The art world debunked the myth of the neutrality of the white-box gallery long ago. When it comes to displaying art, it's impossible to create an impartial context that will—white walls and concrete floors be damned—silently recede or disappear. That doesn't mean there aren't new and novel ways of trying. For its 13,500 square-foot Kukje Gallery building in Seoul, the New York City firm Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu (SO – IL) tinkered with the idea of dissolving the gallery envelope—not from within, but from the outside. And they did it using chain mail.
Kukje is located in Seoul's Samcheong-ro area, a part of town it helped transform into the Korean capital's blue-chip gallery district when the space opened there in 1982. Since then, the scale of contemporary works has grown in tandem with the neighborhood's burgeoning art scene, where numerous high-profile galleries and modern art centers are now firmly ensconced. Showing such space-hungry artists as Anselm Kiefer and Louise Bourgeois, Kukje expanded its first building over the years, and added a second one next door in 2007.