On the ground
The Way to Work with Contemporary Art
‘Underground, on the Ground’
The Incheon Foundation for Art & Culture (IFAC), Incheon City, and Incheon Transit Corporation join hands to transform Incheon City Hall Station (Incheon Subway Line 1) into an art station. The ‘Art Station Project’ is a project organized by IFAC to promote the social value of art and to provide opportunities to appreciate culture and art by launching an art project in the subway stations of Incheon. In December 2018, IFAC announced the ‘Art Station Project’ with the key theme of daily life meeting contemporary art.
Under the theme of ‘Underground, on the Ground,’ this art station project shows 30 artworks of 29 artists from 3 countries (Korea, USA, France) in Incheon City Hall. The purpose of this project is to create an environment where citizens can experience various contemporary artworks throughout Incheon City Hall Station, which is a space of everyday life and a transportation hub, away from an exhibition hall. The word ‘underground’ from the exhibition theme <Underground, on the Ground>, literally means underground. That is, it is used as a term to describe a subculture in contrast to the mainstream, or a clandestine underground movement. In the UK, the subway is called an ‘underground’ rather than ‘subway’ as the words means to run underground. The title of the exhibition <Underground, on the Ground> describes our hope that the subway station will become a place where visitors can enjoy various works of arts and culture in their lives rather than merely as an underground space that serves as a subway station.
This project seeks ‘homogeneous meaning’ as an ‘exit without boundaries’ for visitors to enjoy artworks, and experiments with the possibility of a new ‘public enjoyment.’ The exhibition consists of 5 themes:
1) ‘Underground Art Museum,’ which features the characteristics of ‘hybridity’ between modern society and Incheon
2) ‘Underground Film Times,’ which conveys the diversity of contemporary art by exhibiting the artworks of experimental artists of Korean contemporary art in an archive form
3) ‘Art Road Underground,’ which combines ‘art’ and ‘daily life’ in an underground space with changes in urban paradigms
4) ‘Underground Amenity,’ which refreshes and energizes emotions by transforming the subway station
5)‘Underground on the Ground,’ a location-specific project installation
This project started with the advice from a panel of experts on public art projects and was organized by a talented planning team, including Artistic Director Lee Tal (media artist). Under difficult circumstances, the participating artists also presented excellent artworks to the public. The exhibition includes artworks by Kim Ku-lim, Sung Neung-kyung, Lee Kang-so, Lee Geun-yong, and Lee Seung-taek, who are experimental artists leading Korean contemporary art. It also includes pieces by top Korean artists such as Yuk Geun-byeong and Kim Chang-kyum, who are recognized as world-class media artists, and Pier Fabre, a French installation artist who utilizes the characteristics of a place in his works. In addition, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, a Cuban-born American artist who was one of the most influential artists in the world in the 1980s and 1990s, participated and added meaning to this project.
The <Underground, on the Ground> exhibition will be held from December 13, 2018, to October 3, 2019, at Incheon City Hall Station, and four artworks by Pier Fabre, Lovot Lab, Unsite, and Park Jong-yong will be permanently exhibited at Incheon City Hall Station. Through this project, we hope that visitors can relax and take the time to admire and enjoy contemporary art on their busy way to work and school. The IFAC will continue to do its best to expand opportunities for citizens to enjoy culture and art through various public art projects in the spaces of everyday life.
Incheon Foundation for Arts & Culture