Title: “Spectres of the State Avant-Garde”
Commissioner: Arts Council Korea
Curator: Seongtae Park
Exhibitors: Sung-woo Kim (N.E.E.D Architecture), Jinhong Jeon, Yunhee Choi (BARE), Hyun-Suk Seo, Hyun Seok Kang, Gunho Kim (SGHS), Choon Choi, Kyoungtae Kim (EH), Jidon Jung
“Spectres of the State Avant-garde” presents an imagined archive of the Korea Engineering Consultants Corp. (KECC), a technical consultancy for architecture and civil engineering established by the government in 1963. KECC enjoyed an unparalleled dominance over Korea’s architecture and construction industry, and the breadth of its activities reached beyond civil engineering and infrastructural projects to include urban master plans and expo pavilions. Their visions at times mimicked the radical architectural experiments of the West but more often assumed a pragmatic attitude in line with the state developmental agenda. The show presents four projects by KECC from the late 1960s, all of which served as nation-building propaganda: The Expo Pavilion for Osaka Expo 1970 was a venue for showcasing Korea as a nation-state on the world stage; the utopian master plan for Yeouido symbolized the brilliant future promised by the economic development plans; the Sewoon Arcades heralded the wave of urban renewal projects, and the Guro Industrial Exposition signaled the beginning of a new era of affluence. The first two projects were symbolic gestures for announcing the trajectory of the new nation-state, whereas the other two projects were evidence for the imminent realization of economic prosperity.
- Jinhong Jeon, Yunhee Choi (BARE), Dream Cells, 2018