It might look like trash, but it’s art

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It might look like trash, but it’s art


Construction waste and everyday objects collected from the redevelopment projects in Seoul are arranged and exhibited in a new context at Artsonje Center in central Seoul.Provided by the center

Visitors to the Artsonje Center in central Seoul who are not familiar with conceptual art might be shocked by the scene on the second floor.

All kinds of construction waste - roof slates, bricks, floor panels and wood - as well as used everyday objects like shoes, chairs, bicycles and blankets are artfully arranged and on display.

This exhibition by Mexican conceptual artist Abraham Cruzvillegas, titled “Autodestruccion8: Sinbyeong” runs until July 26. It is the first solo show in Korea by Cruzvillegas, who will present a new project at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in London in October. For this exhibition in Seoul, Cruzvillegas collected various objects left behind in some Seoul areas after the residents moved away due to redevelopment projects.

“It is through such recycling that the artist generates new possibilities and novel images for the seemingly useless objects that have lost their original functionality,” the art center explained. “In this context of transformation, ‘sinbyeong’ has been added as the subtitle of this show.”

In Korean shamanism, sinbyeong is an illness or transformation that someone goes through to become a shaman. In a similar way, the artist transformed waste into art.


Admission is 3,000 won ($2) for adults. The art center is closed on Mondays. Go to Anguk Station, line No. 3, exit 1 and walk for 10 minutes. For details, visit or call (02) 733-8945.
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