SEOUL. “Jaime Hayon: Serious Fun” 27 april – 17 november 2019. Daelim Museum.

Through diverse mediums such as design, furniture, sculpture, sketches, and large-scale installations, the exhibition explores the artist’s unique and intriguing perspective of the world.

Throughout the seven sections in this exhibition, fantasies embedded in ordinary objects are unveiled and the design objects themselves come to life to tell their own interesting stories. With guidance of “Green Chicken” the exhibition opens to the fantastical and whimsical world of Hayon. In the first space “Crystal Candy Set” takes the motif of tropical fruits and conveys the journey of crystals in the tropics. These gem-like pieces borrow the forms of everyday objects such as pineapples, pomegranates and golf balls. Through bold and experimental use of luxurious medium of crystal and combining with ceramic, the richness and delicacy of tropical fruits are fully captured. In the second section, Afrikando family’s narratives await to illustrate Hayon’s distinct perspective of transforming ordinary into extraordinary by embracing a contemporary interpretation of folklore and tradition. “Afrikando” showcases exquisite and colorful glassworks inspired by African decorative arts, while “Mon Cirque” carries circus motif through a table with various shapes of legs and metallic finish ceramic vases. In the third section, “The Tournament” tells a compelling story of the Battle of Trafalgar. Tiled entirely with a black and white chess board, the life-size installation unfolds the historic event in a form of chess game. Conveying English tradition and its history in an installation, Hayon presents carefree spirit uninhibited by subject matter and way of expression. In the fourth section, “Mediterranean Digital Baroque” paintings feature Hayon’s personal cosmology and embody translation of dreams into reality. The fifth section presents “Cabinet of Wonders,” a contemporary interpretation of the traditional display of 16th century Europe, showcasing a collection of over 70 design objects in a cabinet. Coated with layers of stories, each object in the cabinet come alive to awake our forgotten sense of imagination and wonder with intriguing tales. The sixth section “Furniture Galaxy” reveals the narrative of how Hayon’s furniture is created and sends his fundamental design philosophy that “design should provoke emotions and create happiness”. Lastly, “Hayon Shadow Theater” delivers the magical story in which the fantasies drawn in the sketchbooks are revived as mystical creatures. Surrounded by these creatures filled with life and light, the viewers are invited to take part in the show.

In Jaime Hayon’s world, the objects have souls and forevermore speak to us through their own visual language. Through them, we are reminded of imaginary friends from childhood who once kept our side and spoke to our inner soul. Growing up and being submerged in reality perhaps we have forgotten our soul mates and inevitably neglected their stories. “Jaime Hayon: Serious Fun” recalls our imaginary friend, who has long waited to be remembered, and rekindles fantasy in our daily lives in bringing happiness and joy.

DAELIM MUSEUM 21, Jahamun-ro 4-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Image: Jaime Hayon “Green Chicken”