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World Travel Through Photographs

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a film directed by Hollywood’s best visual artist, Wes Anderson. It shows his unique aesthetic style through vivid colors and cinematography. The photography exhibition Accidentally Wes Anderson (AWA), which displays Anderson-styled photos, is currently being well received by visitors. The Sungkyun Times (SKT) would like to introduce the AWA community and exhibition and the exhibition themes.

Specificity of Travel in Daily Life

Accidentally Wes Anderson

AWA, a New York artist collective, originally began in 2017 by Wally and Amanda Koval, a married couple from Brooklyn, to record their bucket lists. They launched an Instagram account named AWA and posted photos of real-life locations that look like “accidental captures” of Anderson’s movies with the hashtag “accidentallywesanderson.” Others also joined AWA by using the same hashtag, and the community rapidly grew. The community currently has more than 1.6 million followers and one million members worldwide. Members can take pictures freely, but each picture should evoke a mood reminiscent of Anderson’s oeuvre. The mission of the community is to inspire adventure and exploration in people who are seeking a moment of delight.

About the Exhibition

The exhibition AWA at Ground Seesaw Seongsu in Seoul is the AWA community’s first large-scale exhibition in Korea. About 300 photographs taken around the world, including Europe, Asia, and America, are displayed in three themes: Reminiscence, Journey, and Inspiration. The photos are the results of pastel-hued visuals, perfect symmetry, and beautiful spectacles. Thus, the visitors can encounter fairy-tale-like photos and find inspiration for trips. The exhibition offers comforting words saying that even though we do not travel abroad, the place near us can be a special destination you never realized. If you look carefully at the photos, you can feel the joy of finding unfamiliar scenes of places, buildings, and landscapes of daily life. Furthermore, at the end of the exhibition, there is a souvenir shop, which sells sensitive and practical goods such as postcards, posters, or fabric sprays containing the scent of the exhibition.

Exhibition Souvenirs Shop

Inspiration Is Right in front of You

Theme One: Reminiscence

The Reminiscence theme displays photos that recollect and evoke nostalgia through pastel-hued warm colors. The “Welcome Adventures” Zone signals the start of the adventure. Instead of showing pictures of special places, there are pictures of Wally and Amanda Koval taking photographs. Next, the “Open Your Album” Zone begins with the photographer’s question, “What does travel mean to you?” There is a wall dividing the zone into two areas, further showing the look of turning the album pages. The theme color is pastel-hued pink, but all the photos contain the sky; this composition gives visitors a peaceful contrast. Overall, this zone consists of pictures of buildings and nature that allow visitors to remind themselves of their past trips.

Wally and Amanda Koval (Accidentally Wes Anderson Instagram)

Theme Two: Journey

The second theme, Journey, displays photos of ordinary but fantastic places in the world. In the “Mind the Gap” Zone, the photos are composed of transportation such as airplanes, trains, and buses. Those photos are impressive because they show how both human history and our trips started with the wheel. The workpieces usually show the scenery and people we can see through the window when taking transportation. Also, there is a photo zone that looks like a train. “The Terminal” Zone displays photos of the terminals of various regions and is embellished with bricks. Usually, a terminal is just a way to work, not a destination. However, some of the displayed terminals have special stories, which provide another inspiration to visitors. The “Check-in, Please” Zone’s theme is a hotel where tourists stay to recover from fatigue while traveling. This zone best describes Anderson’s film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, by displaying photos of hotels around the world. In addition, there is a photo zone set like a hotel lobby where visitors can be concierges.

“Mind the Gap” Zone (nitter.net)

"Check In, Please” Zone (accidentallywesanderson.com)

Theme Three: Inspiration

In the third theme, Inspiration, visitors can remind themselves of their journies and reinterpret their daily lives. The “Colorful Collection” Zone consists of images with pink and turquoise colors that often appear in Anderson’s movies and AWA’s photo archive. Pink symbolizes cure and relaxation in color psychology, and turquoise is a trendy color representing vividness and uniqueness. With these colors, installed mirrors enable visitors to see their features with beautiful colors. The “Relax in Nature” Zone displays photos of natural sceneries. Looking at those photos, the visitors can feel a sense of the quiet nature they enter after finishing their trip to the city. In the middle of this zone, telescope photos are displayed; this is the photographer’s intention to show a view of nature seen through telescopes. Lastly, exits and piles of baggage photos are displayed as if the trip is heading to the end. In addition, visitors can make their boarding passes through kiosks, ending their trips perfectly. Enjoying the exhibition for an hour and a half, visitors can feel as if they have traveled the world.

“Relax in Nature” Zone

Boarding Passes

정민주  sophiejmj@g.skku.edu

<저작권자 © THE SUNGKYUN TIMES, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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