December 17, 2015

Guest Blogger Sujin Jung Reporting from South-Korea: A Special Dinner Date

This is the fourth story in the fiction art writing series of Seoul art blogger Sujin Jung. To close off the year 2015 Sujin Jung visited an exhibition at DDP and talks about the latest "micro-trends" in art: food, mapping, science, entertainmentism, and Youtubers. 

Today, I have a dinner date. I am planning something special for him as I booked a table at a fancy gourmet restaurant operated by star-chefs or cheftainers (chef + entertainer). This popular restaurant’s name is ‘Art in food’. The restaurant says it is because when many people taste food here, their first impression is ‘This is art!’ This is quite interesting to me. As a person who is working in the art world, ‘art’ doesn’t always means ‘great’ or ‘decent’, it is rather neutral or I would say complicated, and sometimes even bad. Well… I myself use that expression a lot too though… Anyway the name is so true; there is art in food, and also food in art, like 'food artist'. 

Waiter: May I help you? 
She: Yes, today is our special day, so… What would you like to recommend for us tonight?
He: Yes, What is today’s menu?


Waiter: Oh you mean, are you asking what is ‘Today’s organic’? Every day, we recommend one thing under the name of ‘Today’s organic’. Well it could also be called ‘Today’s menu’ like this gentleman says. Here, we consider three things when eating; mentally organic, physically organic, and emotionally organic. And ‘Today’s organic’ is ‘Airplane mode’.

Nowadays, everybody is pursuing ‘organic’ things in their life. In this context, ‘organic’ means well-being, healthy. People are so temperamental. They created the artificial for their well-being in life, and now they want to go back to something raw. The same with art: before, art works refused to be defined, rejecting to be read as only one category, but recently there is a tendency to define everything which is really hard thing to do since everything keeps transforming, expanding, and intercrossing. Well…you know, recently, ‘mapping’, ‘infographic’ has been seen frequently in contemporary art. Well… these kinds of whims might be incomplete tug-of-wars

She: Hmm… Well, today is your day, what do you think, darling?
He: Is ‘Airplane mode’ the name of the food?
Waiter: Yes.
He: Well, we need something more sensational. You know, our contemporaries always need something exciting, mate. 

Chanoh Lee

Waiter: Alright. There is one perfect menu for you contemporaries. It is called TGIF.
She: Oh, what is the ingredient of this food? 
Waiter: Basically, it is a capsule.
He: A capsule? 
Waiter: Yeah, it is the perfect thing for the busy modern man. In this capsule, there are not only materials, but also emotions. If you take this one, actually, you don’t need to go out in search for that Friday mood. Only one capsule. Boom. Finished!
He: Hmm…It sounds like drugs…well, maybe we could say it is similar in that both want to be more and more stimulating but each stimulation lasts only so short…
She: Well…yeah… today’s trend is ‘Micro trendy’! By the way, does it truly work…? 
He: I don’t know… whatever… Is there any decent cuisine?


Waiter: Then…what about this kind of food? 
He: Hmm well…pasta? Fine, not bad… what about you?
She: Yeah, not bad…good haha, let’s just try this, I am so hungry… 
He: By the way, what kind of pasta it is? 
Waiter: It is made by insects. 

Oh… Science and food. Science and art. ‘Convergence’ is the most popular word this year. Especially something that is plus technology. Technology is developed more and more, and it affects our life a lot on all levels like art, design, etc. The most distinguished thing in technology which affects my field and life was the 3d printer.  The world is getting complicated…… and well... I am so looking forward to see what will come!  


Waiter: Well... Maybe if you think pasta is a bit boring for your special day menu, what about trying this at that table?
He: Wow, is it for youtubers? 
She: Wow, yes I think so. Wow, especially for food porn! Actually I don’t get it, this food porn. However, I really respect some ‘youtubers’. They are the real artists in the moving image generation! Do you know what the most ironic thing of this year is?
He: Well… I don’t know. 
She: Both ‘Food porn’ and ‘Cleanse detox juice’ caught popularity at the same time this year! Such an ironic thing, isn’t it?
He: Right on, haha! Anyway, we are in the trendiest restaurant at the moment, thanks to you, darling haha. 

That is so true. Wow! A desk for food show is formed! This year, food related entertainment TV programs fetched the public. In fact, entertainment is going into everything in our life nowadays. Recently, one art critic says there is a new trend in art world, and that is ‘entertainmentism’. I thought that is so right. Well… that everyone can approach contemporary art, or something professional, in a funny and easy way is a very good thing indeed. But, it is always a bit worrying that it might fade away soon…. Or get too distorted… only for popularity’s sake…

She: Well, anyway I do not want our special night to be watched by everyone. I am sorry, and thanks for your explanation about this menu, and this desk… well, everything, but I think we should leave. 
He: Ok. Sorry again.
Waiter: No problem!

So, we went home and made pasta the way we usually have it. And that night… it was so special!

DDP (gallery moon)  
Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park or It could read as ‘Dream, Design, Play’! DDP is a new building in fashion town. It is built by Zaha Hadid. The concept of architecture is ‘Metonymic Landscape’ so its shape is streamlined. It feels like I am in the space or in a cave. The most interesting thing is when I see this building from the outside: it looks like so dynamic, but inside, it feels like so static… maybe this is because it is too wide…haha. Anyway, I like this building in that there are so many trendy (well or ‘micro trendy’) things happenening!

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