Haein Art Project: Tong

When 23 Sep - 6 Nov 2011
Where Haeinsa Temple, Hapcheon-gun

Forum: 22 Sep 2011
Opening: 23 Sep 2011, 12pm
Haein Art Day: 24 Sep 2011

Press Release
This fall Haeinsa Temple will host its first international exhibition of contemporary art featuring thirty-four artists from ten countries. The exhibition commemorates the millennial anniversary of the Tripitaka Koreana, which UNESCO has designated one of the “most important and most complete corpus of Buddhist doctrinal texts in the world.” In 1011 AD during an era of crisis and invasion, the Tripitaka Koreana was first carved as a non-violent movement to unify the people of Korea and stimulate a cultural, social, and economic revival. The 2011 Haein Art Project attempts to follow this spirit by illustrating a unique synthesis of seemingly disparate ideologies through a new form of creative communication beyond language, belief, and nationality.

The exhibition’s title 'Tong' uses the Chinese and Korean character for “link”. The character can also mean a passage, an opening, a deep understanding, or to move through a space. While Tong is an exhibition of international art that may be exemplified by the diversity of its cultural, social, and religious undercurrents, it also demonstrates the fundamental connection that all art and humanity shares— that is the persistent question, “What are we?”

Recent works by the artists as well as artworks commissioned specifically for Haeinsa temple comprise a three-part exhibition under the theme of Tong (Link). From the Seongbo museum, through Gaya Mountain National Park, and within the temple complex, each venue has its own sub-theme examining the open communication of matter, of space, of thoughts.

The Seongbo Museum, normally housing historical artifacts of Korean Buddhism, explores the "Tong of Matter" through Buddhist-influenced works of Bill Viola, two Chinese conceptual art pioneers Zhang Huang and Xu Bing, and eleven others. We can perceive ideas of temporality and cyclical transformation in Zhang Huan’s Haeinsa Buddha, nearly 20 tons of incense ash compressed in a delicate, colossal seated Buddha. Xu Bing’s A Book from the Sky fills the museum’s high-domed top floor with prints and hanging scrolls, directly relating to mystical and historic legacy of the Tripitaka Koreana and Haeinsa Temple.

Following the path towards the main complex, the outdoor exhibition of sculptural and video installations progressively reveals itself to the viewers. In Ahn SungKeum’s split Buddha sculpture, two halves of a Buddha stand separated and the viewer can complete the image by sitting in between. Yu Araki’s Big Numbers invites viewers to discover for themselves the physical extent of the unfathomable quantity of the Tripitaka Koreana. The outdoor works, interdependent on nature, their temple environment, and their viewers, explore the "Tong of Space."
The traditional temple hall of Gugwangru within the gates of Haeinsa’s main complex houses paintings by 12 international artists responding to current social and environmental issues. What kind of harmony can be found among of billions of simultaneous perspectives and expressions? These poignant works collectively traverse the "Tong of Thought."

For more details, please visit haeinart.wordpress.com

Other participating artists: Miya Ando, Magdalena Atria, Bill Viola, Blake Carrington, Rodney Dickson, DMP Architects, Sonam Dolma, Igor & Svetlana Kopistiansky, and Kit Reisch.

Photo courtesy of the organiser

Haein Art Project Association
Haeinsa Temple
44-1 Chiin-ri, Gaya, Hapcheon, 
Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea 678-895
Tel: +82(0)55-934-3175
Email: haeinartproject@gmail.com
Website: www.haeinsa.or.kr / haeinart.wordpress.com


AHN Doojin(안두진)
CHANG Yoonseong(장윤성)
CHOI Chongwoon(최종운)
HONG Buhm(홍범)
JEON Joonho(전준호)
SUN Mu(선 무)
KIM Seongyoun(김성연)
LEE Hyunsuk
Faisal SAMRA
XU Bing(徐冰)
SHI Jing(史晶)
AHN Sungkeum(안성금)
CHO Duckhyun(조덕현)
JANG Heyyeun(장혜연)
MOON Kyungwon(문경원)
KIM Atta(김아타)
KIM Tammy(김태미)
LIM Youngsun(임영선)
WANG Ziwon(왕지원)
YANG Soyoung
ZHANG Huan(張洹)


KIM Yuyeon(김유연)
YOON Jiwoong


Haein Art Project Association, Haeinsa Temple, Hapcheon-gun


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