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Retracing Signs of Everyday Life: ‘Visualizing the invisible’

exhibition Kim Jia Mar 06, 2023

SPACE March 2023 (No. 664)


 Yeouido Sibeom Apartment / ⓒJung Yoonchun


How can the lifetime of an architectural structure, which is sometimes longer than the human life span, be observed and documented? ‘Visualizing the Invisible’ is on show at DDP Gallery MUN from Jan. 27, attempting to interpret the buildings layered over time from multiple angles, by taking a look at Yeouido Sibeom Apartment which was completed in 1971. Yeouido Sibeom Apartment, Korea’s first complex-type high rise apartment building through a period of advanced industrialisation, was planned as an apartment building equipped with an elevator and central heating. This place is significant in that it presented the prototype of domestic middle-class apartments, and over the past 50 years, it has undergone various changes both internally and externally due to changes in users and various environmental factors.


 Exhibition view of ‘Visualizing the invisible’​ / ⓒLee Jungwoo


In this exhibition, eight artists from different fields will present the Yeouido Sibeom Apartment, as captured from their own perspectives. Jung Yoonchun (professor, Hongik University) focuses on how the early standardised residential units have evolved according to the residents’ lifestyles and preferences through flat elevation drawings, which reveal various everyday objects such as bicycles, umbrellas, cleaning tools, and potted plants in the apartment hallways and terraces. Eungee Cinn (Professor, Incheon National University) offers an impression of the expanded kitchen through drawings, focusing on the kitchen as a residential space that accommodates various household appliances due to technological development. Painter Kim Jieh shifted the gaze from the residential units to the outside, and painted the facilities in the complex, including 24 residential buildings. The work, expressed with somewhat rough lines and dark colours, reminds us of old apartments that have endured the ravages of time. Meanwhile, photographer Lee Jungwoo’s works communicate apartments as simile rather than metaphor: a room covered with layers of wallpaper and floor coverings, outdoor units of air conditioners placed uniformly but somewhat differently, and people spending time in playgrounds and parks. The environment, not the building, was used as a subject to capture an extremely everyday life. Min Byoungwook (professor, Kyung Hee University) shows the macroscopic process of space occupied by pedestrians, cars, and plants over the past 50 years through aerial photographs. Kim Hyungjin (professor, Kansas State University) uses cognitive maps drawn by residents to examine the point at which individual experiences and collective memories intersect. Lastly, Kang Nanhyoung (principal, Architectonics) and Jeong Daeun (director, Seoul Center for Architecture & Urbanism) focused on duplicating and transforming the corridor-apartment type developed by private construction companies after Yeouido Sibeom Apartment, and reorganised the various elements that make up the corridor design of apartments as a catalogue. The exhibition will be on display until Mar. 31. by Kim Jia