To commemorate the opening of EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, The Peninsula Chicago unveiled Alchemy, a significant art installation by renowned Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa and curated by Pearl Lam Galleries. A celebration of Chicago’s place at the heart of the global contemporary art scene, the installation will be displayed in The Lobby at The Peninsula Chicago through March 20, 2016, as a part of The Peninsula Hotels’ global art and Breast Cancer awareness initiative, The Art of Pink.
An artist, architect and designer of furniture and furnishings, Choi Jeong Hwa creates art from the most humble of materials, finding inspiration in soda bottles, shopping bags and colorful plastic dishes. Inspired by the harmony and chaos of the urban environment, he often goes outside the hierarchy of the museum by installing his pieces on their exteriors. He created a 10-story installation from 1,000 discarded doors and decorated Seoul’s Olympic Stadium with garlands made from 2 million pieces of trash, transforming the building’s surface into a glittering jewel. In other pieces, he explores ideas of artificiality and permanence through the use of plastic food and flowers. He declines to categorize his work, leaving the audience to define his pieces on a personal level. As his motto states: “My art is your heart.“
Renowned for his colorful installations using materials often sourced in Korean street markets, Mr. Choi has exhibited at the Korean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the Hayward Gallery in London and in solo shows at museums worldwide. Alchemy, his site-specific light installation for The Peninsula Chicago, consists of found LED lights, plastic bowls and steel in 24 “totem pole” pillars. Mr. Choi personally oversaw the installation of the work in the Peninsula’s main lobby, the heart and social center of the hotel.
EXPO CHICAGO/2015, The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, is presented by Art Expositions, LLC. Now in its fourth year as a leading international art fair, EXPO CHICAGO (Sept. 17 – 20, 2015) is a four-day art event featuring more than 140 leading international galleries and offering diverse programming including /Dialogues, EXPO VIDEO and IN/SITU. Under the leadership of President and Director Tony Karman, EXPO CHICAGO draws upon the city’s rich history as a vibrant international cultural destination, while highlighting the region’s contemporary arts community and inspiring its collector base. Vernissage, the opening night preview benefiting the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, took place Thursday, Sept 17, 6 – 9 p.m.
Additionally, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Mr. Choi has donated one of the pillars from Alchemy for the hotel to auction to raise funds for Chicago’s Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation.
The partnership with Pearl Lam Galleries is the latest representation of The Peninsula Hotels‘ ongoing support of innovative public art around the world. The group has collaborated with museums, galleries and private collectors on pioneering works by established masters and emerging artists at Peninsula’s 10 hotels in the United States, Asia and Europe. Programs include The Peninsula Hong Kong‘s partnership with the UK’s Royal Academy of Arts to a residency program for emerging contemporary artists at The Peninsula Beijing, to a rotating collection of significant contemporary works on display at The Peninsula New York and art-related Peninsula Academy programs in each hotel.
“We hope that this collaboration will contribute to Chicago’s position in the international arts community, and the growing recognition of our city as an arts hub,” said Maria Razumich-Zec, Regional Vice President and General Manager of The Peninsula Chicago. “Ultimately, we would like to realize a dream, which is to showcase pioneering public art that excites, challenges and spurs dialogue.”
Pearl Lam, founder of Pearl Lam Galleries said, “We are excited to exhibit the dynamic work of Choi Jeong Hwaat The Peninsula Chicago, as it continues the Galleries’ mission of encouraging cross-cultural exchange and discussion between the East and West. The aesthetics of Choi’s work make it easily accessible to the public, yet there is a great depth beyond the surface.” Mr. Choi added: “Your heart is my art. Your shopping is my art. Plastic is … immortal.”
Throughout October, Peninsula is supporting local cancer organizations with art-related fundraising initiatives at every hotel. In Chicago, guests and visitors are invited to submit a sealed auction bid for a pink LED piece from Alchemy that will be personally selected by Mr. Choi. This is a unique opportunity to own a piece of a world-renowned artist’s installation while supporting a worthy cause. Proceeds from the auction will benefit Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation. For rules and additional information, please contact the hotel Concierge at +1 (312) 573 6530.