“Change is the healthiest way to survive.” A powerful thought for Korea’s expats to live by; we have all made life-changing decisions as a means of survival. The man behind the quote is Karl Lagerfeld, most commonly known for his fashion design accomplishments at one of the most iconic brands in the world, Chanel. Lagerfeld is an inspirational thinker and accomplished artist, and an exhibit of his work is on display for the first time in South Korea through March 18 at the Daelim Contemporary Art Museum. The exhibition, titled “Work in Progress,” brought to us by 7L and MEP of Paris and sponsored by Chanel, is a powerful display of Lagerfeld’s photographic and cinematographic expertise, incorporating a wide variety of styles and media. The title of the exhibition reflects the artist’s belief that art is a constant evolution, and is suggestive of his passion for progressive thinking. This is certainly evident in the works on display at Daelim, which present a powerful energy and rhythm.

The exhibition includes Lagerfeld’s expertise in a diverse range of photographic genres, reaching beyond the fashion design for which most people know him. There is a reading section, which includes a selection of the artist’s photographic publications, as well as a viewing room for several of his short films.

A number of Lagerfeld’s latest fashion photos are also on display at the exhibit, my personal favorite being a beautifully shot collection of Greek mythology characters in black and white. Visitors to “Work in Progress” can also participate in the exhibition with “Cocomaton,” an analogue photo booth that was used in shooting a Chanel collection.

Lagerfeld is a fashion icon of our time, and this exhibition is certainly a testament to his creativity and accomplishments.

Dates: Through March 18, 2012 (not open Mondays)

Cost: 5,000 adults; 3,000 students under 18

Location: Exit number 3 out of Gyeongbok-gung station, walk straight and turn right after Starbucks

Website: http://www.daelimmuseum.org/

Words and images by Julia Bass.