The Korean Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Biennale Explores A New Eco-Cultural Paradigm for The Future
The Korean Pavilion, 2013. Image Courtesy of Arts Council Korea
In this edition of the 2023 Venice Biennale, the Korean Pavilion, curated by artistic Directors Soik Jung and Kyong Park, presents “2086: Together How?” bringing together architects, community leaders, and artists to explore how people can cooperate in withstanding the current and future environmental crisis until 2086 when the global population is said to peak. The exhibition invites visitors to imagine an eco-cultural revolution by critically reassessing the world’s capitalist, globalist, and colonial history. The viewers will be encouraged to reconsider current conditions through a participatory video game and a series of multidisciplinary installations that include photographs, drawings, models, videos, and architectural installations.
2086: Together How? presents three small communities in South Korea actively involved in regeneration projects, each with a different population and characteristics. The targeted subjects include a significant colonial center in Gunsan, the rural areas of the Gyeonggi Province, and the historic colonial center in the global city of Incheon, symbols of South Korea’s urbanization and westernization.
Banwol Archipelago. Image Courtesy of NHDM Architects
The project’s theme addresses reconciling individualism and communalism in future humanities. In fact, a group of architects and community leaders has conducted joint research projects with the local neighborhoods, guided by a set of dialects that have shaped our eco-cultural growth.
“Everlasting Plastics”: The U.S. Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale is Curated by SPACES Gallery
Central to the presentation, A participatory video game allows viewers to choose actions in present and future ecocultural settings. The Pavilion encourages visitors to comprehend how global environmental challenges are founded in humanity’s prior decisions. Moreover, the project stresses how the current understanding of development has come through limitless material pleasure, permitting industrialization, colonization, and globalization to spread. According to the pavilion, the dooming environmental catastrophe will be an opportunity for humanity to create a new eco-cultural paradigm for the future.
Measure Island. Image Courtesy of NHDM Architects
Each community is a case study that utilizes the community leader’s deep knowledge of the place and the architect’s spatial analysis to evaluate its current state, and propose site-specific future scenarios leading up to 2086. For instance, in the case of Gunsan, practitioners have explored how to work with abandoned homes and buildings to return the old city’s urban landscape to a more natural state. Moreover, each project is motivated by central concerns of how to cope with decaying urban centers and rural villages due to centuries of uneven capitalist development thinking. As such, these projects are about how the past can be connected with the future, and how localism can reshape globalism. — Soik Jung
ake the #4 Line, 2023. Digital print on paper. Image Courtesy of NHDM Architects
In response to Lesley Lokko’s theme for this edition of the Biennale, “Laboratory of the Future,” several other countries have announced their plans for their pavilions. The Dutch Pavilion, curated by Jan Jongert of Superuse Studios, explores the complex infrastructures of our future societies, while, the Uruguay Pavilion looks at potential uses of forestry laws and how they can open dialogue between territories. Moreover, the United States Pavilion, Everlasting Plastics, tackles material and how it is ingrained in our built environment.