Olafur Eliasson. The parliament of possibilities

Curated by Hyesoo Woo, Chief Curator, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art

September 28, 2016–February 26, 2017

Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
60-16, Itaewon-ro, 55-gil
140-893 Yongsan-gu, Seoul
South Korea

T +82 2 2014 6900

Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art is pleased to host The parliament of possibilities, a major solo exhibition by Olafur Eliasson. Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson is one of the most acclaimed artists working today. Eliasson’s practice expands our notion of art; his use of illusions produced by mirrors, machines that create pseudo-natural phenomena, and diverse visual experiments suggests new ways of perceiving, experiencing, and responding to our shared world.

This mid-career survey exhibition presents a unique opportunity to encounter a wide range of artworks by Eliasson. The 22 works in the exhibition range from those created at the beginning of the artist’s career, in the early 1990s, to works representative of his most recent activities. A tapestry of tightly woven Icelandic moss titled Moss wall (1994) and the gravity-defying Reversed waterfall (1998) are exemplary of his early works, while new productions include Your unpredictable path (2016), a work inspired by constellations and nebulae, and Rainbow assembly (2016), made of water droplets and light.

Olafur Eliasson says, “The parliament of possibilities celebrates the fact that the world and our feelings about it are constantly changing. When we see things as a continuous process of production and relation, we may also see their potential. We then have the opportunity to negotiate reality, to decide together what world to build. I would like to think that my works encourage people’s engagement and experience of being present with and in the world. The artworks function as mirrors, reflecting a not-yet-verbalised emotional need that we carry inside ourselves.”

Throughout his career, Eliasson has employed a wide range of media, including sculpture, installation, photography, and painting, to realize works that raise questions dealing with nature, philosophy, and science. The wide spectrum of Eliasson’s creative activity leaves a profound impression on viewers across the globe. For Eliasson, though, the viewers themselves compose the most important element—it is through their encounters with his work that it continues to produce new meaning. The parliament of possibilities is thus the perfect occasion to explore the dynamic relationship between art and life.

Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art was opened in central Seoul in 2004 and provides a unique environment to house the comprehensive collections of traditional and contemporary art in Korea. Three buildings make up the composite complex. MUSEUM 1 is devoted to the exhibition of traditional Korean artwork. MUSEUM 2 showcases modern and contemporary works by both Korean and foreign artists. Lastly, the Samsung Child Education & Culture Center supplements the two Museums by contributing to the cultural education of our future leaders. This cultural complex was designed by three internationally acclaimed architects, Mario Botta, Jean Nouvel, and Rem Koolhaas. The three buildings exist in harmony with each other, though each piece has its own uniqueness. These architectural works are designed to accommodate the past, present, and future of art and culture.

Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art 60-16 Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea

Image: Untitled (stone floor), 2004