Galleri Fagerstedt

Galleri Fagerstedt visar HYUN-JIN KWAK i Palazzo Bembo, Venedig, 13 maj - 26 november

Pressmeddelande   •   Maj 02, 2017 18:39 CEST

Välkommen på FÖRHANDSVISNING/ PREVIEW PARTY - Palazzo Bembo, Venedig

Galleri Fagerstedt och konstnären Hyun-Jin Kwak vill se dig som gäst på invigningspartyt i Palazzo Bembo i Venedig 11 och 12 maj kl 18 - 22. Galleri Fagerstedt representerar Hyun-Jin Kwak i utställningen Personal Structures - open borders under perioden 13 maj - 26 november på plan 2 i palatset. OSA gärna till galleriet. Med stöd från Iaspis - Konstnärsnämnden och från Statens Kulturråd.

The exhibition “PERSONAL STRUCTURES – open borders” is a cross-section of what can be seen as contemporary art today. The exhibition shows an extensive combination of established artists, as well as artists whose works are less well-known. The artists come from many different cultures and therefore express themselves visually often very different from each other, but all artists exhibit a subjective, personal expression of their reflections on the concepts of Time, Space and Existence. Press office at

Hyun-Jin Kwak
She is born in Daegu, Korea, 1974 and lives in Stockholm, Sweden. She is educated at Hong-Ik University in Seoul and Konstfack in Stockholm. She is renowned in the genre of staged photography often combined with sculpture.

HYUN-JIN KWAKS work is narrative and observing. It is a powerful document of a place with traces of an old man's manic collecting. A man lives his life in a fantastic palace in the middle of Reggio Emilia in Italy. His collection of objects from around the world, from his travels and from his life, kept in the building and gradually transforms into a living palace ruin, his collection has gone haywire. The work is part of a series titled The Island - A Case Study of a Collectors's Mind. The project also involves the production of a book with the same title.

The Island
– a Case Study of a Collectors Mind
Hyun-Jin Kwak

Right in the heart of Reggio Emilia, just about hundred meters from the main square, I found badly run down house with a large iron fence and a padlocked gate, with a sign warning people to stay away. From outside, the house seemed abandoned.

In the summer of 2009, I was able to enter the building and discovered that the house, named Casa Barbieri, was a deteriorated Venetian palace from the 17:th century. Francesco, a man in the mid 60:s, lived there along with his young wife and their newborn son. In his youth he travelled a lot, he told me. He had been all over the world. Now he went nowhere.

Francesco explained that the deterioration of the house was his own fault, due to his inability to get rid of possessions. But from his stories I understood that the fall started earlier, with a betrayal. Francesco’s admired father Guido was an elegant engineer who owned a Bugatti and was a Formula 1 driver. But his mother met another man and his father increasingly kept to himself in the palazzo. Guido was eventually deserted by his wife who moved to Milan. He couldn’t get a grip on things; the mansion became neglected. After Guido’s death Francesco inherited Casa Barbieri where things were piling up and the servants were long gone. Soon there was no longer any hierarchy amongst the objects. The things were stacked together and started falling apart, the onset of erosion and rot.
Guido had a sister who also lived at Casa Barbieri. Her daughter was paralyzed and a Moroccan helper was employed to look after her. Soon some Moroccan friends moved in. Francesco didn’t care. They could stay in what used to be the fine rooms on the upper floor, which had increasingly become a storage for all manner of junk. There were murals and frescos on the ceilings, and in the most splendid room there were three pastoral landscapes, probably painted in 1830 by Giovanni Fontanesi, a pupil of Giuseppe Boccaccio. Three peaceful scenes in afternoon light: a view of the Alps, of a lake and a temple, and a view of a little hill with acacia trees and a villa. On the ceiling there is a monochrome of cherubs and mythological figures.

After a while the second floor became a sort of unofficial refugee camp. The neighbors contacted the police who came and evicted the Moroccans. The upper floor was deemed uninhabitable by the authorities.

Francesco said that his little big eyed son was the only beautiful he has. He also said that he thought of selling the house every day but that he never got round to it. It was not the best place to grow up in. But he felt shackled to the palazzo. Even though he had nothing to fend off the decay with, he was dependent on the mansion the way one is dependent on a loved one.

The degeneration was his own fault, he said, but he didn’t care what others thought of him. The people of Reggio Emilia could say that he is crazy if they want. But in that case they did not know him. Or else they were forgetting an important question: does a person not also have the right to give up?


GALLERI FAGERSTEDT representerar svensk och internationell samtidskonst av hög kvalitet. I galleriets profil finns såväl unga och lovande konstnärer som etablerade och välkända. Galleriet drivs av ELISABETH FAGERSTEDT AB sedan december 2013 och verksamheten präglas av stor konstvetenskaplig kompetens och långvarig erfarenhet från samtidens konstscen.