Commissioner: Arts Council Korea
Curator: Seongtae Park
Exhibitors: Sung-woo Kim (N.E.E.D Architecture), Jinhong Jeon, Yunhee Choi (BARE), Hyun-Suk Seo, Hyun Seok Kang, Gunho Kim (SGHS), Choon Choi, Kyoungtae Kim (EH), Jidon Jung
The 2018 Korean pavilion explores the complex relationship between architecture and the state. For young Korean architects coming of age during the early years of military dictatorship in 1960s, the oppressive developmental state provided the only viable platform for showcasing their imaginative prowess and advancing their utopian agenda. The exhibition highlights the schism between political power and imagination, and the inherent contradiction between political system and utopian ideology through the apparent paradox of working for the ‘state’ as ‘avant-garde’ architects. The legacy of, or the wreckage from, the ‘State Avant-garde’, whose naive optimism transcended the fragility of the civic society, may offer an intriguing possibility today for an alternate path toward a politically-charged urban form as opposed to the more normative, or neutralised concept of free space as public amenity.