From March 25 to June 3, 2022, The Korea Foundation (KF) and the Embassy of Greece in the Republic of Korea jointly present the exhibition Raiment of the Soul at the KF Gallery and online as a VR exhibition.
This exhibition stemmed from a monumental project commissioned to artists Vangelis Kyris and Anatoli Georgiev by the National Historical Museum in Greece in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution in 1821. Among the priceless treasures in the museum’s collection, the two artists were particularly inspired by the 18th0and 19th-century Greek garments from regions touched by Hellenism such as the Balkans and Asia Minor, some of which were worn by prominent figures of the time Kyris took portraits of modern day people dressed in the prized national treasures entrusted to him by the museum, and Georgiev embroidered the portraits with metal, silk, and cotton threads to create rare scenes in which history and tradition intersect with modernity.
Placing focus on tradition yet unreservedly using contemporary creative methodologies, the artists imbue artifacts of the past with vitality, dimension, and textures to bring them to life, open them up to interpretation, and induce synesthetic experiences.
The mixed-media portraits meld photography, which captures the three-dimensional world onto a two-dimensional surface, and embroidery, which endows two-dimensional planes with three-dimensional spatiality. The eyes of the subjects reflect the souls of historical figures, allowing them to cross space and time to reach the hearts of the viewers.
A Contemporary take on Greece's time-honored history, the innovative works by Kyris and Georgiev offer a differentiated look into the museum's raiment collection. By witnessing the way the portraits reinterpret traditional garments from a present day perspective, viewers will be able to understand the foundation of Greek people's pride and respect for their culture and history, and immerse themselves in a reflective and spiritual experience the transcends time and space.
The KF global Center introduces world arts and culture to Korea and actively pursues various cultural and personal exchanges to promote international understanding and trust. This exhibition also intends to provide a broader understanding of Greece's traditional culture and contemporary art, and further extend the friendship between Korea and Greece.