MAY 2 - JUN 16, 2019


   JUN 26 - AUG 13, 2020


   SEP 8 - OCT 25, 2020


   APR 3 - JUN 3, 2022


   JUN 21 - JUL 23, 2023


Timmy Myeongsuk KIM

(Director,  D'ART)


Yongin Cultural Foundation

Yeosu City

Andong City


Chuncheon Cultural Foundation



Longing for the ideal place—that is how humankind has evolved. Humans at the dawn of time sought to hunt and secure more food, wanting a life sufficiently provided for. From there was born a belief that animals drawn on cave walls would submit to the might of humans. Here, art was a shamanistic means of achieving the ideal place. As people entered the age of civilization, they used art as a tool to worship and elevate their gods to ground their precarious lives while reaching for the idealized state. Notably, Western churches used holy paintings, sculptures, spires, and stained glass to further dignify the religion, while the Islamic world had mihrabs, domes, and minarets of mosques, along with craftworks and miniatures, to bring religion and secular society together. Buddhists in the East created statues, paintings, and buildings to spread the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha.

With the advancement of science and reason, the era of chaos in which religion ruled as the only truth while religious leaders held hegemony came to an end. However, despite shifts in philosophy and the environment, modern humans still long for an ideal place. In the past, humans yearned for a better world out of fear that followed human uncertainty. Now humans desire to reach the ideal place out of the will to overcome human limitations. They enhance their quality of life through clothing, food, and housing, while seeking to extend human lifespans to be even longer and healthier using science and technology. Ultimately, a world in which one can enjoy an eternal life that is more prosperous than the present one is the modern human’s goal. However, outwardly expressing such individual desires becomes a social taboo in a capitalist society. In the face of many abuses of capitalism, a person merely expressing their dream can be branded as egotistic or unrealistic. And yet, everyone still needs to imagine and express the ideal world as artists do. They need time to be free from everyday burdens.

As suggested by the word “Wonderland,” the present exhibition Wonderland: Finding Your Wonderland is a space in which imagination can run free and be shared with others, away from social burdens. Its beginning, however, differs somewhat from the ideal world or the utopia that humankind has dreamed of. The etymological origin of “utopia” is “ou-topia” or “nowhere” in English, signifying a place that does not exist in this world. It is a place that no one can see or visit. The biblical Garden of Eden is the utopia of Western culture. Many artists, including Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475–1564) and Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), used their imagination to depict the eternal paradise that will never return, deepening our yearning for the place. In Korea, Ahn Gyeon in early Joseon depicted a fantastic "Dowongyeong" in Mongyudowondo (1447), in which reality and the ideal of our dream coexist. It is a beautiful landscape showing an expanse of peach tree orchard at the foot of an awe-inspiring cliff at the end of a gentle mountain slope. A small hamlet of houses is nestled around peach trees in full bloom.

Unlike “utopia,” wonderland, by definition, is a “visible world of ideal,” a place that is closer and more imaginable. It is a realistic place that one could hope to visit one day, or a place that sits in one’s memory. This is why the wonderland appears as sceneries from our day-to-day lives. It is a recollection of memories and the past; it is time to reflect on past wrongdoings or bygone time to find peace of mind; and it is a moment of hope and well-wishes for our neighbors and community.

Dreaming is the only way humans can overcome their limit or their biggest inferiority complex. The eight artists participating in this exhibition show different images of their dreams in unique colors. Each of these dreams stems from the humans’ will to pursue happiness. The definition of happiness may differ individually, but simply imagining the moment where we find happiness can enrich our lives. Revel in strangers’ dreams, and open up your imagination in this space with no prejudice or constraints. Hopefully, your moment now will be remembered as a fantastic hour.

Timmy Myeongsuk Kim