Design seen through the lens of Korean culture

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Design seen through the lens of Korean culture

Perhaps something as simple as design can help create a better life.

That’s one of the concepts behind the Gwangju Design Biennale 2009, which kicks off on Sept. 18. The event aims to explore new design possibilities based on five holistic themes ? clothing, eating, living, enlightening and enjoying ? through the lens of Korean culture.

Organizers say that the exhibit serves as a venue for viewing innovative designs from around the world, promoting the idea that design can serve as integral part of a holistic life.

The curators of each exhibition will attempt to define the link between Korean culture and design. Additionally, the works of top designers from across the globe will be displayed next to traditional Korean cultural items related to the five different holistic themes.

The clothing section will feature the work of Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake, who is famous for using innovative fabrics and textiles, as well as French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier and the world-famous Levi Strauss & Co.

The eating section will highlight dining culture in Korea and other countries, explored from the design point of view. It will include contributions from British cook and TV personality Jamie Oliver, French kitchenware manufacturer Le Creuset, and Royal Copenhagen, the Danish porcelain maker.

The living exhibit will attempt to offer architectural inspiration. Kia Motors chief designer Peter Schreyer and Mohsen Mostafavi, the dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, will design a living space based on a motif of Soswaewon, a representative garden in Damyang County, South Jeolla, built during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

The areas focused on enlightening and enjoying will examine Korea’s graphic design and music. The design of Hangul, or the Korean alphabet, and those of alphabets of other nations will be compared and evaluated in terms of design. In addition, Italian designers will redesign Hangul.

A total of 519 designers ? including 360 from abroad ? and 376 companies will participate in the design biennale. Among the companies: Nokia, the Finnish mobile phone manufacturer; Panasonic, the Japanese electronics maker; Samsung Electronics; Hyundai Motor; and SK Communications.

The Gwangju Design Biennale will also offer an international curator course. Out of 114 applicants from 28 countries, organizers have selected 27 people from 16 countries to participate.

The curator course starts on Aug. 24 and will continue for one month.

It will include lectures from internationally recognized curators, and selected applicants will have a chance to work as interns under their guidance.

The main venue for the biennale is Gwangju Biennale Hall, but there will also be other events throughout the city.

To mark the 2009 biennale, a pavilion featuring installation art will be set up in Sajik Park in the old center of Gwangju.

The Gwangju Design Biennale 2009 will be held between Sept. 18 and Nov. 14. For more information, call (062) 608-4224 or visit www.gb.or.kr


By Limb Jae-un [jbiz91@joongang.co.kr]
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