The Korea Herald


Language of design reinterpreted

MMCA exhibition sheds light on understanding the language of inanimate objects

By Korea Herald

Published : Aug. 22, 2013 - 19:38

    • Link copied

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea is holding a one-of-a-kind exhibition titled “Design: Another Language,” which attempts to capture and interpret the language behind the concept of design within contemporary art.

At the recently opened design exhibition, visitors can see around 100 carefully selected pieces related to the realm of design including graphic design, furniture design, advertisement and fashion design. 
“Trace-Mirror” by Kim Hee-won. (MMCA) “Trace-Mirror” by Kim Hee-won. (MMCA)

The exhibition highlights a group of artists and their attempts at recreating everyday objects into a new sculptural language. “Design: Another Language” features works by 10 Korean designers: Koh Man-ki, Na Kim, Kim Han-gyu, Kim Hee-won, Park Won-min, Lee Eun-jae, Lee Jung-eun, Jeski, Jackson Hong and Choi Jung-you. All are new, up-and-coming designers who have been attracting a considerable amount of attention from the international design community this year.

Na Kim, a graphic/typographic designer, designed and sculpted “Table A,” which was created based on the measurements of a standard-size sheet of paper. The artist views the so-called “standard form” from a new and rather unfamiliar perspective. She proposes that her work “Table A” implies a new function as the standard dimension enables people to go beyond a lifestyle with guidelines, find new functions and apply them to their everyday lives.

Designer Kim Hee-won has produced an interactive mirror by integrating different interior images within it through sensors and photos. With this piece, the artist tries to capture the essence of fleeting time and space through reminiscing. 
“Slash Chair” by Jackson Hong (MMCA) “Slash Chair” by Jackson Hong (MMCA)

Former automobile designer Jackson Hong uses lounge chairs to convey his messages regarding the meanings and language that can be derived from pieces of furniture. Made of thin steel sheets measuring 1.6 mm in thickness, “Slash Chair” consists of chairs placed in a lounge area and is inspired by the slash punctuation mark. The furniture’s structure and content derive from the slash mark’s diagonal form.

Through the “Design: Another Language” exhibition, visitors will be able to appreciate these artists’ unique processes of reinterpreting everyday objects that might otherwise be considered overly familiar or dead objects, and turning them into novel design items.

The exhibition is free and will be held through Feb. 23 next year. It is currently displayed at the newly opened Design Permanent Exhibition Hall, on the second floor of Gwacheon Hall at the MMCA in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province.

By Julie Jackson (