Location: Seoul, Korea South
Completion date: 2019
Artwork budget: $55,000
Cloud Study LLC
Concrete, Wood, Leather, Chandelier
6.5’ x 9’ x 6’
Total budget $55,000
Heon-In Village Bus Station, Seoul, South Korea
I have been working on a project for the last three years since 2018 for a site-specific community project in the town of Heonin in Seoul, South Korea. The residents in Heonin town are living without proper public facilities since the redevelopment plan was suspended 15years ago. In 2019, I fabricated and installed the public art piece ‘The Platform’ with the furniture makers who are working in town for the last thirty years and lost their jobs now in 2020 as a collaboration project. It functions both a bus shelter as public furniture and in the town.
The Platform project was initiated through a process where I asked the villagers about installing a bus stop and talking with them about how it should look like. During the production process, there were many discussions with residents and furniture makers at the factories about the location and design of the bus stop. On the day of the installation of The Platform, bus drivers and passersby gave their opinions. Some people liked it and others stayed at the bus stop for long, but they provided many comments. In this sense, one of the very important elements in The Platform project was meeting the furniture makers, listening to their opinions, designing the bus stop, and building it together with them using materials and methods they used when they produced furniture. The Platform went through a process where furniture makers who had produced furniture for more than thirty years in the village conceived something together, built wooden frames, and installed couch covers. As a result, The Platform was created in the shape of furniture and a bus stop at the same time. It is in use in the village still.
It is a bus stop connecting the village and the outside world, and it is officially a bus stop named “Heonin Furniture District.” Since there was no place for waiting or space where people could sit down, people started to bring things that came to build a kind of temporary structure. There was a need for space for bus drivers to sit down and chat and visitors to the village to wait for the bus and take some rest. I came to think that the place might have been functioning as the least or the only public space in the village. Although there are less than twenty people living in the village and there are almost no visitors now, it still functions as a space that connects the inside and outside of the village and as a place where people intermittently move through, wait, exchange greetings, and talk to each other. Everything for the residents of the village is disappearing or being demolished than newly built and created. But here we still have people, their lives, and the mundane everyday life. So I started the conversation with the villagers, visitors, furniture workers, and bus drivers, exchanging questions and opinions about the bus stop. We started talking about an image of a new bus stop where people could avoid rain and sunlight, sitting together.