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Hyundai Motor and ELEKTRA Present ‘METAMORPHOSIS’ Exhibition for Envisaging Post-Pandemic World

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Hyundai Motor and ELEKTRA Present ‘METAMORPHOSIS’ Exhibition for Envisaging Post-Pandemic World

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  • ‘HYUNDAI X ELEKTRA: METAMORPHOSIS’ exhibition features imaginative ways of contemplating the future of human progress and its essence in a post-COVID-19 world
  • Selected six artworks at Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul utilize robotics, video, artificial intelligence and interactive and kinetic technologies as well as other methods to present company’s Art+Technology vision
Hyundai Motor and ELEKTRA Present ‘METAMORPHOSIS’ Exhibition for Envisaging Post-Pandemic World

SEOUL/MONTREAL, June 14, 2020 – Hyundai Motor Company and ELEKTRA have launched a collaborative art exhibition, “HYUNDAI X ELEKTRA: METAMORPHOSIS,” which highlights creative ways of imagining individual and societal transformations in a post-pandemic world. 


The exhibition at Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul runs from June 15 to Sept. 20. It is a culmination of a long-standing partnership between DooEun Choi, Art Director of Hyundai Motor, and Alain Thibault, Art Director of ELEKTRA, a Montreal-based cultural organisation dedicated to contemporary digital art. 


HYUNDAI X ELEKTRA: METAMORPHOSIS presents six artworks chosen from the previous and upcoming ELEKTRA International Digital Art Biennales. The six artists represented are based in three different continents and have digital technology in common. On display are: “Serial Mutations (z-axis) v04” (2020) by Matthew Biederman, “Custos Cavum” (2011) by Choe U-Ram, “Soul Shift” (2018) by Justine Emard, “Chroma (cy452)” (2019) by Yunchul Kim, “Portrait on the Fly” (2015) by Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau, and “Over the Air” (2018) by teamVOID and Youngkak Cho. 


“This first collaboration with Hyundai Motor Company is of considerable importance for ELEKTRA,” said Alain Thibault. “It confirms the recognition of contemporary digital arts, an artistic discipline that we have been presenting for 20 years, and is a major achievement following our exchanges with South Korea over the past decade.”


Befitting the theme, “METAMORPHOSIS,” the exhibit is an inquiry into a world that could lay ahead of the COVID-19 global pandemic, with a philosophy rooted in the classic Book of Changes (I Ching). In line with the book’s teachings, METAMORPHOSIS proposes that the raison d’être of constant change in the world is to allow people to understand and appreciate the triangular relationship between humanity, nature and technology. While human affairs constantly evolve, there is an unchanging, constant core in human society, according to the book, with which humanity can chart its sustainable progress into the future. 


HYUNDAI X ELEKTRA: METAMORPHOSIS materializes and magnifies meaningful patterns in the humanity-nature-technology relationship, and in the process attempts to enliven discussions about the meaning of human progress in an age of uncertainty – the fundamental vision of Hyundai Motor Company as it reaches out toward an ever-larger share of the global society through diverse realms including culture and the arts. 


“Hyundai Motor Company has been trying to enrich people’s lives by exhibiting original and creative artworks at Hyundai Motorstudios around the world,” said Cornelia Schneider, Head of Global Experiential Marketing at Hyundai Motor. “This exhibition especially leads us to foresee the future through art and technology and contemplate forthcoming societal transformations.”


To engage public safely and maximize customers’ experience amid the ongoing pandemic, METAMORPHOSIS is held in a “walk-through” format on the first floor of Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul as well as its exterior glass façade. The six selected works, comprising two media and four installation pieces, utilize robotics, video, artificial intelligence and interactive and kinetic technologies as well as other methods, artfully illustrating Hyundai Motor’s Art+Technology vision. A video offering a preview of the works, including a summary of the exhibition and interviews with artists, is available on Hyundai Motor’s official social media channel (https://youtu.be/xFKFuuEpR3c) and other online platforms, including ELEKTRA’s social media and website (Instagram : @elektra_bian / Facebook : @elektramontreal / Website : www.elektramontreal.ca)


“Serial Mutations (z-axis) v04” (2020) by Matthew Biederman is a generative video work that lays bare the flatness of the screen itself: a series of Necker cubes and symmetric patterns are colorfully juxtaposed and illumined on the screen, allowing the view to confront the reality of the screen and its illusory space through the manipulation of color and transparency. 


“Custos Cavum” (2011) by Choe U-Ram is an “Anima Machine,” meaning the "Guardian of the Hole" that connects two different worlds. The artwork is a kinetic sculpture composed of a seal-like creature and wing-shaped "Unicuses" that grow above it in the narrative created by the artist. It blurs the boundary between vitalism and mechanism. Custos Cavum signifies coexistence in an expanded space and time, which stems from an inspiration by the 10th-century Indian sculpture, “Shiva as Lord of Dance,” the symbol of balance and harmony.


“Soul Shift” (2018) by Justine Emard is a film depicting an interaction between two humanoid robots powered by artificial intelligence. Programmed by Ishiguro’s Lab at Osaka University and Takashi Ikegami at the University of Tokyo, robot Alter 1 invents gestures and attempts to engage in interaction with the other robot, Alter 2. Alter 1 appears intrigued by the inertia of its lookalike, to the point of approaching it in a movement of recognition and affection.


“Chroma (cy452)” (2019) by Yunchul Kim is a 15-meter-long installation suspended from the ceiling, made of acrylic, aluminum, polymer and LEDs, in the shape of a torus knot. Its 320 cells on the surface are generated by a gravity algorithm, and irradiate an iridescent spectrum of chromatic changes that together present viewers with an alternative “mattereality”.


“Portrait on the Fly” (2015) by Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau is an interactive installation using a monitor, which mimics the contours of a person standing in front of it with countless moving speckles resembling a swarm of flies. By being in a constant flux, the images on the screen construct and deconstruct the reflected image of a bystander, a commentary on people’s obsession with their own image and the associated transience and impermanence. 


“Over the Air” (2018) by teamVOID and Youngkak Cho is a performance installation work comprising two robot arms and a cubic box connecting them. The robot arms interpret data on the world’s air quality index and reconstruct the information into drawing and sound on the cubic box. The performance symbolizes the correlation between future industries and environmental pollution as well as different aspects of data interpretation. 



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Photo 1) “Serial Mutations (z-axis) v04” (2020) exhibited on the exterior glass façade of Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul

Photo 2) “Chroma (cy452)” (2019) exhibited at Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul

Photo 3) “Soul Shift” (2018) exhibited at Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul

Photo 4) “Custos Cavum” (2011) exhibited at Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul

Photo 5) “Portrait on the Fly” (2015) exhibited at Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul

Photo 6) “Over the Air” (2018) exhibited at Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul

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