Students turn isolated areas into art platforms
Students turn isolated areas into art platforms
  • Lee Young-in
  • 승인 2017.05.08 20:45
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On April 21, Seoul announced the final seven teams for the University student Public Art contest that was held from Feb. 3 to 24. The selected seven projects are from Kookmin Univeristy, Seoul National University of Science and Technology, Seoul National University, Sungshin Women’s University, and others. 
The project aims to reduce regional problems such as safety issues due to isolation of certain districs, and help students and residents to better communicate with each other. Moreover, the project enables students to integrate their ideas with the real world. 
 Each team consists of five to 25 students, an advisor, and an expert of public art who participates during the workshops. In total, more than 100 students will be participating in the project. 
The first phase of the project will take place through several group workshops where students present their ideas and discuss the details with experts. Next, each team will investigate a specific residential area and check to see if there is something that can be improved. After numerous discussions within the team, they will apply their designs to the location. The process of the project will be exhibited to citizens at a international conference held in September, and the project will be finalized in November.  
One of the projects, “Love U, Connections (Live, Opportunity, Victory, Empathy, Upcycling)” by Sookmyung Women’s University, seeks to improve the environment near the deteriorating underpasses in the area. There are currently five underpasses at Yongsan-gu and they have been a cause for social concern due to facility obsolescence. To solve the problem, the team has come up with the idea of constructing five distinctive designs for each underpass. For example, at the Sookmyung University subway station, they plan to apply AR(Augmented Reality) designs on the existing paintings using QR codes. It will allow people to enjoy the high-tech visual effects and take pictures with various fun backgrounds at the photo zone. With AR, super graphics, up-cycling, light and lenticular techniques, the team’s goal is to help decrease the crime rate and brighten the image of Yongsan-gu. 
Other projects include “Jeongneung Biennale” by Kookmin University, which plans to transform alleys into three exhibitions where people can appreciate the displayed artworks. Also, to engage with more people, they are trying to establish their official website and social media. 
Furthermore, Seoul National University’s “Project 52-2dong no.101” is looking to using empty spaces near school. Using simple furniture and tools, such spaces can be turned into small classrooms or places for meetings. The project has the potential to provide opportunity for students to interact with local merchants by working with them in completing the project.  
Overall, the project is expected to have a positive effect on the local community, especially for the places that need makeover, such as old alleys or underpasses. The project is part of “Seoul Urban Art project,” and shares the same purpose of making citizens feel that Seoul is a safe and friendly city by infusing artistic imagination with memories of the disappearing sites preserve its history.
“In college, students don’t have the opportunity to learn about public art, and instead work hard on opening their own gallery or exhibitions,” said Park Jae-eun, a representative of the Seoul City Design Policy Division team. “Seoul City initially started this business to encourage students to really go out to the field and help enrich people’s lives with their talents. As this is the first try, there are certainly things to worry about, such as whether the project will be finished well or how to handle civil complains. However, if the project turns out to be successful, we plan to expand the business for more young artists to join.”     


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