The Seoul Museum of Art presents a special exhibition, 《The Self-Evolving City》 in cooperation with the organizing committee for the UIA 2017 Seoul World Architects Congress at SeMA Seosomun(Main Building) ground-floor Gallery.
《The Self-Evolving City》 explores the East Asian spatial concept based on unity with nature which can be shared between architecture and contemporary art, and the vision of self-evolving future city architecture through the theme of ‘Self-Evolving’, in an attempt to examine sustainable city, space and life.
As a megacity that represents East Asia, Seoul also faces issues related to urbanization which are directly linked to the issues of life. Through this exhibition, we intend to accentuate the fact that modern cities are not simply built as a result of urban planning, but are actually evolving with their own characteristic life force. Furthermore, the exhibition will be an attempt at new interpretations, discovering the self-evolving factors hidden within the traditions of Korean architecture, and thereby actively connecting them to the vision of future self-evolving cities.
The Self-Evolving City exhibition consists of four sections. The first section is downtown Seoul centered on the Fortress Town of Hanyang. When it was developed as a new capital with the foundation of the Joseon Dynasty in 1392, its main facilities were initially planned out according to the Confucian layout concept and sited by geomancy, and from then on changed in space and form through urban evolution. Although it underwent fundamental changes, especially in the process of modernization, the modern architects of Korea have designed buildings in a way that revived the traditional urban context. The second section is Gangnam, Seoul, which was developed in the late 1960s. Since it was built during the development era according to the modern model of a city, Gangnam has emerged as the center of Seoul’s economy, culture and education. In this exhibition, we will be showing the ideology of modern urban planning that appeared in the process of Gangnam’s birth, along with the creation and evolution of new types of architecture that correspond to it such as apartments, offices, and neighborhood facilities. The third section covers the two new towns of Songdo and Sejong, which were newly built around the year 2000. Although these two new towns have exposed many differences in their foundational background and process, we can find attempts to overcome modern models in these cities, and they also show coincidence with important concepts of self-evolution. And the last section of this exhibition will be an exhibition of the winning works for the International Open Idea Competition for the Self-Evolving City of the Future, along with artistic interpretations by artists about future cities and life.
The Self-Evolving City exhibition will reexamine the transformation process of Korean architecture and cities through the two perspectives of planning and evolution, and explore what is necessary to create a future city with the potential for self-evolution. Above all, we hope that through this exhibition, the audiences will be able to gain a richer experience of how art is integrating the city, architecture, and our lives through its unique power of imagination as it attempts to solve the urban issues of today.
Hosted and Organized by SeMA, UIA 2017 Seoul Organizing Committee
Curated by Kyungwhan Yeo (Seoul Museum of Art)