Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mary's Art Cafe_Review

Thank you all for visiting my art cafe! It wa such a great time to see you enjoying art!

Mary's Art Cafe was a week long project curated by me, with the theme of ordinary life with artwork in a cafe. The cafe place was my studio which is offered by Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum's residency program. I showed fiver artists here: Maja Breife, Simon Kentgens, Jan Lemitz, Hans-Peter Schütt, and Heikki Takala.

All the visitors had to follow the rule;

1. Choose the menu-all the menu was in artists' names who are showing their artwork during the cafe time
2. You were allowed to smell mysterious menu while all the names of artists were written on
3. While you enjoy your drink you choose, you could appreciate artwork which was made by the same artist you chose for your drink (Some asked if these names are real or fake, for instance, not existing person in the world, but they are all alive, contemporary artists)
4. You had to pay with non materialistic method, if you paid with any material things, I resent those to the customers, instead, your hand photos with your menu were not taken.

Here are some photos from the cafe.

 Even though it was snowy or windy, all the customers were so eager to experience Mary's Art Cafe!! Thanks!!

Here are some photos of artwork in case you missed. Of course, you can also click the artists' names to see more works above.
Maja Breife

Hans-Peter Schütt
 This work by Maja Breife was supposed to be taken by participants. And many of them used the scissors to take those pandas with them. I was glad to see the reactions from the visitors.

Maja Breife

Heikki Takala's Animation

Hans-Peter Schütt

Simon Kentgens' 'Thank you for your understanding'

Mary and a customer

Jan Lemitz's Rooftops
The reason why I dressed up with my yukata with Obi (decorative belt) is because of the spirit you need to have for the customers. I went to Kyoto, Japan right before I came here Finland last summer. There was a tiny restaurant only one or two people might fit in. The owner looked super happy to entertain the customers. And also the customers were happy to be there not just for the food but also the converstation they enjoy. Since this is my curatorial project with my performance in it, I tried to have the same spirit I saw last summer in Kyoto. I hope all enjoyed!
Thanks for all your support! I look forward to seeing you again at my next project!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mary's Art Cafe

Welcome to Mary's Art Cafe!

Mary's Art Cafe is a one-week (4th-10th February) curatorial project by an independent curator, Mary Song.

She will perform as a cafe owner who will present several artists during her cafe hour (12-18).

You can experience the unique cafe culture of Finland as well as the artwork introduced by a 'performing curator' at the same time.

Please make your reservation to visit Mary's Art Cafe via email

You cannot pay with either cash or credit card.

Payment can be made only by a non-monetary form which will be given also with the menu-the artists participating in the show.

Mary is looking forward to your visit to her art cafe!

Mary's Art Cafe

Open: 12-18, 4th-10th February

Address: Vanha Littoistentie 7, Turku 20540,


*When your reservation is confirmed, you will get the phone number to call with the description of the location.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Residency Life in Turku, Finland

When I opened this blog at first, it was more about my curatorial projects, but as time goes by, it is more about the residencies I am doing as well as other stuff. 
     So, you might wonder what Mary is up to these days!
     I came here in Turku this September. It's been already three months. Time really flies. The leaves were changing their colors but not it's already snow on the ground.
     In the mean time, I have done so much, and I am not so sure if I can describe everything well here or not.
So, the first thing I did here in Turku was visiting all the places related to art. First, Eeva, the residency program manager from the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum told me about this atelier visit week. I could get a stamp from an each place which was also related to some prize. I only realized this later after I visited already several places. Oh, well. C'est la vie. I visited Titanik Gallery, Jänis Gallery, Turku Art Academy, as well as other art places etc.

Titanik Gallery
     Through this visit, I met many artists in several places. Many of them are quite impressive, but one among them I want to mention here is an artist I met at the Turku Art Academy. She was a lady who started her art study quite later than others, but she has such a passion. I was not allowed to post any photo online, so I think it is not so easy to find out who she is here. I guess it is a bit Finnish way.
     Actually during this visit, I also got a chance to be invited to a group show at a gallery as well while I was talking about my stuff. I guess this is the way to go as an artist or a curator, you familiarize yourself with local art scene by visiting places when visiting program is on. But I think you should be quite diligent to do this, though. No one will take you out of your studio unless you take out yourself first.
During the Eurocultured Festival

    I also happened to bump into a festival in Turku by accident. There were several music bands were playing during the festival. It was great to get some sort of ideas what kind of culture in this country has in terms of art other than fine art. Another impressive one here was the acrobatic. I've heard there is also a major related to acrobatics at Turku University. I guess it is quite big here in Turku. It reminds me of the time I was in Tallinn as well. 
   The workshop I have done with the museum turned out great. I really appreciated the participation of the ladies. In the end, we created such an amazing exhibition called, Mieleni Maut.

Opening Day of Mieleni Maut
       I haven't really thought about the precious time for each individual with food before. As I made the questionnaire for this project, I had to reconsider every single perspective I had before about my own food experiences.
        Everything is a bit like that. Unless you stop and think about things, those will never really come to yourself. I think this kind of residency is similar to that. I just stopped my whole life in Jeju, and turn my direction towards this country, Finland. As soon as I arrived, I started studying Finnish again. I am very proud of myself who passed the exam as well. Speaking basic Finnish everyday is quite fun and it also links me to the local society, since I look very different from them. At least I can connect with some small talks with my basic Finnish. Language is something we can at least try to get closer to the culture in an easiest way, well, at least to me. When I was in Finland last time, I didn't quite acquire the similarity between Korean and Finnish, but this time, since the whole course was in English, I understood and analyzed more about these two languages' similarities as well as the differences.
       More than anything, I am enjoying this silence. It looks like a snow storm outside, but with this white world, I might go even deeper into my creative life.