Publicness and Individuality, New Ambivalent Urban Plan


Arts and Agriculture, Combination of the Two Seemingly Unrelated Concepts

<Pojang Nongbang> combines three concepts – publicness, arts and agriculture – which seem unrelated at a glance. This project was started by visual artist Sunghong Min who visualizes modern lives through sculptures and installation work, public artist Yoyojin who creates doodle artwork in the public-friendly art world and designer Luke Rideout who explores user experiences and urban environments. Through <Pojang Nongbang>, these three artists expand their own methodologies they’ve been experimenting in their own fields, satisfy each other’s thirst for areas unexplored and support each other in looking at the cities as public social spaces we live in.

Design-Based Intervention on and Phenomenological Approach to Understanding Urban Communication

By designing visual images, Luke Rideout attempts to make us shift our passive attitudes such as understanding and acceptance towards urban environment, humans, societies and experiences, into more active, communication and experience-oriented attitude. To do this, Rideout takes a multidisciplinary approach, using various media such as real or virtual images, publications, videos, installation work and soundscapes. While trying to work with various experiences that arise from incorporating those media, he strives to make an artistic contribution to changing the cultures and systems formed within a social structure and the community awareness we share. For <Pojang Nongbang>, Rideout makes a design-oriented contribution, focusing on the experiences of watching structures and cultivation activities within an urban environment.

Through sculpting and multimedia installation work, Sunghong Min has been exploring the changes in urban structure from administrative policies and, actual or historical basis of individuals’ identity formation driven by those changes. Focusing on people’s experiences of constant moving, Min looks at the history of everyday lives from the experiences of individuals or groups and, creates a new history of individuals. Min observes the reality and collects images of discarded objects around us. His collection process can make visible objects invisible and invisible objects visible to us. This phenomenological approach of his combined with the purpose of <Pojang Nongbang> which is to shed a light on massive physical structures of our society called cities, remind us the meaning of transference and movement.

Even before this project, Yoyojin has been doing public-friendly work. He gives doodle art performances, drawing on walls, produces documentaries filming his work process and creates animated work using his characters. By doing these pop culture-oriented work the public can easily enjoy and delivering humanitarian messages on peace and equality, he is actively trying to create a channel that allows artistic dialogue. In <Pojang Nongbang>, Yoyojin attempts to maximize the social role of arts by showing that arts can create natural interpersonal relationships.

Cities as Cultural Platforms and Communities

Luke Rideout, Sunghong Min and Yoyojin want to take individuals’ quality of life to another level by improving the urban environment. And to improve the quality of lives and our urban environment which can revive the human-centered sensibility which has been lost due to extreme industrialization, the artists use artistic public structures which promote horticulture activities. The artists suggest us to engage in a traditional form of labor to bring us out from their concrete jungle of offices. The space the artists create allows us to discover art forms that generate aesthetic value which cannot be found in our society filled with monotonous public structures bound by laws. This project is about finding the middle point between industries and arts which put emphasis on the experiences of the audience. It is an attempt to turn our urban environment into a cultural platform for the community.

What Kind of Urban Landscapes Do We Really Need?

User-experience designer Luke Rideout, installation artist Sunghong Min and public doodle artist Yoyojin collaborate on creating new ways of providing user experience applicable in our urban environment. The artists focus solely on user experience of the efficiency-oriented ways of urban life. The <Pojang Nongbang> project began with the public purpose of improving urban environment. It’s an attempt to revive the human-centered sensibility which has been lost due to extreme industrialization. “Pojang Nongbang” is a public agricultural workshop that is similar to easily moveable and installable pojangmacha, a street vendor found in Korea. This space which allows people to engage in basic horticulture or farming even within a city, ignites sensibility in people living in an urban environment. Also, by linking their artistic work with the Enforcement Decree of the Building Act which is referred to as the “1% Law”, the artists explore our society’s systematic understanding and view of using public art for culturally enhancing urban landscapes.