Press Release Date: February 3rd, 2016 IMAGINING NEW EURASIA PROJECT
Here, There, and Everywhere: Eurasian Cities
Project Director, Artist: Kyong Park Director of Visualization: Jaekyung Jung Project Architect: B.A.R.E Curator: Jihoi Lee November 25, 2015 – July 15, 2016 The Asia Culture Center, ACC Creation, Space 3 38, Munhwajeondang-ro, Dong-gu, Gwangju, Republic of Korea Exhibition Area: 798㎡ For centuries, Asia and Europe were thought to be separate and distinct. But where exactly is the physical demarcation between them? Is it the Ural Mountains or Caucasus Mountains? Or do the linked bodies of water from the Sea of Marmara, Black Sea, and Caspian Sea to the Ural River separate Asia from Europe? The exact line of physical demarcation between Asia and Europe is still disputed and remains inconclusive. The division of Eurasia is merely of a cultural construct, and history confirms this. Rather than defined by its supposed division, the horizontality of the Eurasian landmass has allowed various inventions, religions and languages to spread to the far reaches of East and West. Old Silk Roads, New Silk Roads, and the like are proof that the geography of the continent is a unifying force. Eurasia is a single continent, not only by its physical attributes, but also by its shared history. Today, Eurasia is once again becoming one. Besides the Trans-Siberian Railways, now the New Eurasian Land Bridge connects Lianyungang with Rotterdam to allow shipments of materials from China to Europe. There are more proposals for new railroads and highways between China, India and Southeast Asia, while Russia has even proposed tunnels and bridges across the Bering Strait to North America. Furthermore, there are also many newly built and proposed oil and gas pipelines that will remake the Middle East and Central Asia a land of connections and exchanges, as they were during the Old Silk Roads era and beyond. Imagining New Eurasia is a multi-year project to research and visualize the historical precedents and contemporary reconstructions of the continent as a union of Europe and Asia. The project imagines new relations between East and West, and a renewed identity for Eurasia. Through a narrative sequence of three distinctive chapters, each with different subjects, Imagining New Eurasia Project will present the importance of cities, networks and territories. In so doing, the project envisions how the movements of commerce, migrations and cultural exchanges could bring about an age of balance, where greater relations and understandings between different societies could help avoid clashes of civilizations. Central to this project is the New Eurasian Pavilion that will house panoramic projections of visualizations, accompanied by participatory exhibitions, publications and workshops. The inaugural exhibition of the Imagining New Eurasia Project looks at the cultural terrain of Eurasia through the localized lens of different “cities.” The intention is to visualize the structures of cultural transitions, exchanges, and interactions between different places. Primarily consisting of three parts, “Atlas of a New Geography,” “City Mix,” and “Urban Poetry,” the exhibition seeks to animate a new way of understanding the relations between here, there, and everywhere of Eurasia. ATLAS OF A NEW GEOGRAPHY The first part is an exhibition of selected entries from an open competition that presents drawings, sketches, texts, artworks, photographs, maps, memorabilia and other artifacts from different cities in Eurasia. The competition was based on a fictional story that Eurasia was completely destroyed from religious, ethnic and national wars. The participants were then asked to identify a remnant from which his/her city could be reconstructed or renewed. Among hundreds of competition entries, the exhibition introduces the selected works of eighty-five participants, whose ideas and aspirations reflect various kinds of local conditions and future hopes. An online voting system will run on the official website of the Imagining New Eurasia Project (imaginingneweurasia.org), where worldwide citizens could take part in selecting prizewinners amongst the exhibited works. CITY MIX In the second part, panoramic photos and videos of selected Eurasian cities are mixed and projected to fully encircle the interior of the New Eurasian Pavilion (designed by Kyong Park and B.A.R.E.). The urban landscapes of these cities are joined, merged or compounded to create progressions, mixtures and amalgamations of different cities of the continent. Inspired by panoramas and dioramas that were popular during the second half of 19th century, the New Eurasian Pavilion takes viewers to iconic and particular landscapes of distant cities, illustrating the economic, political and cultural histories of different societies. Rather than presenting a landscape of one particular city, as the traditional panoramas did, the New Eurasian Pavilion mixes them to create comparative and combined landscapes that offer extensive views of Eurasia as a single continent. On the exterior skin of the New Eurasian Pavilion, one hundred selected cities are presented by their territorial profile. These profiles are pushed out against the fabric skin, in different strengths and at different times, to visualize the importance that each city played in relation to the Old Silk Roads, New Silk Roads and other roads that connected Eurasia through its history. URBAN POETRY Collected through a scripted search on the Internet, thousands of Urban Poetry Cards show images and texts about the historic and contemporary urban landscapes, architectures, artifacts, and maps of one hundred and fifty-five selected cities. With an image on one side and its associated text on the other, the cards bear the color of the annual mean temperature of each city, emphasizing the connective history between cities through their climatic relations. Viewers are invited to select these Urban Poetry Cards and place them on a large wall to create collective sentences. Motivated by Dave Kapell’s Magnetic Poetry and the C adavre Exquis of the Surrealists, this participatory game intends to create a mosaic of urban images via accidental encounters of linguistic play, alluding to a constantly changing visual terrain of Eurasia. The result of this participatory work will be continuously documented throughout the exhibition period. Resulting card movements and locations will be analyzed with a focus on the cities and keywords, to study the tendencies and relations between cities as they are perceived and created by the participants.
CONTACT The Asia Culture Center, ACC Creation Curatorial Team Manager: Sung A Kwon (+82 62 601 4540) Director General of The Asia Culture Center, Sunkyu Bang Director of Asia Culture Institute, Byungsuk Kim Art Director of ACC Creation, Jinyo Mok Associate Art Director of ACC Creation, Joonmo Chung IMAGINING NEW EURASIA PROJECT firstname.lastname@example.org Official Website: imaginingeneweurasia.org Facebook: facebook.com/imaginingneweurasia Instagram: instagram.com/imaginingneweurasiaproject #inep #imaginingneweurasia