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Posted : 2010-07-21 16:48
Updated : 2010-07-21 16:48

Anyang art project seeks smart social design


A decades-old residence was discovered during one of the Saturday trips through Manan County.
/ Courtesy of Stone & Water
By Ines Min
Staff reporter

Korea is undoubtedly a fast-developing country and the past four decades have seen a dramatic change in both landscape and cultural perspectives. One side effect of such steep growth has been a lack of focus on design, leading to uninspired architecture and eyesores of community centers.

The Seoksu Art Project 2010 (SAP 2010) opened last weekend, as part of efforts by the Anyang Public Art Project Foundation to combine aesthetics with function in the city. Organized by the nonprofit art space Stone & Water, the event seeks to bring new design ideas to old spaces.

Comprised of an international residency program, an Asian artists exchange group and the local community, participants from each area will work together to help transform the surrounding society through design plans. Twelve different countries are represented in the group, including Korea.

For an introduction to the works by the artists, two days will be dedicated to presentations this weekend, including ones by photographer Katrin Murbach from Switzerland, Riikka Tauriainen from Finland and Indonesian Jim Allen Abel, among others.

Weekly Saturday excursions through the county will provide artists and other participants an opportunity to learn the historical and contemporary aspects of the area, including exploring even the smallest alleyways to discuss design possibilities.

Since the 1950s Seoksu-dong has been the home to a large-scale film studio. In another interactive portion of the project, people of all ages and artistic backgrounds are invited to enter their film submissions (of any genre). Selected films will be screened in September, at the end of the project.


Manan’s New Town, seen in this photo, will be one of the locales explored during the weekly excursions to view the inner workings of the city.
/ Courtesy of Stone & Water
Integration

The location of the art space and project are pivotal aspects to the work of the festival. Located in Seoksu-dong, Manan County, the event takes inspiration from its surroundings. The world ``seoksu’’ can be translated into ``stone and water’’ in English, while the participation of the community is confronted in the title for the volunteer section: ``Manan-haseyo?!’’

While ``manan’’ stands for peace or tranquility in Korean, the latter half of the title is a form of greeting used when inquiring about how a person is doing. When combined, the phrase seems to aggressively question the quality of the environment, playing on both the county name and its root definition.

The Anyang Public Art Project Foundation, which is the larger host for SAP 2010, endeavors to turn to art in response to the modern atmosphere that encourages constant growth.

The city has 31 redevelopment projects planned, according to a statement from the foundation, which will tear down nearly all its existing buildings to replace them with new complexes. The foundation estimates that up to 80 percent of the some 160,000 residents will be displaced ― the organization seeks to work with community members in order to create proposals for smarter urban design.

To participate in SAP 2010 or view the final open studio and exhibition at Stone & Water, take subway line 1 to Gwanak Station, exit number 1. The market is a 10 minute walk from the station. Visit www.stoneenwater.org for more information about events and SAP 2010.

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