17 Jan 2012 — 12 Feb 2012
Hong Seung Hye, Lee Jin Oh, KDK(Kim Dokyun)
ka-talk archi-talk

Three experts from different areas conducted an unusual type of collaborative project. The artist Hong Seung Hye, and Lee Jin Oh, the joint chief executive of architecture office SAAI participated in a redevelopment of the communal spaces of the Lim Kang tower, located in Migeun-dong, Seodaemun-gu. The artist KDK(Kim Dokyun) documented significant parts of the project, and his photographs now feature at Gallery 2. The lively communication for the project was enabled through a mobile messenger, Kakao Talk. ka-talk archi-talk demonstrates the ways in which their collaboration came about through a central interest in architecture. Rather than merely presenting their results side by side, they were deeply engaged in dialogue from the beginning, forming a meaningful organic process.

The Lim Kwang tower redevelopment by Hong and Lee

Before redevelopment, the Lim Kwang tower was not unlike most other business buildings. However Hong and Lee, with their particular concerns and unique understanding of space, transformed it into an emotive space that exerts an understated ambience. With the entire wall seen from the lobby and the ceiling covered with white LED lights, a feeling of the infinite is created by the fully infused lighting of the space. Circular sculptures placed on both sides of the lobby serve as tables for the employees, and the three-dimensional sculptures embody facets of time and space through their compasses and contour lines. Some constructions, created in Hong’s signature style using pixels or lattices, were installed at a variety of locations throughout the space. They include a black steel frame decorating the front wall of the lobby, and a red canopy built on a circular stairwell outside. By eliminating decoration, the highly simplified styles were effective in bringing a sense of overall change to the existing spaces.

Another interpretation of the space through KDK’s photograph

KDK’s photographs suggest another perspective towards viewing this space. Having explored the geometric compositions hidden within the space, KDK embodied the beauty found within its formal qualities, by capturing from a front-on view such things as the circular sculptures, rectangular lighting and the outdoor canopy roof. He flattens the space through these compositions, encapsulating the views, and recomposing them. A photograph of the outdoor canopy roof creates a tension in the composition by incorporating into a frame both lattice patterns, seen as if they were two-dimensional, while vertical high-rise buildings can be seen between them. A wall of the exhibition hall features photographs from each floor of the restrooms with their male and female pictograms. There is a visual pleasure that comes in casting one’s eye over these elements of repetition and difference, as well as in finding their humorous qualities, as they depict different postures of men and women in the 39 restrooms found on the twenty floors.

Despite her focus on the two-dimensional, Hong has always had a subtle interest in their spatial qualities and in ‘turning painting to reality’. In contrast Lee primarily works in three dimensions, but is sensitive to details and textures. They mutually benefitted one another in creating an artwork utilizing the entire space. KDK helped enrich the relevant contexts of the work by locating the aesthetic structures hidden in the space. They rediscovered the significant implications that come about when communicating and collaborating with experts from a variety of realms, and hope that they might have more opportunities for these kinds of endeavors.
C-Print mounted on plexiglas wooden framed
160 x 250 cm