Arario Gallery highlights Berlin-based artists from different cultures

By Shim Woo-hyun
  • Published : Aug 5, 2019 - 17:57
  • Updated : Aug 5, 2019 - 17:57

On the gallery walls hang paintings of facades that show entrances to different houses the artist found during her trip to Venezuela’s Los Roques archipelago. These paintings, which portray doors and windows in a colorful yet simple manner, are lined up so as to remind viewers of an alley lined with houses.

The paintings by Sol Calero are part of the latest exhibition at Arario Gallery in the Samcheong-dong area of Seoul. 

An installation view of Sol Calero’s paintings titled “La Escuela del Sur” (2015) (Arario Gallery)

The exhibition, titled “A Shiver in Search of a Spine,” introduces 25 works by four young artists based in Berlin whose art practices have come from different backgrounds.

Calero, 37, born in Caracas, Venezuela, largely focuses on conceptualizing Latin American history and culture, though she has spent most of her life abroad.

Calero uses a vibrant and exotic color palette that people associate with Latin America. But she uses it to introduce real scenes from Latin America, not “exotic” scenes reproduced from a Western perspective. It is part of her effort to portray things not often captured in the mainstream art scene and to bring Latin American art to the fore. 

Petrit Halilaj’s installation “Abetare” (2019) (Arario Gallery)

Kosovo-born Petrit Halilaj, 33, has brought an installation from his series “Abetare.” Halilaj used school desks he found during a visit to his old primary school in his hometown in Runik, which was earmarked for demolition.

The desk installation comes with an iron sculpture the artist created based on scribbles he found on the desks.

In the work, the artist celebrates play while commemorating his childhood and past, according to the gallery. It is also part of Halilaj’s attempt to reconstruct his personal history, as well as a shared memory of the Kosovo War.

Meanwhile, Zora Mann, 40, is a UK artist, but her works show influences from her childhood in Africa.

Zora Mann’s curtain installation made of recycled plastic beads, “Cosmophagy” (2015) (Arario Gallery)

At Arario Gallery, Mann shows a large curtain titled “Cosmophagy,” made with recycled flip flops that littered the beaches and waterways of Kenya.

Painted wooden sculptures from Mann’s “Shields” series are also on display. In the sculptures, which resemble ballistic shields, Mann uses images she has reinvented based on images she found in traditional Kenyan culture. Each shield bears the names of the artist’s close friends and relatives.

An installation by Kasia Fudakowski, a 34-year-old UK artist, consists of four panels. Titled “A Punishment in Search of a Crime,” it is part of Fudakowski’s larger project “Continuouslessness,” in which the artist brings together separate panels based on different narratives.

By Shim Woo-hyun (