Oct 24, 2015

Bokdukbang (Real Estate Agency)In the Green Village

Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation

The Neighborhood Artists - 10.MyWay Studio

Several familiesUnder one roof, Their wintering
<Three Families under One Roof>, which was the very popular TV drama from mid-80’s to mid-90’s, deals with stories about different three families living together in a house. All the family members have different characteristics and jobs and ways of living, and the difference sometimes caused a conflict. But what connects them is the mind of ‘We are family under one roof’. They share both good time and bad time just like a family, but they have something thicker than blood. 

Now it has been 20 years since the drama was over, and it becomes unusual that let alone several families under one roof, even a family lives together under one roof. A single-person household living alone is increasing for many reasons, and even people living together in the same space do not easily think of themselves as a ‘family’. It became more difficult to get along with somebody who is different from myself, and understand and respect a way of life of others than ever. In the circumstance where even keeping ‘my’ ground is too much, remembering ‘others’ does not seem to be easy.

But look back for once. Has humankind existed completely alone? Except for the indispensible situation, could a man have lived like a human being alone? Even though we do not learn ‘Humans are social animals’ from a textbook, we were born to face various kinds of society. And the society is no more than others, and we live a life having a relationship with the society, that is others. To the contrary, it can be said that forming a relationship with others creates (social) self. If we do not see others to keep ourselves, we can end up not seeing ourselves.

In Seodun-dong Gwonseon-gu Suwon-si where the previous site of the Agricultural College of Seoul National University is left behind, there is the artists’ studio ‘MyWay’ which is shared with non-artists under one roof. When we glimpse the name of the studio, it seems that they would do all the things ‘as they want’ and ‘as the way they want’, but after we look all around the studio, we can realize that they have ‘a will’ to consider not only ‘me’ but also ‘you’ who makes ‘me’ ‘myself’. In ‘MyWay Studio’, artists including Bukang Lee, Taehwa Song, Soochul Kim, Jihyun Park and Jeongeun Lim work in different ways with different materials, but they seem to work in harmony. In addition to the studio, many industrial laboratories are sharing the space of the building that used to be a wig factory, and they also live with artists of ‘MyWay Studio’ as family members.

When Bukang Lee and Taehwa found this place for the first time, they did not think that they could build the studio there due to abandoned goods and the water leak. But the artists who thought the structure and environment of the building are not bad to work started to clean up the ruined place. In a broad space, assumed it was a work place of the wig factory, they built fake walls to secure working spaces of each artist, and the desolation gradually died away. Another artists who dropped by the studio expressed their intention to join, and finally the ‘My Way Studio’ is as it is now, where several artists work together.

“When I visited this place, I actually felt scared. It was pretty creepy…But now I am satisfied more than ever. I think the quiet atmosphere to focus on working is not common.”

Artist Jihyun Park to join in ‘My Way Studio’ upon the invitation of other artists said that she was not satisfied from the beginning. However, this is not the space where she works alone, and now it has a special meaning for her, giving a comfort only with the fact that she can see other artists by a single step.

“I like the crack of dawn best. I feel happy if I work at the time when darkness and light coexist in silence.”

Artist Bukang Lee who likes to greet the dawn in the studio best talked about various attractiveness of the ‘My Way Studio’ as an original member who recognized the value of the ruined wig factory. And he was carrying out how to coexist carefully listening to needs of other artists and neighbors (industrial laboratories).

Everybody says ‘My Way Studio’ is ideal in terms of being able to talk about working or artworks of each other. Candid comments sometimes hurt the artists, but they do not ignore them because the commenters know and watch the working process better than anyone. I was sure that this family under one roof would overcome even the freezing cold from their saying that they are happy just because they know ‘somebody is working with me’ most of the time and they just are there.

On Octer 24th opened the door of ‘My Way Studio’ where several families under one roof got through winter several times. Remembering there was ‘the Green Zone (Hochun Seo)’ which was famous for farming of strawberries and grape around the studio and hoping ‘MyWay Studio’ will act as a base for autochthonic arts in Suwon area like the Green Zone, they named their open studio ‘Real Estate Agency in the Green Zone’ as a subtitle. Nice invitation cards are prepared thanks to special typography created by artist Bukang Lee and well-matched with ‘Real Estate Agency in the Green Zone’, the open studio was crowded with much larger number of visitors than the number of invitation cards.

