Art & Sharing is a nonprofit organization pursuing a warm-hearted change in society through sharing art and culture. They organize various projects with the aim of delivering the value of art to people. Art & Sharing also provides a place for artists to display their potential talents to others.
“We started as a small club of Seoul National University,” said Kim Su-hyun, the president of Art & Sharing. “As time went by, the founders wanted to develop it as an association, opened to any university student.”
Unlike other cultural organizations, the members of Art & Sharing, called ANSers, are from diverse majors. Currently, 38 students have gathered with one common interest – the sharing of art. According to Kim, majoring in Visual Communication Design, she was the only one from the college of Art & Design.
“Art & Sharing provides a platform for people to take part in artistic activities,” said Ryu Han-sol, an ANSer majoring in Politics at Kyung Hee University. “We can focus on different parts of the society.”
As Ryu mentioned, from obese children to male housewives, the so-called “beneficiaries” of their projects have been numerous. Along with diversified academic specialty, Art & Sharing expresses its interest in various ways. It is divided into four project groups: visual arts, performing arts, art education and free planning.
Under one common theme, each group creates its own style of projects. For instance, the theme of last year's project was “night.” Night represents the neglected or underprivileged social groups. “The letter from a midwinter night” was the project of the performing art group under the theme. They chose North Korean refugees as their project counterparts.
“We asked artists to write a song with the stories of North Korean refugees,” Ryu said. “Then, the refugees performed this song in public at a live cafe in Hongdae. The music enabled the spectators and the refugees to communicate with each other.”
Under the same night theme, the art education group designed a project for children at a pediatrics ward, who are seldom exposed to artistic activities. The project aimed to transform the dull atmosphere into a joyful place with the children’s works. As the children with cancer were the beneficiaries, the project required more care and attention. For instance, they dyed the kids’ blankets with organic indigo color to create an anti-cancer effect.
“At the beginning, there were some children with scarred hearts who said they did not want to participate,” Kim said. “However, at the end of the project, those kids were the ones who stayed until the very end to finish their work.”
With ANSers, the children also dyed scarves and worry dolls to alleviate the children’s pain and nightmares. Their works that are displayed in the hallway have brightened the atmosphere of the hospital.
Under the theme of “stealing,” Art & Sharing plans to focus on the diverse relationship in society. For the first project, “A secret night out of a Mr. Homemaker,” by the visual art group, targets male housewives.
“We displayed various kinds of visual arts such as illustrations, infographics and films about their daily lives,” Ryu said. “One interesting part of the display was that we let the spectators drink various colors of cocktail, each color representing a type of bias. The action of drinking leads to perishing those negative views.”
Although ANSers always try their best, it is not always easy for their projects to come out the way they have expected. There are always different hardships they have to face.
“Sometimes it is hard to cast artists or beneficiaries,” said Ryu, who is in charge of foreign cooperation. “In case of North Korean refugees, some of them did not want to participate. However, through endless contact, the ANSers made the project happen.”
Art & Sharing will continue providing a space for people to share their love toward art and deliver the value to others. However, they emphasize the preciousness of their relationship with their members.
“It is important to know each other well,” Kim said. “Spending time with people who have similar values and interests is priceless. Arguing, learning and doing art with all of the members is very exciting.”
Together, Art & Sharing puts a step forward to spread the value of art. Day by day, ANSers are looking for people who have not yet recognized the value of art or those who can be truly healed by it.