participate in the exhibition and showcase more than 80 pieces of their paintings, media, sculptures, and installation works. Additionally, as a tool for exploring the world of their art, “mind maps” written by the participating artists are placed together in the exhibition. These maps disclose the artists’ inner narratives, detailing their artistic inspirations, interests, and personal reflections. The audience can thus navigate the intricate networks and ties concealed within the artists’ ideation processes and artistic domains in a non-linear manner. This approach fosters a deeper understanding of transcending mere data enumeration and affords the opportunity to perceive the artists’ universe through a more multi-layered lens. This exhibition is intended to work as a number of interpretations that explore the individual stories of each participating artist through the use of a visual tool called a mind map, as well as allow the viewer to gain a deeper understanding of their artistic philosophy.