The open studio started from 2 o’clock and the first program was the slide show on images of ‘My Way Studio’ from the early years to the present. On a large wall of the unused space in the building are projected historical images on former wig factory, the process of the studio’s settling down and how artists normally work. A kind explanation of Bukang Lee who had found this place for the first time helped visitors understand the history of ‘My Way Studio’.

Following the slide show, visitors looked around workrooms of five artists in ‘My Way Studio’. Starting from Jungeun Lim’s room and stopping by rooms of Jihyun Park, Taehwa Song, Soochul Kim and Bukang Lee one by one, there were conversations between artists and visitors. It is a rare opportunity for visitors of all ages and jobs from students to company workers to drop by the studios of artists who they hardly encountered at ordinary times. Looking around the studio, visitors gave their impression of their having a different perspective on artists’ work which they find in the limited space such as a gallery or an art museum.

After the studio tour, ‘Artists’ Talk’ between five artists and visitors continued in the courtyard of ‘MyWay Studio’. Questions were asked such as the identity as an artist, how to be inspired, habits or jinx. There were some moments when artists were embarrassed at the unexpected questions, but the artists’ sharp-witted answers seemed to close the distance between visitors and them.

At the end of the open studio, visitors had an experience to plant various winter plants to build a garden on the rooftop. It was an ‘all hands on deck’ hoping that ‘My Way Studio’, which pursues self-perpetuating artists , takes some comfort from plants which have a tenacious hold on life. I wish touches of visitors could remain at the garden and the warmth be passed down to five artists. And I sincerely hope the touches give the artist’s power of going through another winter.

Written by Bora Kang
(Independent Planner/Media Culture Researcher)

1.Soochul Kim

M.A. of Department of Fine Arts at Hongik Univ.
B.A. of Department of Fine Arts at Hongik Univ.

Solo Exhibitions
2014 Culture Factory Osan (Osan Museum of Art), Osan
2014 Leaders’ Gallery Soo, Seoul
2010 Space Haam, Seoul
2009 SOUP Gallery, Seoul
2006 Alternative space NOON, Suwon
And others

Planned Exhibition & Group Exhibitions
2015 VIN ZIP ‘If the Sun Rises In the West’, Experimental Space UZ, Suwon
VIN ZIP-jumping together, ‘Saljak* Biennale’ , Korea Seed & Variety Service, Suwon (*Note: Saljak means slightly or secretly.’
MOA Maehol Open-air Art Symposium & Festival, Alternative space Crow, Osan
Alter Ego, The Planned & Invited Exhibition, Haeum Museum of Art, Suwon
The World Heritage Project, Paldal-gu Office, Suwon
Up & Down – Looking for an Outside World. Suwon Art Center, Suwon
The Korean Modern Art, The Invited Exhibition, Ulsan Culture & Arts Center, Ulsan
2014 Do You Believe in Art? (Binzip Project – Short-term Residency), Cultural Space Ilpa, Suwon
Cosmos Blossomed in in Chaos-The World Heritage Project, Cultural Space Ilpa, Suwon
MyWay Studio, The Special & Planned Exhibition, Alternative space NOON, Space BOM, Suwon
Omong*-The Dream of the Crow, Alternative space Crow, Osan (*Note: Omong refers a dream while taking a nap)
2013 Garden of Confession, Gwangju Biennale Exhibition, Gwangju
And others

Residency
2007-08 Artist-in-Residency of ‘Creative Village across the Creek’


2.Jihyun Park

Studying at Department of Oriental Painting, Graduate School of Fine Arts of Hongik Univ.
B.A. of Department of Oriental Painting at Gangnam Univ.

Solo Exhibitions
2013 Suwon Art Center PSⅡ, Suwon
2007 Danwon Art Museum, Ansan
2006 Alternative space NOON, Suwon
2004 Gongpyong Art Center, Seoul

