The pop-up store opening on Monday night at The Selects showroom featured over 50 different Korean designers and artists, who each contributed an art piece reinterpreting the concept of packaging, or, “covering.”
The exhibit, hosted in a white minimalist industrial dream of a showroom, is expansive in both concept and medium. Bojagi, traditional Korean wrapping cloths, printed with photographs and drawings hang like flags at eye level and above. Rolls of packing tape and bubble wrap are arranged on bare white displays. Screens playing colorful neon fever dreams hang on the walls. Along the back wall, you can see ten different curious articles of clothing posed on mannequin pieces.
Attendees circulate around the exhibit sipping soju-based lychee drinks, pausing to listen to a video art piece or examine a scarf. You could spend a while here immersing yourself in the multimedia installments and browsing the tour guide website which has entries for each artwork. The exhibit is designed to hold your attention. It invites viewers to interact with and learn about the art.
The exhibit explores new ways to engage with art in accessible and functional ways. For example, the packing tape posed on the ground is printed with images created by a famous graphic designer, suggesting we put the art to use rather than preserve it behind a pane of glass. Many of the Bojagi on display have also been folded into packages and hung around the room.
“Covered” taps into the well-trod concepts of art in consumerism and vice versa and assumes no spectrum between form and function. Many of these questions (Can you wear art? Can art be functional?) have already been thoroughly batted around, but the exhibit revisits them with a fresh aesthetic. The exhibit takes a mostly exploratory tone to these questions, but seems to have a stronger stance on how consumerism and convenience affects our engagement with art – 22 of the exhibit’s digital art pieces can be bought via a snack machine onsite.
Like the vending machine, dubbed the “Digital Snack,” The Selects and CAVA aim to provide greater accessibility to the work of up-and-coming Korean designers and artists. The Selects represents the ten promising Korean fashion designers who created the “Covered” clothing series lining the back wall of the gallery. They provide sales, PR, and marketing services for the designers and host special events, pop-stores, artistic collaborations, and other events at their Soho space. CAVA is an art commerce group that fosters collaboration between over 96 select artists and provides an online platform to sell their work. The two groups worked in partnership to create “Covered.”
The “Covered” exhibit is open to the public until November 22nd at 62 Greene Street.