Euyoung Hong
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House Project: Settling into the Vulnerable, 2012
Kumho-dong, Seoul, Korea
10 Aug - 19 Aug, 2012


In the summer of 2012, I constructed a new site-specific installation, House Project: Settling into the Vulnerable. This project aims to develop current issues and concerns in relation to a particular aspect of the process of urbanization in South Korea and the notion of space. I work and experiment particularly with the concept of dwelling in relation to the meaning and function of space, particularly the production, transformation and deconstruction of space from both artistic and socio-political perspectives. Specifically, by looking at and expanding some recent cases of urban redevelopment in South Korea, my work focuses on the transformation of the concept of dwelling from the place of permanent residence as a shelter or protection to a means of producing and destroying a (social) space. House or a dwelling space is not considered merely as a closed space that provides a certain kind of inaccessibility from the exterior to the interior, but as a contested zone, in which different forces, relations and elements can coexist and conflict.

My interest in this work is to establish a connection between sculptural work and a given space or a socio-cultural setting, questioning our relationship with our surroundings. I focus on the meaning and function of occupation to understand and provide this connection. Here, occupation does not simply mean having a possession of land, but a mode of intervention into or integration with a space. Rather than representing a certain aspect of urban space as a form of sculptural work, house as a zone of occupation aims to relocate and transform established relations in a new environment through the method of the constructive and destructive movement and formation of space. I created a construction cloth house, which presents an architectural form of the 1970s and 1980s in South Korea. It is placed in the urban realm in Seoul, Korea. To do this, I had to visit and find a site and contact the council to receive a permission to enter and work in the site. The interior of the house becomes a room or rooms, placing domestic objects such as chairs, freezer, lights, plants and stove. This piece is a movable space.

House project aims to explore the ways in which our life is patterned or visualized and environments are constructed through the condensed and displaced logic of space; and it provides a new understanding of the politics of unevenness and its relation to the movement and transformation of space. My work enters into and expands both an architectural space and an urban space that I conceptually and physically experience, presenting a critical discourse not only on the politics of architecture, but also on the larger socio-cultural systems and relations of space. It explores a dynamic relationship between sculptural work, idea and urbanism, concerning the ways in which the mechanism of transformation and reproduction of (urban) space and its power structure are related to producing or deconstructing a certain conceptual and material form of territory. In relation to the reproduction of a given space in the process of urbanization particularly in South Korea, my sculptural practice not only focuses on the complex mechanism of the transformation of space, for example, from actual site to sculptural space, and from the abstract to the real, but also explores the functional aspect of sculptural space as a political entity, capable of re-interpreting - in other words, constructing and deconstructing - urban space (or the built environment). I experiment with the potential of sculptural work in relation to different forms of space.
 
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