the korean pavilion at the 16th international architecture exhibition presents ‘spectres of the state avant-garde’, an archive of four key state projects developed by the government-established korea engineering consultants corporation (KECC) during korea’s industrialization and modernization of the 1960s; and four contemporary interpretations of those projects by young korean artists and architects. together, the archive and its reimagining form an atmospheric installation addressing the KECC’s legacy and its influence on modern-day korean society.

 

dream cells curtain seen from outside the pavilion
image © designboom

 

 

KECC enjoyed an unparalleled dominance over korea’s architecture and construction industry, and the breadth of its activities reached beyond civil engineering and infrastructural projects to include urban master plans and expo pavilions. the exhibition presents an archive of four projects by KECC from the late 1960s, all of which served as nation-building propaganda: the expo pavilion for osaka expo 1970 was a venue for showcasing korea as a nation-state on the world stage; the utopian master plan for yeouido symbolized the brilliant future promised by the economic development plans; the sewoon arcades heralded the wave of urban renewal projects, and the guro industrial exposition signaled the beginning of a new era of affluence. the first two projects were symbolic gestures for announcing the trajectory of the new nation-state, whereas the other two projects were evidence for the imminent realization of economic prosperity.

 

four architectural projects re-imagine KECC’s developments to inform the future of korean architecture:

 


concept image by jinhong jeon and yunhee choi

 

‘dream cells’ by jinhong jeon and yunhee choi of BARE proposes a visionary urban model based on the understanding of architecture as a socio-economic process of dream production.

 


foldable curtain inside the pavilion
image © kyoungtae kim

 


image © kyoungtae kim

 


image © designboom

 


detail
image © designboom

 


the new interpretations – general view
image © kyoungtae kim

 

image © kyoungtae kim

 

‘city of radical shift’ by architect sungwoo kim (N.E.E.D. architecture) projects into the future of the area surrounding the KECC’s sewoon arcades, creating an urban plan that incorporates past, present and future buildings with a view to the social and cultural perspective of residents in the city.

 


concept image by sungwoo kim

 


image © designboom

 


 image © designboom

 

‘autopsy of the future’ by architect choonchoi is an installation that collects forgotten stories and utopian dreams for yeouido, as a collective social and aesthetic experiment. it is accompanied by a graphic novel in the catalogue exploring the layers of history on which the city is built.

 


image © choon choi


general view
image © kyoungtae kim

 


close-up
image © designboom

 


detail
image © designboom

 

 
detail
image © designboom

 

 

‘building states’ by hyun seok kang and gunho kim of SGHS is an installation inspired by the 1970 osaka pavilion. balancing the propaganda of the state with the visionary architecture of the creatives involved, SGHS present an installation that occupies a liminal space between built and imagined structures – transforming the exterior environment of the korean pavilion into a space for reflection and reimagining the autocratic architecture of the past.

 


view from inside the pavilion
image © designboom

 


hyun seok kang
image © designboom

 


view from outside
image © designboom

 

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