“It’ll be as if slices of Korea have somehow dropped into the Jardin des Tuileries,” says Charles Matz, architect and designer of the De Ma Fenêtre mini-museum.
For visitors to Paris’s Louvre Museum a singular temporary structure and exquisite body of work intersect at an unexpected site. From June 27th through July 23rd, the Louvre hosts an unprecedented installation of photographs by South Korean artist Ahae, presented in the southwestern corner of the museum’s adjacent Jardin des Tuileries. The exhibition, De Ma Fenetre (Through My Window), features several hundred photographs selected from nearly two million, taken from a single window in the artist’s South Korea atelier over a three-year period.
Iterations of Through My Window have been exhibited in venues throughout the world, including Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal, New York City and The National Gallery, Prague. This month’s groundbeaking Louvre exhibition is however set apart, installed within a bespoke exhibition pavilion—the first that the museum has allowed for a solo artist’s exhibition— designed by the planning and creative direction firm Charles Matz. Matz had been the creative force behind previous installations of Through My Window, as well as the The Official City of New York – 911 Memorial Exhibition at Ground Zero.
In Paris, Charles Matz’s demountable structure will take the form of what is essentially a long, elegant rectangle, a tented pavilion with a wood base mimicking the look of a solid, classical grey granite building:
“After entering the formalist façade at the structure’s north end and passing through a foyer with informational displays about the artist and the exhibition, the visitor is drawn through a series of serene exhibition spaces. Among these spaces are two large, skylit oval galleries (echoing those in the actual Orangerie) that house collections of prints on specific themes. One is devoted to Ahae’s photographs of the sky in all its captivating moods and hues. The other, the Reflection Room, gathers Ahae’s lyrical photographic musings on light and water.
In contrast to the digital C prints in the rest of the exhibition, all of the photographs in these two oval galleries are “watercolor prints”, i.e. printed on watercolor paper that absorbs the inks, giving them a heightened richness and painterly depth of color.
The long central gallery or grand hall that connects the two oval rooms is the site of a pair of De Ma Fenêtre’s most spectacular pieces: two 10 meter x 5 meter lightboxed landscapes: the close-up Maple Trees in Spring and a wide-angle view of the pond directly outside Ahae’s window, the wintry Through My Window.”