As a freshman at KAIST, walking down Endless Road every evening has almost become a ritual. There is a lot to do in Daejeon — but Eoeun-dong and Goong-dong can become a little tedious at times. So this weekend, I made a rather spontaneous decision to book a bus ride to Seoul. After a two-hour ride, I arrived in Seoul — but what now?
If you are anything like me and decide to go to Seoul for a fun weekend without any plans, The Queen’s Secret may be just the right place to visit. It is a visual art exhibition held in the War Memorial of Korea located in Yongsan — but it is quite different from a typical art exhibition. Rather than observing artwork, the visitors play an active role in shaping their unique experience at the exhibition. This exhibition is a collaboration among diverse professionals in the field of art, such as media art director Dong-seok Lee, stage creator Suk-jin Seo, and fashion designer Hyun-seob Shim. Consequently, the product is a striking media space full of objets that refuse to be put into a fixed genre.
After finding out about this exhibition through my friend, I decided to visit The Queen’s Secret myself. The ticket box was located one flight down the stairs in the War Memorial building; the ticket costs 15,000 KRW for adults and 12,000 KRW for teenagers up to 19 years old. When I heard that this was a media art exhibition, I frankly had no idea what to expect; as soon as I entered, I stepped into a dark room and found myself surrounded by subtly lit flowers. The calm music along with the screens that surrounded all dimensions of the room immediately created a mystical atmosphere.
This room that I first entered was called “Zone I - The Feast of Flower”, a room inspired by the wonder of the life of flowers. The concept of walls became irrelevant as there seemed to be a limitless space of blooming and withering flowers. It was a similar experience to being in a cinema with screens on all four sides of the wall. The next section was the “Queen’s Garden”, which was full of rows of blinking flowers and luxurious ornaments. Although it did make me feel as though I stepped into a scene from a fairy tale, I didn’t know what else to do after a few minutes when I was done taking a few snapshots. After passing the garden, Zone III showed the “Queen’s Pond” — an ice pond filled with air bubbles racing through the water. This was my personal favorite because it had a refreshing ambience with mystical creatures gracefully gliding through the pond.
Next up was “Zone IV”, titled “The Queen’s Ballroom”. As the name suggests, it was an embodiment of water drops and flowers waltzing in the ballroom. To me, this zone felt a little out of place in terms of atmosphere from the others — or it may have simply been too abstract for me to understand. After taking what seemed like the 100th photo, I entered “Zone V - The Hidden Waterfall”. This was a bright and dazzling room that displayed the movement of waves, and seemed to be the favorite photo spot for many. Finally, “Zone VI” was “The Queen’s Dress”, where I was greeted by a seven-meter-long dress of the queen. The pattern on the dress constantly changed with flowers that seem to be blooming with life. After the final zone, I was surprised to find the exit room full of unique photoshoot places. Each of the venues had its own theme; a flower wreath, rose garden, waterfalls, and other props were set up for people to recreate with pictures.
Leaving the exhibition, I felt that it was an experience that highlighted the changing trends in art exhibitions. Nowadays, numerous exhibitions are replacing paintings on walls with installations or studio art. With lively visuals and eye-catching imagery, this new trend allows the audience to be a part of the exhibition. With The Queen’s Secret, it was definitely a one-of-a-kind experience that exposed me to a new style of exhibition. If you are a fan of taking photos or simply want to get a new profile picture, The Queen’s Secret will be worth your time. The exhibition is open until October 15 and more can be read at: https://tqs.modoo.at/.