By Park, Chang-kyu (, Dong-A Ilbo

Updated: 2021-01-11 03:04 [GMT+9]

(Original article:

| Exhibition: ‘100 Ideas for Public Art’.

| Seoul: 12th to 18th January, open online.

| “Revitalize the art world, quench the thirst for culture”.

| 25 to 40 points selected and installed within the city in the first half of the year.

There will be an opportunity to meet public art works, which are usually installed in parks and vacant lots in front of large buildings, online. Video clips showing the author/artist’s intention to create individual works and introduction by experts will also be provided.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government will hold an exhibition called ‘100 ideas for Public Art’ in Seoul from the 12th to the 18th of this month. The exhibition is being organized in somewhat unique way, including the release of 100 public art ideas through online virtual galleries.

Various artists who produce public art works in various fields, such as paintings, sculptures, exhibitions, media facade, street art, and community art, are struggling with the stagnation of the art world due to the prolonged new coronavirus infection (COVID 19). Last year, major art events around the world, including the Venice Biennale, were canceled. Domestic events, such as the Gwangju Biennale, have also been postponed to this year, but it is unclear whether they will be held or not. Accordingly, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has decided to promote an online exhibition as part of the ‘COVID 19 Seoul Public Art Project’.

A city official explained, “The aim is to revitalize the art world and increase opportunities for citizens to enjoy culture by providing creative opportunities to artists suffering from COVID 19.”

The exhibition was designed to make the online space a single exhibition hall, making it feel like looking around the actual exhibition hall. It starts at a virtual lobby with a map of Seoul city. When you enter the exhibition hall by taking a separate elevator provided for each autonomous district, you will be able to see each piece. There are plans, interview videos, and introductions by various art theorists to help anyone understand the work easily.

The city received ideas through an open recruitment in September last year, and a total of 1,500 people (or teams) were selected after a preliminary round. Later on, 300 people (teams) were selected in the first part of the finals, and then finally 100 people (teams) were selected in the second part of the finals.

From the final round, the city provided support to the writers at each stage. 1,500 people who passed the preliminary round received 1 million won each for activity expenses, and then 1 million won and 3 million won each were given to those who passed the 1st and 2nd part of the finals respectively. In addition, each writer/artist was provided 1 to 3 expert consulting sessions.

A city official said, “The total budget for support is 3 billion won, which is the largest among public art competition programs in the city that has been held so far.” “The number of organizers and citizens who participated in projects such as consulting and screening also amounts to a total of 240”.

About 80% of the participants in this project are young and young artists under the age of 40. The city encouragingly evaluated the growing interest of young artists in this project, considering that in the past middle-aged artists over their 40s usually participated in public art.

The city plans to carefully select 25 to 40 pieces of online exhibitions and install them throughout Seoul in the first half of this year. Yoo, Yeon-sik, head of the city’s cultural headquarters, said, “We look forward to the future contributions of emerging artists with novel ideas who participated in the contest to promote public art.”

English translation by Achuina Pamei