Planned Exhibition & Group Exhibitions
2015 ‘If the Sun Rises In the West’, Experimental Space UZ, Suwon
VINZIP ‘Saljak Biennale’, Korea Seed & Variety Service, Suwon
MOA Maehol Open-air Art Symposium & Festival, Alternative space Crow, Osan
2014 The Special & Planned Exhibition of MyWay Studio,, Alternative space NOON, Space BOM, Suwon
Suwon-Poland Arts Exchange, Suwon Cultural Foundation, Suwon
2012 City Garden Forest, POSCO Gallery, Seoul
2011 100 Pieces Exhibition, Insa Gallery, Seoul
2010 Opening up the Future of Art -Happy Suwon Art Festival, Suwon Art Center, Suwon
Dongsangemong – Gangnam Association of Korean Painting Artist, JH Gallery
2008 Descendent of Hyesuk Na, The Exhibition of 30 Suwon Women Artists, Happy Gallery, Suwon
Meet Perspectives on Body through Convergence Arts, Suwon Art Center, Suwon
And others


3.Taehwa Song
M.A of Department of Printmaking, Graduate School of Fine Arts of Hongik Univ.
B.A. of Department of Printmaking, College of Fine Arts of Hongik Univ.

Solo Exhibitions
2012 Utopia derived by an atypical stain, Analogy with Paradise, Suwon Art Center, Suwon
2011 Dreaming Island, Insa Art Center, Seoul
2007 The Usual, Hongik Museum of Art, Seoul

Planned Exhibition & Group Exhibitions
2015 The Exhibition in commemoration of the opening of Suwon I’Park Museum, Suwon I’Park Museum Art, Suwon
VINZIP Saljak Biennale’, Korea Seed & Variety Service, Suwon
MOA Maehol Open-air Art Symposium & Festival, Alternative space Crow, Osan
The Korean Modern Art, The Invited Exhibition, Ulsan Culture & Arts Center, Ulsan
2014 World Heritage Project, Suwon Hwasung Museum, Paldal-gu Office, Cultural space Ilpa, Suwon
The Special & Planned Exhibition of MyWay Studio, Alternative space NOON, Space BOM, Suwon
Omong*-The Dream of the Crow, The Exhibition in commemoration of the opening of Alternative space Crow, Alternative space Crow, Osan
10 Years Past, 10 Years Forward-Bibimbap; Buffet Exhibition, Alternative space NOON, Suwon
10 Leaders of Modern Arts, The Planned Exhibition, Poeun Art Gallery, Yongin
2012 SAFF Designation Competition, Artist of Today, Gallery Simon, Seoul
The Planned & Invited Exhibition of POSCO (Forest-City Garden), POSCO Gallery, Pohang
Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia Invited Exhibition, Korean Cultural Center, Jakarta, India
International Planned & Invited Exhibition, France Paris, Espace Cing EtoilesGallery, Paris
2011 Korea, Philippines, Germany, Japan Fine Art Festival, The Invited Festival, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Manila, Philippines
And others


4.Bukang Lee
M.A. of Department of Painting, Graduate School of Fine Arts of Hongik Univ.
B.A. of Department of Painting, College of Fine Arts of Gyeonggi Univ.

Solo Exhibitions
2014 trace & trace, Alternative space NOON, Suwon
trace & trace, Gallery Han, Seoul

Planned Exhibition & Group Exhibitions
2015 MOA Maehol Open-air Art Symposium & Festival, Alternative space Crow, Osan
VIN ZIP Saljak Biennale’, Korea Seed & Variety Service, Suwon
Hongik New Art Exhibition, Gaga Gallery, Seoul
2014 Do You Believe in Art? (Binzip Project – Short-term Residency), Cultural Space Ilpa, Suwon
1992 12 Contemporary Artists, Ieum Gallery
International Exchange Art Festival, Suwon
Ventilation - Free Will, The 3rd Gallery
1991 Gyeonggi Art Contest Exhibition, Culture & Art Centers
Buffalo. Feather Exhibition, Cheongnam Gallery
1990 Creative Arts Competition, Fine Arts Center
1989 The Beginning 85 Exhibition, Seon Gallery, Suwon


5.Jungeun Lim

M.A. of Department of Painting, Graduate School of Fine Arts of Hongik Univ.
B.A. of Department of Image & Film

Planned Exhibition & Group Exhibitions
2015 Piseo* Exhibition, Gongpyong Gallery, Seoul (* Note: Piseo means summer vacation.)
Named Exhibition, Alternative space NOON, Suwon
GPS Exhibition, Hongik Museum of Art, Seoul
2014 I’m not stupid (Art Collaboration-yap), Gwanghwamun Plaza & Gangnam Station, Seoul
The Special & Planned Exhibition of MyWay Studio, Space BOM, Alternative space NOON, Suwon

Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation
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