Thursday, December 29, 2011

David LaChapelle @ SAC



There is an exceptional contemporary art show going on at the Seoul Arts Center featuring the photographic works of David LaChapelle. If you have ever seen the above photo at some time in your life than you might recognize other works such as:
(source) " Britney Spears: Portrait of a Young Pop Star on the Verge of Success" 1999

If not then let me reassure you that you likely have seen other works by him, as he was popular for a while creating over-the-top pop star shots.

But the show at the SAC is more like a retrospective than a showcase and through the weaving gallery path, you are taken through his most iconic works to ones that show his struggle with certain themes. Also there is a video screening room where you can see how he creates his photographs in a very artsy-video kind of way.


Overall, it is a must see show and I advise you to leave any conservative values you might have about full frontal nudity (both male and female) at home. Indeed, you are in store for some very blazon photography that is more satisfying to look at than just ordinary pictures of nudity. (Whatever those may be.. ;) 

In fact, the most enjoyable part of the show is watching other people look at the works. When I first came in there was a group of highschoolers, on a tour. After their guided introduction, they were allowed to walk around. Mostly the first set of works to see are large prints of celebreties in full nude or partially nude spreads. There were sheepish grins by boys and bugged-eyes by girls to be seen on their young faces.

But the rest of the show starts to calm down a bit from the overtly sexual and gets more into a refection of our contemporary world.

(source) "The House at the End of the World" 2005 

Clearly you start to get into his "world" and due to the large scale of each photograph start to see details and imagery that is definitely iconic and was not haphazardly placed. For the most part, his photographs, are stages that he created while using props and popular objects.  Spotting a loaf of Wonder Bread or a Taco Bell cup, is just a few examples of hidden pop-cultural items in some of his works.

For the most part you get a sense of the world as one run by popular culture and at the same time trashed by it. You leave feeling a connection to something greater but also a little bit more twisted. 

Again I highly recommend you get off your butt and get out to this show, as in my opinion, contemporary works such as these are not too often brought to Korea as they should be. Bring your date, wife or hubby and have a good thorough conversation afterwards. 

The SAC is located in the Seocho area of Seoul near the Nambu Bus Terminal or Line #3.
Take exit 5 and turn left at the nearest street crossing. Follow this uphill and slighty jeering path. You then find yourself atop a large road and across from you is the structure known as the SAC. Turn right and head towards the major crosswalk. 

The David LaChapelle show costs 13,000 won for regular adults and you buy tickets downstairs at the ticket kiosk area. Then you go upstairs to the Hangaram Design Museum, and proceed. 

There are several cafes within the SAC, some offering expensive morsels to dine on and others coffee and small sandwiches. Across the street is a Starbucks and CoffineGaru...(whatever it is called). Also along that crooked path to the SAC was spotted a cutesy cafe with a sign promising "panninis". Maybe check that out as well. 

Anyways, this cold season is good for warming up in a gallery or museum, so why not see this show? Certainly some of the more sensational photos might get you a little steamy. ;)

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