Interview
What we have accomplished, what we are accomplishing,
and what we will accomplish
by the Editorial Team
Javier Marín Mexican contemporary sculptor
Explore Exhibition

Two huge circular sculptures were placed outside the National Museum of Korea. Boasting extraordinary majesty with a diameter of 5 meters each and a weight of 1.9 tons, the name of this work is Chalchihuites . It is a masterpiece of contemporary sculptor Javier Marín. Javier Marín flew from Mexico, on the other side of the world, with his masterpiece to the National Museum of Korea.

Javier Marín Mexican contemporary sculptor

Your artwork is presented here at the National Museum of Korea, to celebrate the special exhibition Aztecs: The People Who Moved the Sun. I am curious about the meaning of this exhibition to you and how you feel about participating.

First of all, I am honored to be invited to this exhibition to commemorate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Korea and Mexico. I also presented my work at an exhibition commemorating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries 10 years ago. This time, I am able to visit Korea in person, so it’s even more special. In connection with the exhibition introducing the Aztec civilization, I have the honor to present Mexican contemporary works. It is my attempt to examine how ancient civilizations have influenced and modernized the Mexico of today and, conversely, to retrace the long history of Mexico through contemporary art.

Please introduce your work Chalchihuites.

Most of my work is based on the cultural heritage of Mexico. In particular, Chalchihuites is inspired by ancient civilizations and history that has been handed down in Mexico through various means. The two circular sculptures symbolize Mesoamerica and at the same time carry the meaning of a glimpse of life.
The word ‘Chalchihuites’ refers to water drops or drops of blood. In Mexico, the expression ‘two drops of water’ means ‘very similar to each other’. Through this work, I wanted to convey the message of ‘we are the same human beings’ and ‘we are equal’. Mexico was under Spanish colonial rule for many years. Therefore, Mexico was heavily influenced by Spain. I think that history still remains a problem to be solved, and I also think it is important to talk about ‘humanity’ and ‘equality’ in our society.
Both those who rule and those who are ruled are still human, after all. And anyone who exists on the other side of the world must not forget that we are all the same.

Precious Stone, Chalchihuites Javier Marín, 2007, Polyester resin, wire Diameter 500cm, width 140cm, weight 1,878kg

You have been mainly presenting sculptures with the theme of ‘human’. What is the reason why you focus on ‘human’, and what message do you want to convey through ‘projection by deconstruction and reconstruction’?

I believe that the world in which humans live, or the world they understand, begins with the eyes. In addition, humans are beings who constantly ask themselves thousands of questions along the lines of who we are and what we’ve been doing.
My work starts here. I let people ‘see’ my work, ‘become curious’ on their own, and ‘understand’ the world. This is how I share as a human being with all other humans.
Each process of exploring, deconstructing, and reconstructing a shape is a fragment that makes up my work. All of these elements come together to create a new conversation. This is the spirit of Chalchihuites. When a piece of sculpture is completed, the process of exploration-deconstruction-reconstruction starts all over again. Adding new pieces leads to new ideas, concepts, and works. I'm constantly seeking the possibility to keep changing, very much like the way that we live our lives. The things we saw, learned, and experienced, that is, the pieces of the past and the present, come together to create the future.

The Aztecs exhibition, which was held for the first time in Korea, received great attention from the public. What did you think about the exhibition?

I felt that the exhibition represents the essence of the Aztec civilization. Special artifacts that were only available locally before are here, and the exhibition layout and curation are excellent. If you are unfamiliar with the Aztec civilization, please come and visit.

I am also curious about your impressions of visiting Korea and the National Museum of Korea.

I’m always interested in seeing and feeling other cultures firsthand. Although I couldn’t stay as long as I wanted, I wanted to see and experience as much as possible. I believe that preserving tradition while not losing sight of the future is important. I had the impression that the whole of South Korea was filled with ideas like this. What has been made, what is being made, and what will be made in the future all coexist in harmony.
The National Museum of Korea was a space where everything I have felt in Korea was wonderfully integrated. I was also impressed with its well-prepared exhibition environment for the artists and the beautiful collections. The view of the museum itself, located in the center of Seoul along with the greenery, was beautiful.
Above all, I was amazed at the scenery of the Mirror Pond where you can see the quiet traditional pavilion and the sophisticated modern architecture behind it.

Lastly, would you like to say a word to the audience who will see your work?

The work is finally completed through the audience’s point of view. A different perspective on the work imbues it with new value. No matter what they feel, how they interpret it, the conversations they have, I just want the Chalchihuites to be enriched through the different ways of appreciation.