This is an exhibition by the artists of the Freedom Art Book, an art platform to introduce the contemporary
Korean art to the world, which is issued by www.artcelsi.com every year. The Freedom Art Book is a specific name
for free will of art, planning and delivering some programs for the planners of overseas museums, galleries, and
biennales to get and refer to.
Art flourishes under mutual influences, and provides unusual and creative experiences capable of forming a unique
sense toward the universe. There are so many layers of planning and relationship accumulated for this exhibition of
diverse and creative works of Korean artists in the midst of Japan. Needless to say that politics, economy, and culture
are closely related with one another. But to our regret, nowadays, they are far apart respectively.
Morita Shunichiro, president of Asian Art Fair, wrote an article for this exhibition, saying the touching sentence
that art connects man and man. Such remarks of his reflect his longing for that which is in a serious danger recently.
'Tomorrow different from yesterday’ Exhibition, Freedom 2019 took place in Yangpyong Art Museum, drawing much attention.
150 Korean artists participated in the exhibition. 90 Korean artists joined this ‘Freedom 2019’ exhibition at the Fukuoka
Asian Art Museum.
I recollect the peaceful time of the last winter when I travelled with the first flights to prepare this exhibition.
At the moment, we have no idea how Korean artists’ works sprout and bear fruits globally. People grow under reciprocal
influences on each other. Can culture change people? How?
We just stare, raise our inner self over the surface, and keep going toward the ultimate goal of the metaphysics. It is
because, when we discuss humanity, it is the best. The subtitle of this exhibition is named ‘Now & Future.’ Now and future
will be made by you and me who dream of the better future.
Kim, Eun Sook (Company Director of Celsius/artcelsi)
In September, 2015, I began the Art Fair Asia Fukuoka (afterwards written as AFAF), the first attempt in this field
with my colleagues here in Fukuoka. Compared with the art markets of Europe, the USA, and some advanced Asian countries,
that of Japan was much inferior, and is quite far from our expectation. So far, Japanese people have been appreciating
art mostly in galleries and museums, and never dared to imagine possessing it privately or applying it to our lives.
Even some overseas large scale art fairs supported by the foreign governments are not adequately introduced to Japan yet.
But, such a big gap of recognition between those countries and our Japan paradoxically took my strong attention and interest.
Fukuoka is the door to Asia, as it is located as far away from Seoul as Osaka, and as far away from Tokyo as Shanghai. The AFAF
in Fukuoka with such an advantageous location gave a big inspiration to those concerned with galleries. The AFAF is an
international one. In that sense, Korea, our neighboring country, must be very important to the AFAF. We have already thought
of communicating and cooperating with the art-related people of Korea.
Then, in the midst of preparing the AFAF 2019, I happened to meet both of you, prof. Hong Chulsoon and Kim Onsook, the president
of Art Celsi Gallery in Seoul, Korea. It was the right time, considering prof. Hong’s ‘the Sound of Silence, the Tales of Osok
Stones Exhibition’ in Fuluoka City Museum, who has much experienced and well known the cultures of both countries. I have already
seen the ‘Freedom 2019 by Some Contemporay Korean Artists’ catalog. I have wondered how it was possible to gather those nice 150
artists, and produce them home and abroad. But, I came to realize all the answers of those mysteries at the very moment when I met
president Kim. It was nothing other than a solid enthusiasm for art in the heart of a calm and beautiful lady standing in front
of me. It was naturally revealed through president Kim’s gesture and her elegant voice, even though I could not understand the
korean language. The seismic center was not a country or a big organization, but a single person, moreover a woman, calm and
careful. This must be the very essence of art.
Politics divides the country.
Religion separates the nation.
But art connects the people.
Currently, Japan and Korea are in a big trouble, which has been caused by politics and worsened by the mass media. But, the artists
of both countries have been on friendly terms with each other all the time. For example, in 1950s, the Kyushu group, an advant-garde
art organization, miraculously came about in Fukuoka. Ishibashi Yasyuki, one of its representatives, and some other artists have
cooperated with each other to successfully hold Japan-Korea Contemporary Art Exhibitions several times in Fukuoka City Museum and
Korea Art and Culture Promotion Institute Gallery in 1980s.
Looking in the light of such a history of art exchange between our two countries, we need to purse a big project beyond national
boundaries president Kim Eunsook dreams of. Facing the works that artists created, it would be best for us to get a hint from those
works or stir something hidden and unknown in ourselves. I am newly aware that art enriches our mind, and paints our lives
Art Fair Asia Chairman Morita Shunichiro
Korean contemporary 91 artists who were active in 2018, participated.