An astonishing global exhibition celebrating Swarovski’s “Sparkling Secrets” launched at Seoul’s hyper-cool Daelim Contemporary Art Museum last month with a glittering reception.
Open to the public until February 13, “Sparkling Secrets” takes visitors on a sensory journey that reflects the brand’s glittering milestones. From humble beginnings 117 years ago, when it was founded by visionary Daniel Swarovski, to its creative impact on high-end fashion and art, exhibits include jaw-dropping installations, amazing graphics, stunning light displays and fascinating collaborations with Korean artists.
As dramatic highlights go, the Hall of Fame ranks pretty high up, with its reinterpretations of Judy Garland’s iconic ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz created by some of the world’s top shoe designers, including Alberta Ferretti, Christian Louboutin, and Sergio Rossi for the 70th Anniversary in 2009. Plus there are jewelry items from famous movies, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, as well as handmade attire from Madonna’s worldwide tour.
There’s a chance to meet Swarovski’s Creative Director Nathalie Colin, the brains behind Swarovski’s jewelry collections. Visitors can witness her creative process via a re-imagining of her Paris atelier, enjoying photos, sketches, mood boards, drawings, and even the sound of sketching, together with ghostly snatches of whispered conversations.
Those in the know will recognise Tord Boontje’s iconic 2005 Ice Branch chandelier, and relish the unique opportunity to be dazzled by Swarovski’s latest crystalline tour de force, the flawless XIRIUS 1088, displayed as a show-stopping 27cm diameter chaton.
The Hall of Fashion showcases lofty couture partnerships, such as Christian Dior, Roberto Cavalli, Alberta Ferretti, Escada, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood, and the Fashion Show area recreates a catwalk with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS-embellished designs from Prada, Missoni, Antonio Berardi, Atelier Swarovski by Holly Fulton, Balmain, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci just to name a few.
Must-see Korean media artist Roll Sp!ke’s crystalline multi-media art works enchant via light, sound, film, and music, while countrywoman Soyoung Chung’s fascinating sculptural installations integrate crystal into virtual spaces.
On leaving the museum there’s a final treat: the impressive Nirvana Dome in the garden, inspired by Swarovski’s Nirvana ring, with its 93 precision-cut crystal facets. Korean architect Minsuk Cho has created the “Nirvana Space”, an impressive structure where visitors get the chance to try on the beautiful rings themselves. A sensory feast to leave visitors gasping.