The Korean Pavilion opens the newly-commissioned exhibition 2086: Together How? at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, curated by Artistic Directors Soik Jung and Kyong Park. Bringing together architects, community leaders and artists, the project asks how we might work together to endure current and future environmental crises until 2086 – the year when the global population is said to peak. The premise of2086: Together How? is to interrogate our Faustian ideology of progress and how we have sought unlimited material pleasure through industrialization, westernization, and liberalism, and our reparations of the past colonial exploitations is the first step in our reconciliation with nature.
Central to the exhibition is The Game of Together How, a quiz show-style game in which visitors participate by answering multiple-choice questions on social, political, and economic issues that impact climate change. Four players at a time are invited to respond to questions posed by various fictional representatives of future organizations through video monitors. Demonstrating how an individual’s decisions impact the environment, the cumulative daily scores of each player are translated into numbers that are transcribed onto seven blackboards. Each number represents the global CO2 level, temperature, sea level, refugees, population, water, and Gini coefficients. The daily scores become a yearly record that charts the climate changes until the end of the exhibition period. This record is accessible via a QR code within the space.
The game is accompanied by three collaborations between architects and community activists focusing on future possibilities across cities with varying populations in South Korea. For example, in the case study of Gunsan, the Society of Architecture (SoA) collaborate with Udangtangtang (UDTT) – a young group revitalizing the city’s old market and hosting local culture-based guerrilla events – to explore how contemporary nomads can revive local legacy and reintroduce nature into abandoned areas. In consideration of Gunsan’s declining population, their designs for Destructive Creation are presented within a partial recreation of a demolished house.
In Ruin as Future, Future as Ruin , multidisciplinary practice Urban Terrains Lab collaborates with an activist organization Space Beam to explore the historic community of Baedari in East Incheon, which has been an ongoing battleground for the marginalized urban underclass against contemporary capitalism. Having stopped the completion of a major highway that destroyed much of its community, Baedari’s resistance raises urgent questions about its future between post-Anthropocene and neo-Holocene life. The resulting installation presents the evolution of the city of Incheon, including its past enlargement into the sea and the possible return of its original shoreline under rising sea levels.
In Migrating Futures New York-based practice N H D M investigates the spatiotemporal landscapes of foreign migrants in South Korea, using the case study of Ansan city in the Gyeonggi Province to suggest possible transcultural and lateral coexistence beyond existing national and religious borders. N H D M provides six collages of underrecognized territories in Ansan that exist at the periphery of urban and national centers, which are accompanied by questionnaires about their promiscuous temporalities and identities. In collaboration, Wolsik Kim presents a new ethics of ecology between humans and nature in A Community of Difference, where borders no longer function as physical boundaries under the future radical politics of climate endgame. Instead, various shamans of movements appear, embodying pop idols, some are thought to resemble gods.
The Pavilion will also premiere A Future, a video project by Jaekyung Jung about a fictional “child-god” who can predict the future of climate. Her prophesied images generate special exhibitions and performances about her around the world that receive billions of views each day. With everyone desperate to know whether they will survive, she becomes the focus of both admiration and fear among the public and officials. Through these works, 2086: Together How? asserts that it will be the environmental crisis that forces us to come up with a better ecocultural paradigm, and more importantly, that it will be our best and last chance to become a better humanity.
2086: Together How? will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue, distributed by Mousse Publishing (International) and Mediabus (Korea).
Pavilion of Korea at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Address: Pavilion of Korea, Giardini di Castello 30122 Exhibition dates: 20 May – 26 November 2023
NOTES TO EDITORS
Soik Jung established the Urban Mediation Project in 2008 and has continued to conduct research, exhibitions, education program development, publications related to architecture, urbanism, public art, and social works. Since 2018, her field of research has expanded to social welfare, with research and projects being conducted to explore the connection and cooperation of architecture, urbanism, public art and local social works, social economy, and social responsibility. Jung has a Ph. D. in Urbanism, Ph. D. in Social Welfare.
Kyong Park is professor at the Department of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego (since 2007). He was the founding director of StoreFront for Art and Architecture in New York (1982-1998), International Center for Urban Ecology in Detroit (1998-2001), and Centrala Foundation for Future Cities in Rotterdam (2005-2006). His recent project involved a series of collaborations under the collective ‘CiViChon’, which have, to date, encompassed the exhibitions City in a Village at Vienna Biennale for Change (2021), and together with Soik Jung, CiViChon 2.0: Nomadic Forums for Future Communities at Ob/Scene Festival in South Korea (2022).
COMMISSIONER Arts Council Korea (ARKO), the Commissioner of the Korean Pavilion that commissioned the foundation of the pavilion itself, is a governmental agency under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, dedicated to supporting and promoting Korean arts and culture. Established on the belief in the transformative sharing and power of the arts, ARKO has been focusing on democratizing and supporting progressive cultural and artistic projects by also making them accessible to everyone not only in Korea but around the globe. Composed of eleven council members from various cultural fields including private sectors and non-profit organizations, ARKO proactively involves artists in decision-making processes as policy makers so as to promote innovations across the fields most effectively while providing infrastructural support to artists and arts organizations in need of such resources. While nimbly responding to rapid changes in the art market, ARKO remains steadfastly committed to protecting its ecosystems that ultimately sustain themselves through creative joy, autonomy and communities.
EXHIBITION TEAM Artistic Director, Curator: Soik Jung and Kyong Park; Project Manager & Assistant Curator: Kim Yuran; Assistant Curator: Han Dabin; Artists of “Future Community”: Yehre Suh(Space Designer), Woon Gi, Min (Social Designer), Yerin Kang (Space Designer), Lee Chi-hoon (Space Designer), Zoosun Yoon (Social Designer), Ahram Chae (Social Designer), N M H D: David Eugin Moon (Space Designer) and Nahyun Hwang (Space Designer), Wolsik Kim (Social Designer); Visual Artist: Jaekyung Jung; Graphic Designers: Chris Ro, Sunhee Yang; Tomorrow’s Myths Writers: Hyewon Lee, Alice Bucknell, Yunjeong Han, Eman Abdelhadi and M. E. O’Brien, Serang chung, Federico Campagna.
SUPPORTERS The project has been supported by WOORI BANK, LG Electronics, Samsung Foundation of Culture, MCM, The Academic Senate of the University of California, San Diego, ZAVA, Italian lighting design brand and the exhibition’s lighting designers, participated(sponsored) in the development and fabrication of the scoreboard in The Game of Together How.
Release: Pelham Communications, London