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Natural Born Odds


Seniman/Artist: Choi Yongjoon, Chorong An, Donghoon Rhee, Don Sun Pil, Hyun Nahm, Jeamin Cha, Minhee Kim, Mooni Perry, Sungsil Ryu, Yeoreum Jeong, Youngzoo Im
Galeri Salihara


Pembukaan/opening: Sabtu, 18 November 2023, 16:00 WIB/Saturday, 18 November 2023, 04pm
Pameran/Exhibition Period: 19-26 November 2023
Tiket: Gratis / Free


Jam operasional / visiting hours:

Selasa-Minggu, Tuesday-Sunday

 11:00-19:00 WIB

*Kunjungan terakhir pada 18:30 WIB

*Last entry is at 6.30 pm

Senin dan hari libur nasional tutup.

Monday and the national holiday are closed.

Tentang Pameran

Natural Born Odds adalah pameran seni rupa yang memperkenalkan seniman-seniman muda Korea yang secara aktif mengeksplorasi dan melibatkan fenomena tentang esensi Korea dan sebuah perangkat yang mengabadikan identitas negara ini bagi berbagai generasi. Pameran ini adalah sebuah proyek trilogi yang menghadirkan 12 seniman (atau kolektif) yang terbagi dalam pameran, pemutaran film, dan pertunjukan. 

Pameran ini mengajak kita untuk melihat bagaimana identitas visual Seoul menjelma simbol, bentuk, dan tontonan tertentu. Menampilkan karya seniman yang sebagian besar lahir pada 1980–1990-an, mereka mencirikan Korea Selatan kontemporer, misalnya, melalui perpaduan antara tradisi dan realitas masa kini, keingintahuan terhadap media dan teknologi mutakhir, dan percepatan pembangunan infrastruktur perkotaan yang tak wajar. 

Proyek ini dikuratori oleh WESS, sebuah kolektif berisi delapan kurator yang berbasis di Seoul. Pameran ini juga memadukan estetika kontemporer Barat dan wacana seni dengan lanskap sejarah dan budaya lokal yang kompleks. WESS juga mengorganisir platform yang fleksibel bagi para seniman dan menjalin pendekatan yang beragam, juga berevolusi selaras dengan tempat asalnya, Seoul.

English version

A place is a physical foundation for many things: it mediates the traditions and products of a culture as well as gives motivation and legitimacy to its people. Even in today’s world, which is thoroughly linked under a virtual web, our lives still take “place” in reality, in various specific locales. South Korea’s capital, Seoul, is one such place that has served as the cornerstone for the culture that defines South Korea and its people. As of 2023, Seoul houses approximately 10 million people. Including the outer metropolitan area, this number approaches a staggering 24 million, nearly half of South Korea’s entire population. In other words, Seoul is a condensed milieu of “Koreanness,” a community that represents the essence of Korea and a device that perpetuates the country’s identity across many severed generations./p>

After the fall of the feudal dynasty in 1910, Korea experienced a century marked by colonialism, war, and dictatorship. In 1950, the Korean Civil War erupted and escalated into no small part of the Cold War, and up to the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the clash between military rule and the people’s cry for democracy occupied the streets. To address the mutuality between a place and an individual, in addition to this historical context, would be to study how such a dynamic manifests into unique cultural order—how the emotional effects of history on a community, or on a city (a community’s physical representation), such as fear, anxiety, the desire for stability and prosperity, inferiority, and success, become its distinct identity. 

“Natural Born Odds” introduces young Korean artists who actively explore and engage this phenomenon to Indonesian audiences. A trifold project, “Natural Born Odds,” presents 12 artists (or collectives) under the sections of exhibition, screening, and performance and showcases how Seoul’s visual identities transform into specific symbols, forms, and spectacles in their work. Mostly born in the 80s or 90s, these artists characterize contemporary South Korea, for example, through the hybrids of tradition and today’s reality, curiosity for cutting-edge media and technology, and the unnatural acceleration of urban infrastructure development. Many Korean media contents, now reaching all corners of the world through various outlets, mirror these tendencies and experiences. 

This project is curated by WESS, a collective of eight curators based in Seoul. To curators who strive to intersect Western contemporary aesthetics and art discourse with the complex landscape of local history and culture, understanding the place that anchors them to their roots is essential. WESS, as it co-organizes flexible platforms for artists and weaves together diverse approaches, has also evolved in tune with its home ground, Seoul. 

Therefore, “Natural Born Odds” elucidates how we—the artists and curators—navigate differences within ourselves and, more than that, closely evokes the identity of the Korean people, their historical cycle between acceptance and disbandment that grew in and out of unique regionalism and colonialism. Another goal of this project is to present Indonesia and Korea, and Jakarta and Seoul, as mutual reference points. WESS aspires for present-day Seoul to learn and echo the diversity and resilience of Jakarta and hopes that the two nations, in celebration of their 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations, foster communication through contemporary art.


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