Arario Gallery, Cheonan-si

Chromatophobia – The Fear of Money – 2011

Chromatophobia is an abnormal and persistent fear of money. Sufferers experience undue anxiety even though they realize their fear is irrational. They worry that they might mismanage money or that money might live up to its reputation as ” the root of all evil.”

Turbulence is a state where rhythm is lost. A seed sown with a wish for “momentum” grew up into a greed for “speed”. A speed that has never been seen before brought excitement!, Enjoyment!! And finally, a fear about the very speed we opted for!!! The result: Chromatophobia – Fear of Money.

Treating Chromatophobia involves an invasive procedure that involves “bringing the rhythm back”, while maintaining the vitals in a stable condition under local anesthesia. Time is a crucial factor in bringing the rhythm back. The “process of ageing” that involves “time” is theonly prescription that can control the speed and bring the lost rhythm back. This may involve some minor side effects like “survival of thefittest”.


Arario Gallery Cheonan is proud to host Chromatophobia: The Fear of Money, the solo exhibition of India-born artist-in-residence L.N. Tallur (b. 1971) from May 6th throughout June 26th. This exhibition presents Tallur’s unique body of work produced since his solo exhibition in Arario Seoul in 2007, created and developed through the artist’s solo exhibitions in Arario New York, Arario Beijing and other top galleries around the world.

Tallur’s works spark the viewer’s interest with rare kind of exotic visual elements that cannot be traced from European, Asian or African influences. Tallur’s works are distinctly different from African folk art tradition which has many times been used as a motif in contemporary art, or from Chinese or North East Asian contemporary art that is already familiar to Korea. Tallur’s works are partially based on the traditions of Indian sculpture and architecture; however, his works are distinctively exotic because his approach to traditional Indian sculpture is from a wholly different level.

Since majoring in Painting and Museology in India and studying contemporary art in Leeds Metropolitan University in England, Tallur has been developing his art practice in both Korea and India for 8 years. Tallur’s stance on the Indian traditional culture is somewhat distanced as he has spent a long time away from home; thus, although his works employ Indian folk handicraft as the medium, they destroy icons of traditional Indian culture and deny Indian tradition. However, his sensational works aren’t meant to only make the viewers uncomfortable. By attaching mechanical apparatus or pouring concrete on statues of Buddha, Tallur’s shocking works nonchalantly throws jokes and humorous pun-filled titles. Through such approach, Tallur’s works uproot the Western-created notion of Orientalism, and suggest humor and futility in how the reshuffling of world power due to globalism has permeated into our everyday life.

In particular, this exhibition traces the artist’s observations on the global expansion of financial panic that started in the U.S. in 2008. Having witnessed something like neoliberalism, which at once seemed to be invincible, instantly dissolve into thin air, Tallur draws an analogy between such abnormal phenomenon to a neurosis called Chromatophobia, which defines abnormal level of fear towards money. People with such illness believe that money is the root of all evil, and fear money beyond the normal level of anxiety. Analyzing the cause of such condition, the artist explains that the state of turbulence is a result of the transformation from the longing for momentum to lust for speed. This exhibition is a type of subscription for such a condition.

* Take out a coin from your pocket.
* Take the hammer provided for this noble cause.
* Take a deep breath.
* CLEAN UP your mind from all worries, ugly thoughts and bad actions.
* Nail or hammer the coin to this wish tree.
* While nailing, make a wish in your “CLEAN and FRESH” heart.
* See your wish coming true in few days!

These are instructions for the work Chromatophobia, an installation of a long thick log called Wish Tree, propped up by two Indian Buddhist sculptures. The viewer is encouraged to hammer a coin into the log following the artist’s instruction, and the half-rotten log is covered with wishful coins. The viewer makes a wish through a simple ritual of hammering sound, but inversely, such act symbolizes the uselessness of a coin that’s lost its monetary value.

Apocalypse, an installation in which the viewer grinds coins with an electric grinder in a steel walk-in cage, plays with the dual meaning of the term ‘polished’. The coins are polished to reach a degree of refinement (polished); however, the polished coin is ultimately rendered useless. The title Apocalypse is filled with sharp satire on the loss of value pursued by Capitalism, and the results of an artificial process of expedited abrasion.

This exhibition also presents E= mc2 Part Two, a work which mimics a pile of garbage covered in grease, Genetically Modified Landscape, an installation work dealing with genetically modified produce expressed in East Asian landscape painting style, Graft Series, in which a chain of wood creates interesting man-made growth rings, and other fascinating works made with wood, traditional statues, steel, mechanical devices and silicone.

This solo exhibition of Tallur L.N, offers an opportunity to experience works of a unique artist whose alarming and sharp criticism towards Western-oriented contemporary society is expressed through the artist’s idiosyncratically skeptical humorous approach. It also yields a chance to take a peep into the world of contemporary Indian art in international highlight.

An e- folktale: A Solution to the Global Economic Crisis

In a small town on the southern coast of France, the holiday season was in full swing, but due to rain business was slow and the people were in debt.
Luckily, a rich Russian tourist arrived in the foyer of a small local hotel. He asked for a room and gave a €100 note to the man at thereception counter. He asked the hotel owner if he could see the room before occupying it. The owner agreed and gave him the key to theroom. The Russian guest took the key and went to inspect the room located on the third floor of the hotel.

In a hurry, the hotel owner took the banknote and rushed to his meat supplier, to whom he owed €100. The butcher took the money and raced to his supplier to pay his debt. The wholesaler rushed to the farmer to pay €100 for pigs he purchased some time ago. The farmer then triumphantly gave the €100 note to a local prostitute, who gave him her services on credit. The prostitute quickly went to the hotel, to pay for the room she occupied earlier to render her services.

At that moment, the rich Russian tourist came down to the reception and informed the hotel owner that the room was unsatisfactory and took his €100 back and departed.
So here is a debt free town, whose future looks “as shiny as a polished coin…”


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