Relax, immerse yourself in scents at Venice Biennale’s Korean Pavilion

The Korean Pavilion at this year's Venice Biennale offers a remarkably tranquil atmosphere, largely free from flashy visual stimulation. Instead, the pavilion is imbued with invisible sensory elements: scents. The serene ambiance inside the Korean Pavilion was particularly notable on Wednesday amidst the outside clamor from protesters opposing international support for the Israeli government's military campaign against Gaza. "From the planning stage, I envisioned the Korean Pavilion as a space for contemplation," multimedia and installation artist Koo Jeong A talked to reporters at the pavilion on Wednesday. "With so many things to see at the biennale, I aimed for the Korean Pavilion to serve as a serene space where visitors can contemplate," she added. Nestled in a tranquil corner of the expansive Giardini park, the Korean Pavilion appeared as an ideal spot to unwind and relax. Most of the exhibition spaces remain empty, with few visible attractions, except for the diffuser sculpture, two Mobius strip-s haped wooden sculptures and infinity symbols engraved on the newly installed wooden floor. Co-curated by Jacob Fabricius and Lee Seol-hui, the Korean Pavilion presents the exhibition, titled "Odorama Cities," which centers around the theme of scent, intending to guide visitors on a "Korean Scent Journey" using scents as a potent and evocative medium for art. The duo collaborated with Koo, celebrated for her site-specific creations, which conjure up personal memories through intangible elements, notably scents. They said Koo possesses a distinctive ability to redefine space and evoke personal memories through the use of intangible elements, and that the exhibition's minimalist approach aligns with the artist's longstanding practice of interacting with space through simple gestures. For the project, the artist invited people from around the world, including Korean adoptees and North Korean defectors living in South Korea, to share their scent memories of Korea, in an open call from June 25 to September 30 l ast year. Based on approximately 600 scent memories they received, the trio collaborated with a local cosmetics brand, Nonfiction, to create 17 scents, which are dispersed into various corners of the exhibition hall. Fabricius said the borderless, boundary-transcending nature of scents resonates with the theme of this year's biennale, which is set to open on April 20 under the theme of "Foreigners Everywhere." Source: Yonhap News Agency