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Leandro Erlich: Both Sides Now
Exhibition identity
Exhibition identity design for Leandro Erlich’s solo exhibition at Seoul Museum of Art. The exhibition title was borrowed from Joni Mitchell's famous song, Both Sides Now
  • Art direction and graphic design: Jaemin Lee

  • Client: Seoul Museum of Art
  • Year: December 2019

︎ bpando.org/2020/05/13/leandro-erlich

Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich is an internationally exhibited contemporary artist whose work has been widely acclaimed for both its originality and popularity. His installations transform familiar, everyday spaces such as an elevator, staircase and swimming pool by creating optical illusions using mirrors and other various materials.
Through his works, he expresses that there is nothing in this world whose essence or nature is invariable. He conveys that everything that consists our world is connected, and their boundaries are far from clear cut. As shadows change according to their light source, the world we perceive, and those we regard as the OTHER, exist as shadows created by our own perspectives.

What is especially impressive is his new work In the Shadow of the Pagoda, which is inspired by the legend of the Shadowless Pagoda that surrounds Korea’s historical treasure, the Seokgatap. A shadow as a reflection image is always variable depending on its relationship to the object it reflects, and therefore, it can never fully replicate the reality of the object.
Nevertheless, we believe that the reflection of the world as we see it, projected through our own perception, is true reality, just as in the legend where the stone mason Asadal’s wife Asanyeo tragically drowns herself in sorrow after she failed to see the shadow of the pagoda, which she believed to signal its completion and her husband’s return. By recreating the story’s image of the shadow in physical space, the artist paradoxically highlights the instability of human perception.

Leandro Erlich, In the Shadow of the Pagoda, 2019
Acrylic, metal, wood, pebble, styrofoam, water
920 cm × 560 cm × 900 cm

The concept and structure of this work were the motif of the exhibition graphic. The top half is intact and solid, whereas the other half is a swirling pattern — it could be a flow of waves or something dreamy, or something with no specific entity, like clouds or smoke.
With such layout, this shape that symbolizes a tower represent the intersecting gaze between the views from above and below the water, and attempts to reveal the theme of the work that crosses the boundary between reality and illusion / subject and object.

The interior design of the exhibition hall was concisely marked with only the necessary information, so that the works with a large structure could be displayed before the viewers with great impact.
Some quotes, including Joni Mitchell’s song lyrics and Jorge Luis Borges’s writings, were displayed using reflective textures in attempt to materialize the concept of the exhibition.

© Jaemin Lee. All rights reserved.