Seoul Art Space GEUMCHEON: Exciting and Passionate Past Experiments

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Seoul Art Space GEUMCHEON:
Exciting and Passionate Past Experiments

Seoul Art Space GEUMCHEON has been designed under the big cultural movement of Seoul city planning called ‘Urban Regeneration’ Other than the first and foremost goal of ‘Creative Support for Artists’ it started with the assignment of cultural revival and settlement by positively responding to the issues of the south west of Seoul where ‘Guro Complex’ is located.
Seoul Art Space GEUMCHEON is an international residency studio in the field of visual art which made its change as the city of Seoul bought and transformed the building that used to be a telephone coil company in the 1970's and a printing company during the 1990's. The whole area of Doksan-dong where Seoul Art Space GEUMCHEON is located is a representative industrial area still left in Seoul where numerous manufacturers from IT industries to clothing industries are active. This area is going through a transition from semi industrial area to IT industries, and even though industrial strength is decreasing, the area is still showing active manufacturing capacity. This is a unique feature of Seoul where manufacturing capabilities such as semiconductors are still active, unlike most megalopolises where service functions dominate.
If we examine the past steps taken by Seoul Art Space GEUMCHEON, now nearing 2 years of history since its opening in October of 2009, by centering around the selection of resident artists and changes in the primary programs, it is as follows.
In 2009, the first starting year of the project, artists from various genres were selected such as from art, performance, and films centering around artists in Korea. With this, Seoul Art Space GEUMCHEON attempted to fuse the various genres and at the same time publicly claim its character through the planned residency in the field of community art. In addition, the former 1 year residency method of the residency studio began its first attempt to differentiate the terms by dividing it into 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years and 4 months.
In 2010, the second term selection field was specialized to the field of visual art, and 3 teams of planned residency in the field of media art was attempted. Then, the various residency terms attempted in the first year became reorganized revolving around selection of short term international artists, and the possibility of re-residency at the first selection in a 1 year term. Selection of international artists had begun, and planned residency of 3 teams in the field of media art was pursued, who had received creative support through the "Open Call for Da Vinci Idea."
In the case of 2011 3rd term resident artist competition, the residency rate was increased to 46% through the support of airfare for the artists, and at the same time, through inviting international journalists and art critics, Seoul Art Space GEUMCHEON increased contact opportunity of the Korean artists with the group of international professionals. A project group that scrutinize ‘City Issues’ through research methods are awaiting planned residency.
The early attempt advocated by Seoul Art Space GEUMCHEON to coexist in international and local aspect has been implemented and is being shown through the following projects. There is ‘Community Arts Project’ which has been restlessly pursued through 12 projects of 4 times around since 2009, and there is ‘Open Call for Da Vinci Idea’ which had the goal of supporting added value of the products from industries in nearby Seoul Digital Industrial Complex. There is also ‘International Artist Exchange Program’ that has been expanding scope of interchange since 2009, and now it is collaborating with 9 other foreign institutions. The inspection and prospect of this kind of experiments since its opening has their intellectual base in the total of 3 International Symposiums of Seoul Art Space GEUMCHEON.
The Seoul Art Space has made aggressive and flexible with project structure as its feature in realizing the cultural strengthening of Seoul city. Seoul Art Space GEUMCHEON, with the 3rd-term residency artist selection underway since its opening in October 2009, it is attaining evolving programs and directional change with the above mentioned initiative and flexibility, and it is rapidly and passionately striding towards the goal.

Kim Hee-young
Manager of Seoul Art Space GEUMCHEON