Subtle Body

Various Artists


11 - 17 Nov 2023

Participating Artists


Han Gene

Jonghoon Jang

Spine Party Movement X ANAPARN

Tae Parvit

Guest Curator

Sangyeop Rhii

Graphic Design

Lee Gunjung

About Subtle Body:

Sūkṣma-śarīra Subtle Body

The term 'subtle body' or 'mystical body', called sūkṣma-śarīra in Sanskrit, literally refers to a body and its states that are neither wholly physical nor wholly spiritual, but subtle in nature. This concept of the body as intermediate, overlapping, interwoven and subtle is mainly dealt with in Eastern thought and religion (Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.). The subtle body is derived from the practice of uniting the body and spirit as one, and refers to all the states in which this practice is sustained, being, for example, a major concept in yoga, one of the Eastern physical, mental and spiritual practices.

Furthermore, this subtle body is a term that also carries certain Asian chracteristics. Unlike the western view of body and soul as separate things, Asians are used to seeing/conceiving the body and soul as one. Because of that, the subtle body is a concept that can help to understand the Asian body. So, what is an 'Asian body' like? It could refer to a certain color, body type, or shape that visually stands out in specific body parts, or it could be distinguished by things such as the way the body moves, or its pace, or it could refer to something that dwells in the mind/spirit and is expressed/manifested in the body. Considering all the possibilities of what an 'Asian body' could be, what would be the limits for its definition? Which bodies are Asian and which are not? The term 'Asian body' itself is nuanced. Nevertheless, if we haven't given it too much though, isn't it something worth thinking about?

The exhibition asks/wonders about what an 'Asian body' is, by bringing together various Asian bodies that we have lived in ourselves and encountered throughout our lives. The exhibition consists of works by artists who draw bodies, make bodies, or reconstruct body parts. They all show different bodies that they have had, experienced or touched, all of which are Asian. And beneath the surface of these visible bodies, dwell Asian thoughts, experiences, spirits, and minds.

The term 'Asian' is very large and complex. It can not be defined as easily as it can be written in one word/five letters, and it doesn't hold together as well. Subtle Body intends to place both a question mark and an exclamation point after the asian bodies on display at the exhibition space. If someone came and asked why these bodies are Asian, the easy and simple answer would be "because they were drawn and made by Asians", however, we aim to question the problems behind such a simplification. Therefore, we hope that this exhibition is an opportunity to not just glance at the body in front of us, but look closely at its surface, and to take this as a starting point for us to be fully able to appreciate the subtleties of our own bodies once again.

information provided by event organizer