daelim1The Daelim Museum first opened in Daejeon in 1993 and then moved to Seoul in 2002. Since then, the museum has offered all different kinds of contemporary art exhibitions. Its goals are to help build lasting networks with local and overseas artists, promote international exchange and set new standards in contemporary art, and support experimental and creative activity by young artists in a variety of genres. Last semester, many people in Seoul enjoyed the Ryan McGinley photography exhibition. Today, they can discover a new vision of the world through Troika’s work. Troika, meaning “a set of three”, was made up of three artists: Eva Rucki (Germany), Conny Freyer (Germany) and Sebastien Noel (France). These three artists met during their studies at the Royal College of Art in London where they still currently reside and work. They work with drawings, sculptures and contemporary installations, offering new ways to perceive nature, science, and art. Their work had been showed all across the world, from the MoMA in New York to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. They even had the opportunity to create installations for the UK Pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai in 2010.

Now imagine this. You’ve barely entered the museum. You haven’t even bought your ticket yet, but you’re already surrounded by what Persistent Illusions has to offer.

cloud1Look up. You’ll see one of the more confusing works by Troika: Cloud. Cloud is situated on the ceiling, flying and changing color and shape as tiny round mirrors show themselves then disappear. They follow a specific route and make forms appear on the surface of the cloud that reflect everything that surrounds it.

Ticket at the ready; eyes, ears ,and mind wide open: it’s time to enter the actual exhibition.

falling-light troikaYou start off with Falling Light.

The installation doesn’t just enlighten the floor; it also “talks” in its own way. While listening to the lights switch themselves on and off, you’ll feel like the room isn’t whole anymore and as if the lights literally falling on the floor are light rain drops. You never know when they are going to fall or how many there will be. You can only listen and try to catch the lights before they disappear, just like rain drops creating circles in the water.

The next room is more of a transition before you enter the next room. Frames are disposed, displaying Small Bangs Squared. A story is being told in these frames: a drop of color paint gets bigger within the following frame. You can either start from left to right and watch the drop grow and become one with the frame, or from right to left to see it shrink until it disappears. These “Bangs” are represented step by step, focusing on specific times.

But what if you want to watch the entire process in great detail from beginning to end without any interruption? Turn around. There’s a small square room with a projection against the wall of another drop of paint that grows while you watch. This particular video installation is called Time Only Exists so That Everything Does Not Happen at Once.

Ever wondered what would happen if your phone, TV, lamp, or any of your other electronic devices could talk? With Electroprobe Installation, Troika enables us to hear it all. All kinds of electronic devices, computers, television screens, gameboys, clocks, etc. from different time periods are all displayed in a circle. In the middle, you’ll see a standing microphone turning in a clockwise direction try to catch every breath and sound that come from these devices. And you’ll be surprised: they happen to have a lot to say. Moreover, just like us, they all have their own voices. They each sound different and express their own personalities through the air.electroprobe-installation1In the same room, The Weather Yesterday is showcasing… yesterday’s weather! Every half hour, the device updates itself to notify us of what the weather was yesterday at the very exact hour as when you’re standing in front of the device. It also indicates the temperature.  Once you’ve completed a full tour around the museum, come back to get one more sneak peak at it.  The numbers will be completely different.

Right before you go up to the next floor, you’ll see paintings and drawings hanging on the wall on a balcony that overlooks Cloud. The paintings and drawings are of simple colors, nothing flashy, simple but deep, that play with human silhouettes and geometric forms.

Upon arriving on the second floor, you’ll automatically find yourself going to the room on your right. However, once you arrive on the third floor, you’ll find yourself automatically wanting to turn left. On the left, you’ll find the very famous installation that gave the exhibition it’s very own name.

Persistent Illusion represents a fountain: a fountain made of strings and electronic cables of every color. This rainbow fountain continues to move and sing thanks to its mechanics that are hidden beneath the ropes. The electronic waves make the ropes look like they’re moving up and down, just like a water fountain. However, this is only an optical illusion since the ropes are, instead, moving right to left and left to right in a very fast motion.

Next, you’ll see that facing those paintings from the ceiling is an installation that you might find even more surprising than Persistent Illusion: the Sum of all Possibilities.

Cables are linked to the ceiling thanks to some mechanisms that enable those very same cables to turn around at different paces in a circular manner. The cables are wood strips hung at several levels, not only so that they wouldn’t crash into each other, but also so that they would create a new shape every second. At some times, the strips get separated and at other times, they all join together to form a compact shape. Because the strips are all of different sizes and the cables turn at different paces, you can never know how the whole installation will look like every five minutes so it’s best to keep an eye on it.

Troika underwent unusual ways of drawing and creating shapes on paper and frame. With 90 Squares, they proved to us that it is possible to create a perfect circle by drawing squares, and more specifically, by drawing 90 of them. They even drew shapes like rivers or trees by burning paper (Delta and Light Drawings).  They sculpted a maze with wood and added soot to get it moving around the maze. There are, in total, three Labyrinths, all made from the same maze but with the soot following different routes and therefore creating brand new drawings. Finally, the team expressed their views on Calculating the Universe by framing a picture made of black and white dices and with circles of different inner geometrical shapes.

The last installation awaits you on the fourth and last floor. It’s a dark room filled with nothing but lights. If you’ve always thought that lights could only spread following straight paths, you might want to try reconsidering.  Arcades is made of lamps creating an alley surrounded by arcades made of light and smoke. Mirrors are displayed on every single lamp to help the lights spread up in a bent way facing the ceiling. You’ll see rainbows appear here and there thanks to those very same mirrors. Before you leave, don’t forget to go back to the second floor to see if there had been any change in the weather.


Persistent Illusions can be seen at the Daelim Museum until October 12, 2014. On the plus side, once you’ve been there, you can go back as many times as you want with your ticket which you definitely won’t want to lose.


Been to the Daelim Museum? Checked out Troika? Let us know what you thought of the exhibit below!


Photo Cred: Laura Maniglier of Seoulsync

Edited by Annie Lee

About The Author

Laura Maniglier

Newly graduated with a Communication & Applied Foreign Languages master's degree, Laura has been living in Seoul for a year. She is from France, but has been to several countries to study and to work. Laura has got a strong interest for arts and cultural events, and truly enjoys living the Korean life. For pictures of her Korean adventures, you can follow her blog (mycupofkoreantea.tumblr.com).