Ars Ludens: Sea+Art+Fun

Does art need to be serious and difficult all the time? Or is art simply for pleasure?

The Sea Art Festival 2017 with the title of ‘ars ludens’ will be held for a month, from September 16th to October 15th. Under the slogan that “art also should be fun,” this exhibition will present various playful art works. Borrowing Johan Huizinga’s term ‘homo ludens’ that characterizes one aspect of human nature, which is playfulness, The Sea Art Festival this year highlights the quality of art works as a jovial atmosphere of entertainment for everyone. Particularly, the vast sandy beach and the extensive horizon of the sea will reenact contemporary spectacles with the art works on the sea shore.

The Sea Art Festival has moved its exhibition site from various beaches such as Songdo Beach, Haeundae Beach, and Gwangalli Beach. Now at Dadaepo Beach, the Festival tries to contain the character of local culture of the West part of Busan, as well as to visualize symbolically the diffusion of human culture from the East to the West throughout history. This sort of culture and art puts the emphasis on a point that they should be what breathe with us in our daily lives and embrace the nature around us, beyond the western modern concept of art generated in a specific place and time for certain people only. In this point of view, the place has acquired significance as being a closer one to get access for both locals and tourists who visit Busan, due to the opening of the extended subway line at ‘Dadaepo station’ last Spring. Therefore, the exhibition site on the wide seashore will become friendly and fun for all those people. The ‘ars ludens’ of The Sea Art Festival 2017 attempts to reflect the intent that art should fulfill all these requirements.

To be both artistic and fun, art works should be able to draw a connection among the people around the exhibition site. Sea is where life begins, the place that excites humanity’s exploration, and maintains the longing of people, who meet and exchange their respective cultures from diverse regions. Biologically, the sea bears the most fundamental units of living organisms, and has become an infinite treasure of life for the evolving entities of the earth. The sea is still challenging for the inspired spirit who longs for exploration, and seashore is the platform of departure. The Korean legend of ‘Mangbuseok,’ a symbol of longing, tells us a story of a faithful wife who stood on a seashore cliff to look at the sea where her husband left out and become a stone after a long period of time. In the meantime, when people return from the sea, they used to have imported new cultures.

It stimulates our imagination to the utmost for us to think of what kind of the place the Dadaepo Beach would become, and of how arts will embody it. In this Sea Art Festival, moreover, the ‘art zone’ and ‘fun zone’ are intertwined with each other in one place, which will conduct various and extensive visual ‘Spectacles’ of contemporary society on the seashore. The exhibition site for the two is planned to be another ‘Simulacre’ among our actual lives. Visitors will encounter deeper ‘Sensations’ at the Sea Art Festival 2017, with art and fun!