CultureReview
Youth: Exploring Deviations and Beauty of YouthWhat the youth goes through
Lee Sun-joo  |  sunjoo06@yonsei.ac.kr
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승인 2017.05.15  19:34:52
트위터 페이스북 구글 카카오스토리

 

   
PHOTOGRAPHED BY LEE SUN-JOO

“YOUTH IS happy because it has the capacity to see beauty.”- Franz Kafka

As Franz Kafka mentioned, “youth” is invaluable in that such phase exists only once in a lifetime. Although being young is often glorified, youth is not just filled with happiness. Failure, despair, and solitude are also natural parts of an adolescent period. The exhibition Youth offers insight into the desperate yet vibrant moments of the juvenile past.

 

Deviations of youth

   Upon entrance, the dark and gloomy atmosphere that continues throughout the first floor of the exhibition may fluster the visitors. Befitting this dark atmosphere, photos of the first section feature aimless and deviating youths. Various artists have tried to capture these moments of deviations through their artworks. For instance, an artist named Larry Clark expressed the anxiety of adolescents and how they wander aimlessly through the unknown. His works are mostly close-up photographs of the worrisome young faces. In the photos, the teenagers are blankly staring at the camera or smoking cigarettes with puzzled expressions on their faces. His photography allows visitors to sympathize with the dejections and confusions that every youth goes through in that certain period.

   Additionally, the artist named Masha Demianova focuses on the loneliness that young people often feel. Her photos display vivacious and active youths with hints of loneliness. For instance, one of her works titled Polina Jumping into Nothing shows a girl diving into a river. Though it seems like the girl is enjoying her freedom, she is alone amidst the gloomy sky and vast forest. Through her photography, the artist emphasizes that youth is a stage in life that is invaded by solitude.

What catches the visitors’ attention the most on the first floor is the neon sign on the ceiling that reads “What a bitch.” The sign conveys the young people’s rebellious nature and frustrations that they feel. It also brightens up the space and may even bring a subtle laughter to the audiences. Against the dark ambience of the exhibition on the first floor, the brightness of neon signs instantly catches the attention of the visitors. The colors added in between the darkness enlighten the whole exhibition.

 

The vibrant moments of youth

   On the second floor lies a wide, vacant and bright space, quite different to that of first floor. In this area, works of art are categorized into three main themes. The first theme is “love”. One of the artists of the exhibition, Paolo Raeli, mentioned that “love is fighting through the laziness to bring a tab of water to your loved one from the kitchen at 4 a.m.” In other words, to love someone is to sacrifice oneself for the partner’s happiness. Although sacrifice may be an unfamiliar term for adolescents, they still experience bliss and euphoria of love. Raeli’s photographs depict these exuberant romantic scenes with couples standing in front of nature.

Visitors can then encounter pieces that depict the freedom and confidence of youth. Ryan McGinley successfully illustrates such concepts. Interestingly, his photographs are inspired by Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. They capture the vivid colors of each season and accentuate the beauty of seasonal changes. These works particularly draw attention to the beauty of nature and unrefined naked bodies. In his photos, beautiful sceneries, especially those of autumn and winter, are well expressed with vivid colors, along with the dynamic movement of the models. In this collection, all the models are nude and are posing confidently, enjoying that very moment. The models exude confidence through their naked figures and remind the visitors to value themselves.

The third theme portrayed in the exhibition is remembering the beautiful moments of youth. All of Andrew Lyman’s photos are mostly pastel-toned, emitting a sense of dreaminess. As the author himself comments that “these photos are artworks as well as a part of my precious memories,” he emphasizes the importance of leaving everlasting artifacts of memories as photographs.

 

Related programs

Furthermore, the exhibition offers three programs for the visitors to participate. The first program is Youth Bingo. Here, the visitors can play bingo games related to their youth, such as writing short letters to the past. Another program is called *Class 7pm*. In this program, visitors can make different handicrafts such as French styled embroidery. The exhibition also provides a program called Meet Up. This special party is hosted by the museum to have the people gather and share their stories. These three activities allow the visitors to be more engaged with the exhibition.

 

*                 *                 *

The exhibition displays different phases of youth through realistic and unique photography. All who have gone through their teenage period can relate to the emotional turbulence displayed in the photos. From love to despair; freedom to deviation; exuberance to solitude, this exhibition has it all.

 

*Box 1:

Place: D Museum

Date: Feb. 09, 2017 – May. 28, 2017

Price: Adult ₩8,000 / Teenager ₩5,000

 

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