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When chewing gum, coke and ice cream become art

Haribo World Gallery at Annyeong Insadong Central Museum in central Seoul. (Choi Jae-hee / The Korea Herald)

To enter “Haribo World,” you’ll pass through multiple gates in the shape of the brand’s famous gummy bears. Inside a room at the end of the corridor, the iconic Goldbears character is brought to life with media art that covers an entire wall, from ceiling to floor.

In this exhibition, which is currently taking place at the Insa Central Museum in Annyeong Insa-dong in central Seoul, the inspiration is clearly the favorite gum of children and many adults – Haribo Goldbears.

Co-opened in October this year by Haribo headquarters in Germany and Seoul-based digital content company Peopulley, “Haribo World” celebrates the centenary of the global confectionery brand.

Haribo World Gallery at Annyeong Insadong Central Museum in central Seoul.  (Choi Jae-hee / The Korea Herald)

Haribo World Gallery at Annyeong Insadong Central Museum in central Seoul. (Choi Jae-hee / The Korea Herald)

Inside the 1,300-square-meter exhibition hall, there are multiple statues of Haribo bears and luxurious decorations, including a giant cake-shaped sculpture and multicolored ceiling banners.

a popcorn machine is filled with Haribo Goldbears in front of the cinema and a newsstand displays packets of various flavors near where a gummy bear statue greets visitors; Famous shooting spots are scattered all around. Recreational facilities such as trampolines and arcade games add a festive atmosphere to the fair.

Haribo World Gallery at Annyeong Insadong Central Museum in central Seoul.  (Choi Jae-hee / The Korea Herald)

Haribo World Gallery at Annyeong Insadong Central Museum in central Seoul. (Choi Jae-hee / The Korea Herald)

Haribo World Gallery at Annyeong Insadong Central Museum in central Seoul.  (Choi Jae-hee / The Korea Herald)

Haribo World Gallery at Annyeong Insadong Central Museum in central Seoul. (Choi Jae-hee / The Korea Herald)

Haribo World Gallery at Annyeong Insadong Central Museum in central Seoul.  (Choi Jae-hee / The Korea Herald)

Haribo World Gallery at Annyeong Insadong Central Museum in central Seoul. (Choi Jae-hee / The Korea Herald)

The gift shop is full of Haribo-inspired merchandise from T-shirts and stationery to giant bags of candy.

A 24-year-old visitor surnamed Hwang said bears have become a very well-known and popular character, even though they are not from an animated movie or a fashion brand logo.

“This kind of art fair is not only popular with candy lovers but also people who like cute things,” said Hwang, who introduced herself as a college student in Seoul. The Haribo fair will run until March 12 next year.

Food meets art

Haribo is one of the many international food brands hosting pop-up exhibitions in Seoul at the moment.

The American ice cream brand Haagen-Dazs, in collaboration with Lotte Gallery, presents the art exhibition “Melting Point”, which runs until November 30.

The pop-up presents more than 30 works by nine local artists. All of their paintings, illustrations, and art installations are inspired by the different colors, flavors, and shapes of Haagen-Dazs ice creams, bars, and sorbets, according to gallery staff.

Haagen-Dazs presents the art exhibition “Melting Point”, in collaboration with Lotte Gallery, at the Jamsil branch of the Lotte Department Store in Seoul. (Choi Jae-hee / The Korea Herald)

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Even the rug on the floor conjures up images of melting ice cream. Tall vertical installations suspended from the ceiling showcase the soft, chewy texture of Haagen-Dazs ice cream, while fabric ice cream towers represent the brand’s variety of products.

“It’s interesting to see familiar food items transformed into works of art. I love how they mixed colors to express the flavors of the ice cream,” said Chu, who visited the gallery on Thursday afternoon with her daughter.

Another global food brand that has teamed up to visualize its products through art is Coca-Cola. It has teamed up with d’strict, a Korean company known for producing immersive, high-quality informative art content. The result is “Dreamworld,” which is currently playing at Wisepark Hongdae Seoul through December 4.

Inside Coca-Cola's Dreamworld pop-up exhibition, in collaboration with local media arts company d'strict, at Wisepark Hongdae in Seoul.  (Choi Jae-hee / The Korea Herald)

Inside Coca-Cola’s Dreamworld pop-up exhibition, in collaboration with local media arts company d’strict, at Wisepark Hongdae in Seoul. (Choi Jae-hee / The Korea Herald)

Inside Coca-Cola's Dreamworld pop-up exhibition, in collaboration with local media arts company d'strict, at Wisepark Hongdae in Seoul.  (Choi Jae-hee / The Korea Herald)

Inside Coca-Cola’s Dreamworld pop-up exhibition, in collaboration with local media arts company d’strict, at Wisepark Hongdae in Seoul. (Choi Jae-hee / The Korea Herald)

A 10-meter electric screen displays a short video clip of vibrant illustrations of nature mixed with real photos of Coca-Cola products.

Pink walls painted with the Coca-Cola logo and a fake pink vending machine filled with Coca-Cola drinks attract visitors looking for a place to take a few shots.

The event venue is also furnished with immersive, informative art displays created by d’strict. They captivate visitors with moving images of an ocean projected onto the walls, ceiling, and floor, as if standing on the seashore.

“The bright colors of the walls and the abstract illustrations mixed with the image of Coca-Cola can completely give me an impression of American pop art. I think the exhibition clearly conveys the brand image of Coca-Cola,” said Jang, an office worker in her twenties.

Inside Coca-Cola's Dreamworld pop-up exhibition, in collaboration with local media arts company d'strict, at Wisepark Hongdae in Seoul.  (Choi Jae-hee / The Korea Herald)

Inside Coca-Cola’s Dreamworld pop-up exhibition, in collaboration with local media arts company d’strict, at Wisepark Hongdae in Seoul. (Choi Jae-hee / The Korea Herald)

Why art?

The recent boom in the local art market has, in part, led many food companies to incorporate art into their brand campaigns, according to some business experts.

“There has been a growing demand for artwork among young art collectors, millennials and Gen Z who crave visuals. Promoting brand identity in an aesthetically pleasing way has become more important than ever,” said Lee Chae-ho, a business professor at Dongguk University. Before.

“Picturing food products through art galleries can increase brand awareness and positively influence a company’s marketing efforts if relevant images and videos go viral on the Internet and gain traction with many people.”

Li pointed out that the softer rules to combat the Corona virus have strengthened the technical marketing of food companies.

Museums and galleries have been among the hardest hit by the COVID crisis. Food companies’ pop-up offers have gained momentum thanks to the relaxation of social distancing rules coupled with people’s pent-up demand for outdoor activities.”

By Choi Jae-hee ([email protected])

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