Taehwa River Eco Art Festival highlights house concept
ULSAN – It is said that Korea now has too many art festivals in the provinces, including those that frown critics because of their disharmony with the locations. However, there are still local art festivals showing their purpose, like the Taehwa River Eco Art Festival (TEAF) underway in Ulsan, the southeastern port city known for its heavy industries.
Now in the Taehwagang National Garden Migratory Birds National Park, which opened in 2013 along the Taehwa River that runs through the city of Ulsan, are scattered 12 installation works by 12 teams of Korean artists. and foreigners within the framework of the 15th edition of the annual TEAF, whose title is “Non caché / Invisible. ”
Many works are made of wood, steel or synthetic materials in achromatic colors and embrace the environment as part of them. Therefore, they do not cause disharmony with the environment, while stimulating the curiosity of passers-by. In addition, most of the works of art invite viewers to touch and experience them.
On Wednesday, a group of children had fun playing hide and seek in the workspaces of Korean artist Dongwan Kook. The work consists of many low-rise steel structures in the shape of a Hangul, or Korean alphabet, which together form a phrase that translates to “I came here for the first time, but this is a place where I play.” since I am young. “The work invites viewers into its spaces and intends to ‘turn any place into a home and recall unknown memories,’ according to TEAF. The work seemed to achieve its intentions perfectly, as seen with happy children.
Saudi artist Manal AlDowayan’s work “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t” is equally popular with children and adults. It consists of large and small trampolines installed at ground level so that at a glance they look like puddles of the Taehwa River. Visitors are free to bounce back.
The installation work by Korean artist Inbai Kim resembles a primitive ritual place made of stones arranged in a large circle. In fact, it is not stones that make up the circle but so-called “return balls” attached to the ground by elastic ropes. Viewers can play with the artwork by kicking the balls and seeing them come back.
The theme that embraces these works is “home,” not in the conventional and narrow idea but in an extended concept, said Park Sohee, artistic director of the 2021 and 2020 editions of TEAF. “As for Kim’s work, it is based on the understanding that ‘home’ is a place to return, an abstract concept generated by the repeated act of going in and out,” she said.
“The festival itself is an attempt to interpret the different and changing ways of weaving a ‘house’ – be it a physical space or a mental state – as practiced by the people. participating artists in the situation where the meaning of ‘home’ is changing at a faster rate in the midst of the pandemic, ”Park said.
The other Korean participants are Siha Kim, Kim Young Woo, Min Ye-eun, Kyoung Jae Cho, Suddenly, artist duo Seo Jeong-Bae and Kwon Jae-hyun, and Satoshi Murakami from Japan, Harold Mendez from the States United, Aaditi Joshi from India and Emmy Skensved from Canada.
Taehwagang National Garden has been officially designated as Korea’s second national garden after Suncheon Bay National Garden. The festival, organized by the Kyungsang Ilbo newspaper, is scheduled to run until November 7.
BY MOON SO-YOUNG [[email protected]]