Streets Meet Art
Streets Meet Art
  • Yun Jung Ji-hye 기자
  • 승인 2007.11.05 16:36
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According to a dictionary, a street is a road in a city, town, or village, usually with houses along it.  However, the streets have changed their shape, function, and look over the years.  So to speak, the meaning and significance have changed as time has gone by.  It is no longer just a space for transport.  Did you remember a heroine strolled along the piano street in the drama The Lover in Prague? After the scene, many people found the street in Jongno and the piano street has become a place of interest.  Like this, the streets have met various arts and become culture space.

When you think about street culture, you might be unaccustomed to this kind of culture.  However, street culture is not far removed from our daily life.  In fact, many of our ordinary occurrences are in contact with the street.  In the street, people meet each other, share their daily lives, sell products and even preach about something. 

There have also been performances or show from the past.  If someone who is not a famous artist plays, people gather around.  The performance might have been greeted enthusiastically by the public.  At this point, the performer gained popularity.  The reason is that people are familiar with the street, showing something is more effective than others.  Likewise, many shows and performances have been successful.  In this way, a kind of sub-culture has been created on the street.

Most Koreans remember the 2002 World Cup.  It has critical meaning to us that the Korean team qualified for the semifinal round.  However, half a million Koreans made new cheering culture in the streets.  They exclaimed "Dae han min guk" and sang together.  The street cheering developed as time went, and then reappeared during the 2006 World Cup, held in Germany.  Behind the energetic and vigorous cheering, it is considered that there is a mature citizenship.

Street art has established itself as part of a common culture in cities around the world, such as London, Paris and Munich.  Moreover, there are appreciators who understand and appreciate the real worth and performers who make the street a real culture space. 

London's West End., which is a shopping district and famous tourist attraction, becomes the art museum of street.  On all sides, there are masterpieces by artists such as da Vinci, Rubens and Van Gogh.  Furthermore, the National Gallery in London has held the distinctive exhibition at each street in the city.  It has displayed duplicates of the greatest thirty works of their collection. 
In Korea’s case, there is also similar example in Uiwang.  The Galmi district is transformed into an artful space.  That is, it is combines with artistic features and regional specialties.  The most distinctive feature is the introduction of art into the street.  The Galmi district is divided among six blocks and designed by adapting the image of the representative artists like Van Gogh, Chagall and Gauguin in the latter half of the 19th century.  It has also applied various colors into each block in order to reinforce the image.  Through this work, the area's image reflects its own features and is able to improve.  There are lots of specific programs, like special art courses for children and housewives that are run free of charge.  There is also an operation room and studio opens to the public so that many people can visit there.  Furthermore, the art exhibition would be extended periodically.

Crowded Gangnamgu in COEX and yangjechon will hold street art and culture performances twice a week from July to December.  A brunch concert will be held every Wednesday between twelve thirty to one thirty at the COEX event court.

"Beautiful Sign Street" in Anyang has become a celebrated locality.  The signs were designed by themes according to the sentiment of the region and the harmony between building and sign.  The project is divided three themes which are the Tree Street, the Art Street and the Future Street.  For instance, the signs are attached on wood facade in the Tree Street, glass and stainless steel is used as material for each street.

Additionally, Suwon has promoted "Investing way and building with name project" to change the system of address in accordance with advanced road system from 1998.  Consequently, a total 2,137 streets could have various names.  For example, there are 961 nature-name streets, 238 historically-named streets, and 102 streets that refer to the region's features.

Furthermore, Jeju has accomplished making culture streets through wall paintings.  The inhabitants are anxious about the loss of fame and energy and make an effort to develop their city on the basis of history and culture.  The surfaces of building's wall are covered with murals which depict the story of the Jeju people.  In cooperation with the inhabitants, the wall painting was greeted enthusiastically at the begging of this year.  Thanks to the business, inhabitants could participate in making their city and cultivate mutual friendships.

Seoul artists are authorized to perform at the Cheonggye stream.  There are seventy teams and they have a performance there.  The 2007 Seoul Buskers Festival, which was started in 2005, was also held in at the Cheonggye creek.  “Busking” means performance art in the street, such as miming, magic shows, dancing, acting and music.  This event has developed a new possibility for street art and inspires people. 

Daehak-ro is considered the Mecca of the performing arts.  There is the Artists of Street Performance (ADSP) and a union of artists who have played every Saturday at Marronnier Park in Daehak-ro since 2003.  ADSP has had a role in creating and showing their plays of non-mainstream artists.  Ryu Su-bin, a staff in charge of ADSP said, "The vision of ADSP is making the street into independent birthplace of culture."

In general, Korean performance culture has a dilemma.  It is a gap between the audience and the performer.  The visitors may think the ticket price is not reasonable and the performer might face poorness.  In this circumstance, street culture is able to be a foundation to enlarge the sphere of the performance culture.  It is based on its important characteristics: an atmosphere of freedom without any specific rules or orders.

Lim Seok-jae, an architecture professor, stated that an alley maintain comfortable human scale, is pedestrian oriented rather than car, and possesses the values of daily life in his book "Seoul, the view of the Alley."  He suggests that we see the alley as our history, culture, own creative space with positive view rather than a poor housing gathering.

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