Digital art display invites visitors to play

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Digital art display invites visitors to play


A digital art exhibition titled “Power Station of Creativity Project” kicked off Wednesday at City Hall in central Seoul, introducing several pieces of media art that visitors can physically experience.

The program, which runs through Oct. 15, features five of the best projects that were chosen earlier this year through a public contest. The competition was hosted by the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture, a government organization founded to enhance the lives of the city’s citizens by supporting creative cultural projects, according to the official website.

The winning pieces, displayed at City Hall’s first basement floor, are titled “Artificial Nature,” “Leaf,” “Augmented Pinball,” “Sound of Breath” and “Lines.” Only the first three were unveiled for visitors on Wednesday, as the remaining two had technical malfunctions. They will be available to see upon repair, the exhibition’s host said.

For “Leaf,” users can write or draw a message on a digital touchpad placed in front of a tree-shaped installation. They can then see their note come to life as a printed leaf that appears from one of the installation’s branches. Next, a message written by the previous user will fall from the same hole on the branch, allowing the current user to read it.

Han Chang-min, one of the two creators behind this installation, said Wednesday in a brief presentation held during the opening ceremony that their core idea was to have people “artistically communicate through the paper leaves.”

Another display, “Artificial Nature,” allows the user to play with sand piled on a large table, or what the designer calls an “ecosystem.”

Tiny ant-like dots of light are beamed onto the sand using computer graphics, creating the illusion that they are some sort of real-life entities scattered around a “mountainous society,” according to the artist, Ji Ha-ru. The multicolored lights change their pattern of movement as people move the sand around.

For Ham Ae-kyung, 48, from Songpa District, southern Seoul, the exhibition was more than a one-time outing with her 10-year-old daughter.

“I took her out because I wanted her to experience a larger world that books don’t teach her,” she said.

Living in a city where cultural activities are “critically lacking,” Ham said she takes matters into her own hands and searches online for experience-based programs in which her daughter can participate.

“Instead of studying hours at a desk, I want her to think outside the box and really broaden her perspective,” Ham said, adding that her educational method is “praised among other mothers” for being innovative.

When Ham’s daughter, Lee Chae-won, was asked what she thought of “Leaf,” the tree-inspired art piece, she answered, “It’s fun. And new,” with a little coaxing from her mother.

The exhibition is held at City Hall from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Oct. 15, excluding every Monday. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.sfac.or.kr or call (02) 807-4800.


BY LEE SUNG-EUN [selee@joongang.co.kr]
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