Sign up for VMSPACE, Korea's best architecture online magazine.

Login Join

How Are Public Sculptures Doing?: ‘Sculpture for Everyone’

exhibition Lee Hwayeon Nov 18, 2022

The first-generation abstract sculptor Choi Manlin left various sculptural works scattered throughout our urban space intended for children to hang on and climb over. In order to examine the management status of the public sculpture he left behind as well as the current state of public sculpture in Korea, Choi Manlin Museum held ‘Sculpture for Everyone’ consisting of a total of three chapters, opening on Sep. 22. ‘Chapter 1’ introduces ‘The Percentage for Art Schemes’, which originally triggered the beginning of public sculpture. This scheme was introduced in 1972, requiring the client to use 1% of the construction cost for the installation of artwork when building a new building or extending a building of a certain size or larger. However, since there are no regulations concerning the management entity or method, so many public sculptures are neglected or lost. The Vein 94-1 exhibited in ‘Chapter 2’ is an example of this set of circumstances. This work, which was installed in front of the new Headquarters of KB Investment Trust Management Co. Yeouido in 1994, disappeared from the original location as the surrounding area was developed, and it went missing. Therefore, only the photography as well as some study pieces that Choi Manlin tried out prior to installation have been displayed. In the last chapter, you can watch a video that records the restoration process carried out in May this year on Choi Manlin’s public sculptures located in front of the Seongbuk Museum of Art. In the video, Kim Ken (principal, KENKIM Conservation) introduces a case in the U.S. where volunteers and conservation managers preserved public sculptures according to necessary protocol, pointing out that there are no guidelines for the conservation of work in Korea. 


Installation view of Choi Manlinʼs Public Sculpture Model / ©Choi Yongjun