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60th Anniversary of Korea-Switzerland Diplomatic Relations Exchange Exhibition Sansuinmul: Mountain·Water·Human·Building 한국-스위스 수교 60주년 교류전시 <<산수인물(山水人物)의 도시>> I 2023

Participated on the ’60th Anniversary of Korea-Switzerland Diplomatic Relations Exchange Exhibition Sansuinmul: Mountain·Water·Human·Building’ as Curator, Artist, and Exhibition Space Designer
한국-스위스 수교 60주년 교류전시 ‘산수인물(山水人物)의 도시’에 기획자, 작가, 전시공간 디자이너로 참여하였습니다.

Learning from each other through different lenses
In South Korea and Switzerland, mountains are unique topographical features representing their natural environment and a link between the two countries that engage with nature and culture in a complex relationship. The six researchers, architects, and landscape architects came together for the exchange exhibition ‘Chepchep-San-Jung’ to celebrate the 60th diplomatic anniversary of Switzerland and Korea. With their diverse backgrounds and distinctive viewpoints, they have traced the intricate relationship between the natural and urban environment in both countries. This exhibition unveils familiar yet bizarre scenery by juxtaposing several projects in which Korea and Switzerland interpret each other’s mountainscape face to face. While the varied interpretations are unfolded like a kaleidoscope, we hope that the exhibition ‘Chepchep-San-Jung’ will serve as an opportunity for both countries to see each other’s nature, cities, and cultures in a new light as they mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Between reality and meaning: Do we really all see the same mountain?
A landscape can reveal the cultural memory of the members of a society who inhabit it; at the same time, a landscape can be interpreted differently depending on who we ask. What matters in a landscape is not only the physical form that can be objectively identified, but different values and meanings – in other words, individual and cultural projections – that are ascribed to a landscape. That is why your landscapes and mine, although identical, are not the same. The first section of ‘Chepchep-San-Jung’ highlights the multiple layers of meanings projected onto the landscape.

In the perspective of ( ): What mountains do non-human see?
The dichotomous perception between nature and the urban environment is becoming less pronounced. The second section of ‘Chepchep-San-Jung’ presents the Korean and Swiss environments through the eyes of non-human entities. By viewing through the lens of plants, machines, or glaciers, this section challenges conventional notions and ideational interpretations of ‘pristine’ nature, offering fresh views of the environment and the city. Lastly, at the center of the Vium hall, there is a hanging installation titled “Chepchep-San-Jung: Layers of Mountains.” In this installation, Korean and Swiss mountains overlap in layers, forming a unique landscape scenery. This scenery works in tandem with the theme of the entire exhibition, suggesting nature is intertwined with the history and culture in both countries. In the era of the climate crisis, there is a greater need than ever for new interpretations and empathy towards nature to shape the future of cities. Through this exhibition, ‘Chepchep-San-Jung,’ we hope for Korea and Switzerland to learn about each other’s histories, values, and their relationship with nature, while mutually exploring the future.

Text by Namjoo Kim

Client: Seoul Metropolitan Government, Embassy of Switzerland in Korea
Website: admin.ch
Year: 2023
Location: Seoul Hall of Urbanism and Architecture, Seoul
Program: Exhibition Design, Exhibition Space Design
Status: Completed
Design Team: 김남주, 지강일