Earlier this year I produced an art exhibition for Gomsil Forest—a real live Korean forest that Suhee and I have been friends with for some time. In preparation for the exhibition, Gomsil Forest spent an entire year creating works on canvas; these works were subsequently mounted in an exhibition “Forest is the Artist” at PlaceMAK gallery in Seoul.
Two works were acquired during the exhibition, one of them by a farmer who lives in the small town of Gurye, at the foot of Jirisan National Park. Her reason for buying the work was “so Gomsil Forest and Jirisan Forest can have a conversation.”
We were curious what that meant.
This past month we payed a visit to see the artwork in its new home in Gurye, and to see what exactly the farmer meant in saying she wanted the two forests to “have a conversation.”
On arrival to her home in a small hillside village, we immediately understood. The place the farmer chose to hang the artwork was beautiful. The work is not inside a climate-controlled museum.
It’s not even in a building at all.
The work hangs outside, next to where the dogs sleep, where it is treated to a nice view of the local Jirisan Forest.
Quite a nice sentiment by this farmer/curator, and I feel it’s probably a situation that Gomsil would appreciate. Now a collaboration of sorts, the work continues in its own way by Jirisan, a constant state of transformation.
At the end of the visit, we all decided to affectionately call this place the Gurye Contemporary Art Museum (GCAM).
If you are curious to learn more about Forest is the Artist, there is a short film about the exhibition available on the City as Nature YouTube channel.