Art in City
Art in City
  • Park Lee Dahye Reporter
  • 승인 2010.09.06 20:00
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Art is only of artists, by artists, for artists?  Recently, it is natural for people to not only easily meet art everywhere, but also participate in it. In addition, more and more art is increasing for them.  Seoul has already propelled various public art projects like the Seoul City Gallery Project.  Then, for whom is the art encouraged? What is the meaning of art in city? The Sookmyung Times (SMT) asked Hong Kyoung-han (HONG), Art Critic and Chief Editor of Public Art, what public art means between art and public.


What Is Public Art?


Public art is defined as completed art based on “realization of publicness” by focusing on a community.  For some it may bring to mind ng objects like environmental artwork.  However, although it is great art, it is only the end of the art.  Therefore, public art means that it recovers publicness in a public area, reaches the objective of adjusting personal worth and public worth, which is needed to get more concern in way of the humanities.


SMT  Unlike foreign countries, it has only been a short time since public art came to Korea.  When was public art first introduced in Korea?

HONG  In Korea, the concept of public art started from the idea of ‘art work’ that is only decoration.  The arts that bench-marked ‘program of art on architecture in public facilities’ in U.S.A. and ‘percent of art’ in France began from recommendation by literary promotion law firstly revised in 1972 in Korea.  After that, it was not until the middle of the 1980s that public art stepped up and symbol modeling was engraved on ‘public art’ in peoples’ minds.  However, the current concept of public art, in way of emphasizing community, started from ‘Art in City’ (but after that stopped) hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in 2006.  That’s why it is no understatement that the first example of public art was enforced by government.  Since that time, it also has been rapidly expanded enough to feel the familiar the name, ‘public art.’


SMT  These days, there is a boom for public art. Why has the concern about public art increased?

HONG  Seemingly, it is a great influence by government and local government.  The most representative example by the authority is Art in City, City Gallery Project and Anyang Public Art Project.  But, it did not appear in one day.  The inner side already included social needs.  It may safely besaid that implicit sensation of people who had been tired of development up to the 1980s shows ‘art,’ which means necessity of communicating and sharing each other’s feelings.  One of the ways to share is realized in public art.  Of course, most of the communications end in failure because there are still formalism and resultism.  It is still valid. Looking around us, it occurs as much as ever.



Art of the People, by the People, for the People

SMT  What does coexistence of public art in our life and modern society mean?  Also, what is the effect of it for the public?

HONG  As anyone understands, a place is where people live, produce something and make their meaning and formation of their life by themselves.  When art work is put on some place, it should consider people living in the place, listen to their story, and be something with them.  Especially, if the art involves and changes their life, it is true that it may be ground promoting and bring it up.  With ‘communication’ and ‘sharing,’ however, it is an incomplete problem that is how the art participates in their life, how the art is good for them.  Nevertheless, it could be a background of public art, a social meaning public art has. In this way, such direction should be continuous. Due to an idea that influences modern people, namely, awareness about how a big frame called democracy is operated; it may be naturally created by art.

SMT  How should modern people appreciate public art?

HONG  People should look at the innerside, not the out side in the art.  It is easy for people to misunderstand that a symbol modeling absently standing in front of building is all of public art.  Instead I suggest that people accept the fact that public art is not for the artist, it is correctly functioned with people involved as public art.  Remember core key words are ‘communication’ and ‘sharing,’ which means interchange and conversation of emotion.


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