Sensory Garden: Night Falls, Light Fulls

  • Period 2021.09.01. ~ 2021.12.31.
  • Location Asia Culture Center Hanul Madang & Yeollin Madang

he Curator’s Notes
Gimo Yi (Senior Curator, Asia Culture Institute)
The exhibition Sensory Garden: Night Falls, Light Fulls was designed to provide visitors with the opportunity to take a peaceful walk through the garden without feeling overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has taken over the entire world. I pictured the scene of people being able to escape from the daily lives that had them trapped in their homes and freely taking a walk down the trail at the Asia Culture Center (ACC) while also appreciating the artworks installed along the path when they light up. I wondered how wonderful it would be if they could enjoy the feast that poetry, music, art, and light create with all of their senses.
Therefore, I named the four-thousand-square-meter trail the “Sensory Garden” and requested the artworks of eight contemporary artists and one poet for the garden. I told them the keyword of this exhibition, “flow (or flux),” and suggested creating “site-specific” pieces that can be harmonized with the surroundings. The fire lane stretching down more than a hundred meters, the cooling tower standing next to the road like a signpost from which you can see in all directions, a crape myrtle forest, small and large gardens located between buildings akin to stages that host plays, a spacious sloped lawn, the “Hanul Madang (the sky garden),” a giant roof on top of it, the “Grand Canopy,” and so many different stairs and paths connecting these spaces… I wanted to create harmony between these spaces by offering contemporary artworks that will settle within and inhibit the flow of the trails.
The keyword of this exhibition, flow (or flux), was inspired by the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus who said that “You cannot step into the same river twice.” The meanings of “change” and “creation” that the word implies are big enough to swallow up the universe when looking into their widths and depths. The concept of “change,” which bears uncertainty, is inseparably related to that of the “creation” created in memories and consciousness. It is as if the yin and yang, the light and darkness, and the chaos and order coexist in the keyword.
I woke up one spring day and came up with an idea for a poem after spending the entire night thinking about the title of this exhibition.
As I had already asked Poet Sang-wook Ha, who is famous for poems speaking to 99% of the general public, to hand-pick five poems for this exhibition, I tried to adapt his creative style of filling boxes with words. When drawing the image of the flowing poems which will be projected on the long fire lane for the projection mapping piece, I thought that his box-shaped poems would be the perfect fit for the artwork. It ended up requesting a media art piece that connects the dynamic and delicate design of Sera Yong and poems of Ha. I hope that people who visit the exhibition as a unit of family, couple, or alone will resonate with the artwork and take a precious memory of soaking into the mental picture of the poetic concept with them.
Another three artists present their works on the long fire lane as well. By projecting the 3D images on the walls and floor, Sung Rok Choi and Changhwan Moon guide the visitors towards the visual space. Choi interprets nature at the beginning of the times as a mythical space where light, fire, and water are created and evolved. Moon uses the shape of objects defined as the four pillars of destiny based on Asian traditional philosophy to create a natural landscape with mountains, the ocean, and trees. He tries to make a metaverse with it through the 3D images on the long fire lane. Hyewon Kwon is interested in creating an artificial garden through a “borrowed landscape,” which means incorporating a landscape into a garden. Essentially, the Sensory Garden at the ACC is the product of a “borrowed landscape,” and the artist selected “water” as an element that could be supplemented in the garden. The artwork emanates from the thought of wondering what if the concept of the “borrowed landscape” is adopted to the ecological area that stretches for kilometers from Mudeungsan Mountain, the origin of the Gwangjucheon Stream, to the Yeongsangang River.
The Sensory Garden has elements that respond to not only the visitors’
visual sense but also their olfactory, auditory, and touch senses. Meekyoung Shin, a contemporary artist famous for soap sculptures, portrays “change” and “creation” metaphorically. Installed in early July of this year, her sculpture has indeed been weathered during the rainy season and collapsed on ACC Yeollin Madang (the open garden) like the ruins of an ancient building. The piece gives out a thicker scent every time the wind blows, reminding the visitors of their memories. Shin hopes that the smell can trigger them to remember their past experiences like in the novel À la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past / In Search of Lost Time) by Marcel Proust. Shin believes that the memory of a scent can be the beginning of “creation” for people who are living in the remembered present moments.
Dohahm Oh’s globular installation on Hanul Madang was designed to stimulate the visitors’ auditory and touch senses. I had first laid eyes on the original form of the artwork, which was installed indoors. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I thought it would be nice to bring the piece as it is to a spacious open space with grass. Visitors can walk into the artwork, play their favorite songs on their smartphones via Bluetooth, and throw a DJ performance for unspecified people outside of the piece. Since music can be felt through vibrations as well as sound, the hearing-impaired can also enjoy the songs with other people. I hope that this exhibition can remind visitors how to communicate through music with these newly created pieces.
Ligyung presents a media art piece that embodies the moon in a cozy courtyard caught between buildings. The shape of this moon represents the “change” and “creation” of the moon, which waxes and wanes, while the color represents the change in the color of the moon which includes both the “blue moon” and “blood moon.” During the exhibition, the highest tower near the courtyard and crape myrtle trees that surrounds the area are filled with the color of an emerald which symbolizes robust vitality. This light is an artwork by Ko, Ki Young, which comes up from the inside of the Grand Canopy and rises to the ceiling. The movements of the emerald color are synchronized with music emerging from the project mapping piece and creating harmony between the visual and auditory senses. I hope that the visitors of the Sensory Garden can enjoy the small pleasure of taking a walk and remember the vitality and excitement in their daily lives.



Dohahm OH

〈our Skin Listens〉, 2021.

KO, Ki Young

〈Emerald Light Forest〉, 2021.

Hyewon Kwon

〈How to Borrow a Landscape〉, 2021.

Sung Rok Choi

〈Genesis Canyon〉, 2021.


〈Words Said in Passing〉, 2021.

Changhwan Moon

〈A More Perfect World〉, 2021.

Meekyoung SHIN

〈Fragrance and Nostalgia: Remembrance of Things Past〉, 2021.


〈more Light _ DelightFULL〉, 2021.

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