For Koreans, the meaning of the 'city' is perhaps best illustrated through our daily lives. The city changes with every minute, never fails to cause a diverse range of problems, and develops at its own brisk pace. 'City Within the City' examines the issues that arise from regarding cities as assemblages of people established over time. The first version of ‘City Within the City,’ held in Artsonje Center, reflects the urban structure of Seoul’s dynamic metropolis. Following the city’s devastation in the Korean War and its subsequent reconstruction, the city of Seoul became a major commercial and industrialised zone. 'City Within the City' places an emphasis on remembered, fictional, expected, and resisted cities as they are publicly and privately negotiated by the individual.
Another exhibition featuring the theme of the 'city' is the research-based exhibition 'Reflections of an Outsider on "Outsiders"'. Seoul Art Space GEUMCHEON, one of the artist-in-residence programmes in Seoul, created a theme for the year and selected artists from overseas organisations to work with domestic artists at Seoul Art Space GEUMCHEON. Under the theme of 'Urban Exploration', participants concentrated on issues involving workers and labourers. The location of this space, the district of Doksan-dong in the borough of Geumcheon-gu, used to be a part of the Garibong Industrial Complex, and today it is south of the Seoul Digital Industrial Complex. The artists examine topics including Jinsook Kim’s sit-in on a crane, which became a national issue after Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Holdings dismissed contract workers, as well as the labour culture of Korean people who routinely accept weekend work on top of 8 hours of work each weekday.
Meanwhile, 'Area Park: Way of Photography – Finding an album in Miyagi', presented at Atelier Hermes, questions the original meaning of photography in a city that was destroyed by an earthquake. When the artist Area Park went to Miyagi Prefecture, the scenes that caught his attention were those of people finding and rinsing their family albums with water in the hopes of recovering them.
- Wed, 1 Feb 2012