Every Saturday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., the small park in front of Hong-ik University bustles with people buying and selling artwork in the Freemarket. Around the park, several tables filled with stand side by side, surrounded by long lines of visitors. This weekly event, held from March through November marks its ninth anniversary this June.
An informal flea market featuring creative work by Hong-ik University students had existed on weekends since the 1900s. The Freemarket Plann as part of the World Cup Culture Programs supported by the government. Then, as the Freemarket gained fame and participants, Freemarket took place on weekly basis.
The planning team is an all-volunteer group. Those who want to join the team can apply online and then they are given an interview.
“Freemarket volunteers are the center of Freemarket. We supervise the event, prepare the programs, and do the public relations,” said Lee Seul from the Management team of Freemarket.
Freemarket focuses on displaying and exhibiting the works of young amateur artists. The planning team selects 100 artists to participate, after reviewing online applications which contain their profile, purpose for applying, and their portfolio of three works of art. The planning team focuses on ingenuity and ingenuity, but also tries to select artists who will actively participate in the Freemarket’s programs. These selected are given the title Life=creating Artist.
“Anyone can be an Life=creating Artist, but we try to find artists who share similar perspectives on art with Freemarket,” said Lee.
Besides the market, the team plans Creative Workshop, and a performance program named Afternoonstage.
Creative workshops feature artists who volunteer to teach or talk about how their daily life inspires them to create work of art.
Afternoonstage features music, dance, and other creative performances by musicians around Hong-ik University. The performance is placed right behind the free market, with several seats and a tip box. Almost anyone with their own performance can sign up to perform.
There is also a free performance space besides the Afternoonstage where people share spontaneous performances and activities, such as having an improvised beat box competition.
“It is very exciting to experience Korean youths’ way of showing their definition of art,” said Jonathan Hobbs, a visitor from Australia.