Humanity is ill. The disease that came abruptly proliferated at a terrifying pace and gave rise to the pandemic, unprecedented in this century. The dystopia in 2020 derived from a small virus of the real world, not extraterrestrials or robots, nor a theological being. The origin is unclear, but what is certain is that this unwelcomed visitor is already a part of the world that we will endure. Disease respects no privileges. The human body is feeble; it easily heats up when an unknown virus infiltrates. Thus, the temperature became a sign of infection. The standard for high fever is approximately 38°C, entrance to public spaces is restricted for those whose body temperature exceeds it.
People worldwide are focusing on the body - people isolate themselves to protect it, and sensitively react to symptoms. With limits on physical activities, virtual reality has expanded. As time spent alone increased, interest in the inner world grew as well. We, who have been tirelessly chasing individual values, all together came to a stop. Only now, we look around our surroundings. The dangerous temperature, 38°C, is also the most comfortable bath water temperature one feels. Suddenly, we are humbled as minuscule beings in an immense world. Envision the environment with infinite bounds and depth that has been embracing the human body. This exhibition's objective is to contemplate the relationship between humanity and the world anew, using the pandemic era as an opportunity. Centering around the Hakgojae collection, this exhibition scopes on both Korean and international contemporary artists' works in four categories; body, mind, matter, and nature.
Excerpt from "38℃" | Miran Park · Curator, Exhibition Director at Hakgojae Gallery