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David Claerbout in The Nature of Art

The exhibition, ⟪The Nature of Art⟫ wishes to offer experiences of healing and consolation for us living in the era of depression not to be lost and continue on with our journey.

The COVID-19 pandemic known as a great disaster in the history of humankind has caused traumatic effects in the current era beyond national borders. The normal ways of doing things have been constrained all of a sudden, making us adapt fast to the new demands of the current times. Our desperate wish for things to turn around is not likely to be addressed so soon.

The post-corona world has been described as the irony of neo-liberalism, a curse borne out by climate change and destruction of civilizations. Anxiety, fear and frustration have substituted the place of the human spirit. Meanwhile, this disastrous situation has become an opportunity for us to diagnose the ironies of the social system and predict the new era to come. As historian Yuval Harari noted, “We must allow ourselves to have a dream. It is a time to execute belated reforms and also correct the structures of injustice.”

Genuine consolation and healing may not be easily achieved amid the current tragedy of the pandemic. And yet, we are to encounter the art, contemplate on ourselves, and broaden our horizons for sensations in the tragic times.

I ruminate about something deep upon encountering art: what are some of the facets of humankind?; how is the vitality of the land in a symbiotic relationship with us wriggling?; and how should our lives be led anew?

This exhibition consists of three sections: “Imagine from Today.” It enables structural ironies of the world to be projected, and imagination driven suggestions for the future to be listened to. The second section is “Contemplate from Emptiness” to share the sounds of the nature in foreign lands in real time and liberate a restricted body. Another piece of art is to pay condolences for those who passed away in solitude due to the disaster, and their family. The last section is “Empowered by Mother Nature,” giving courage for us to move forward into a new world.

Artists do not turn against the world even in the times of tragedy, but take steps forward to move on. And right now, they would console us in a saddening, yet beautiful manner.

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