the dreamy, surreal installations of avant-garde south korean brand gentle monster

the dreamy, surreal installations of avant-garde south korean brand gentle monster

you probably already know gentle monster for its bold, avant-garde designs of sunglasses. what you might not know yet is that the south korean eyewear brand takes an equally radical approach when it comes to the commercial interiors that frame their products.

the 26th quantum project ‘beating beats’, an art installation that combines audio and visual elements 
all images courtesy of gentle monster



founded in seoul in 2011 by hankook kim, gentle monster has been on an innovative path when it comes to brand awareness, seeking to create an entire universe that represents its aesthetics, and with which consumers can identify. for the past couple of years, the brand has been operating BAT, a project space linked to its flagship store in seoul, which is currently operating as a secret area that only customers who purchase products can access, using a map and key.

the first BAT project was launched with ‘coffee in the farm’, a concept space in the shape of a modern cafe that housed a vertical farm similar to a lab



before BAT, gentle monster ran the quantum project, a series of 36 spatial installations, redesigned every 25 days through collaborations with artists and brands. the project started four years ago with ‘blank desert’, an exhibition organized with gentle monster’s sister brand that showcased a car submerged under a sea of sand. much like the desert, the otherworldly installation included no sign of life, while the concept behind it was ‘grounded in a cycle of creation and demise’.

the first quantum project organized with gentle monster’s sister brand, blank desert



spanning over the 29 months, the quantum project included fantastical, otherworldly installations such as ‘beating beats’, a space adorned with orange fringes where the sound of forty tambourines and six hand drums gave the room a life of its own, and ‘daydream oasis’,  an embossed swimming pool surrounded by silver fabric and shiny palm trees, where visitors where given the a chance to step away from the mundane and into a surreal dreamworld. the series concluded with the 36th exhibition, ‘final symphony’, which featured elements of kinetic motion, sound, lights, performance and color.

‘final symphony’, last in the series, featured a dynamic installation that combined sound, lights, motion and performance

gentle monster’s 33rd quantum project, ‘daydream oasis’

‘daydream oasis’ transported customers into a shiny palm tree-filled dream

the 30th quantum exhibition, titled ‘move out’, presented a renewal project on all three floors of the hongdae flagship store

the installation featured sub-themes on each level of the store, where a house hanging from the ceiling was featured in the first floor

under the sub theme, ‘moving memories,’ the third floor featured furniture and all sorts of objects suspended in time


the surreal 26th installation, ‘breathing cactus’, featured a series of soft balloons decorated with sharp spines to resemble cacti

40 tambourines and six hand drums sounded a rhythmic beat for the duration of the 26th project

the 16th quantum project by gentle monster was titled ‘merry-go-round’ and played with feelings of nostalgia and hidden memories

the remains of broken sculptures together with the ring of the merry-go-round and various pieces of candy transported visitors back to their childhood days

‘wonder’ is fifth in the series, where gentle monster place the audience in a room filled with one thousand dried statice flowers in a space surrounded by mirrors gentle monster’s eighth quantum project, ‘fly away home’,  was created in collaboration with artist roe dongsik

the installation displayed a full room experience of the sky, recreated using cotton to give the impression of fluffy clouds plucked from the sky

‘smash pong’, the 17th project, invited visitors to the ping-pong court

the room was decorated with uniquely shaped tables, an oversized racket, and a machine that tossed ping-pong balls across the room to a rhythmic tempo

the 15th project was titled ‘overgrown park’, created in collaboration with florist sohee park from elle travaille floral atelier, which hoped to present an early spring to all visitors. on the show’s final day, people were able to purchase the overgrown plants

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