July 22, 2021 - Asia Culture Center (ACC) - Refrigerator Illusion
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July 22, 2021

Asia Culture Center (ACC)

Graphic: Everyday Practice. © Everyday Practice. Courtesy of Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, South Korea, 2021.

View of Refrigerator Illusion, Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, South Korea, 2021. Photo: Kim Zinho. Courtesy of Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, South Korea, 2021.

Jihyun David, Save Food from the Fridge, 2009–ongoing. Mixed media, mixed materials, wood, glass, metal, marble powder, water-based polymer plaster, dimensions variable. Installation view, Refrigerator Illusion, Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, South Korea, 2021. Photo: Kim Zinho. Courtesy of the artist and Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, South Korea, 2021.

Rice Brewing Sisters Club, Social Fermentation Archive, 2021. Mixed media, mixed materials, dimensions variable. Installation view, Refrigerator Illusion, Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, South Korea, 2021. Commissioned by Asia Culture Center. Courtesy of the artist and Asia Culture Center. Photo: Kim Zinho.

Adisak Phupa, Into Tranquility Blue, 2021. Mixed media, single-channel HD docufiction video, color, sound, 17:9 minutes. Still photos in light boxes: 80 x 45cm each. Archival painting: 500 x 150cm. Installation view, Refrigerator Illusion, Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, South Korea, 2021. Commissioned by Asia Culture Center. Photo: KIM Zinho. Courtesy of the artist and the curator.

Refrigerator Illusion
July 2–September 26, 2021

Asia Culture Center (ACC)
38, Munhwajeondang-ro, Dong-gu
ACC Creation
61485 Gwangju
Republic of Korea
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +82 1899 5566

www.acc.go.kr
Facebook / Instagram

Let go of your illusions about its convenience and efficiency—and take a look at its hidden sides.

The exhibition Refrigerator Illusion started with an attempt to use the refrigerator—an everyday essential and a part of everyone’s kitchen—as a lens for approaching culinary and lifestyle culture practices associated with “clothing, food, and shelter,” a major research focus for Asia Culture Research Institute (ACRI) at ACC/ACI.

Humankind’s first use of fire around 200,000 years ago brought about a revolution in food and lifestyle culture. In contrast, the history of our production and commercialization of home refrigerators accounts for only around a century of that long process of human efforts to develop the cooling technology that would allow us to “conquer the cold” by making our own artificial ice. Over that relatively short history, advancements in cooling technology and refrigerators have ushered in revolutionary changes in food storage, distribution, and consumption, as well as all aspects of our food and lifestyle culture. Thanks to refrigerators and a cold chain system that keeps food fresh at low temperatures over long periods of time, we no longer need to shop daily for fresh groceries, and we are able to consume the foods we want whenever we want, regardless of season or place of origin. There is no more need for us to expend the kinds of efforts we once did to preserve and store seasonal vegetables and fruits for long periods of time the way we did when there were no refrigerators.

But is there another side to the convenience and efficiency of the refrigerator that we have forgotten or overlooked? What sorts of impacts are we having on humankind and the environment in exchange for the comforts and conveniences that we’ve adopted, as exemplified by the refrigerator? Moreover, as human beings today face crisis situations with rising populations, resource depletion, and climate change, is it really healthy and sustainable for us to continue with our refrigerator-dependent food storage, production, distribution, and consumption patterns within the capitalist global food system?

Originating in these questions, the exhibition Refrigerator Illusion looks at the history of human efforts to control the cold, the evolution of refrigerators, and changing patterns of food and lifestyle culture. Through the work of visual artists, designers, and makers together with documentary film footage and broadcast content, it attempts to share the various issues and the stories that exist on the other side of the convenience and efficiency that the refrigerator brings us. We also look forward to providing a setting for considering and discussing better methods of food storage and consumption, as well as healthier and more sustainable foods and food cultures for the sake of the future.

Curators: Soyean Goak, Hyoyoon Shim (Asia Culture Institute).

Associate Curators: Xia Yanguo (China), Penwadee Nophaket Manont (Thailand)

Artists: Jun Yang, Sangun Ho, Goen Choi, Minje Jeon, Meewha Lee/ E.J. Domoso, Tao Hui, Unhappy Circuit, Quatre Caps, Elia Nurvista, Kosuke Araki, Rice Brewing Sisters Club, Jihyun David, Noplug People, Adisak Phupa, Jangdong Collective

Hosted by: Asia Culture Center

Planned and produced by: Asia Culture Institute

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