Jeongsun International Fire Sculpture Festival

Artist: Lee Jae-Hyo, Kim Sun-doo, Sung Dong-hoon, Lee Gil-rae, Jung In-suk, Chen Hua, Zhang Yong
Location: Jeongseon, South Korea
Year: 2014
Researcher: Kim Saeseul

Gangwon Jeongseon was originally a base of coal and mine with a plateau of 1000 meters above sea level. In the sixties or seventies, the mining boom was the mainstay of the local economy. Later, Gangwon Jeongseon gradually lost its identity and vitality as a mining area since coal is no longer the main resource in Korea. In order to remember the lifestyles as well as the people who once lived in the area, and to wake up the vitality of this area, the government of Jeongseon launched the international fire project. Eight artists from Korea and China were invited to create wooden sculptures. The sculptures were shown to the public for a month. At the end of the exhibition, people were invited to burn the works which was also the culmination of this project.

Fire is a means of purification, it’s both death and rebirth. Just as the old saying goes, the phoenix realized nirvana through fire. Jeongseon has been used to the straw tradition of field burning from ancient time. At the end of crop season, people would burn the fields and accumulate nutrients for next season.

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This fire project just respected this kind of tradition and enriched its meaning through different kinds of artworks. For example, the 2 meters tall wooden chair sculpture of Jin Shandou represented the authority and the burning just ruined the authority. Only when the authority which blocks the development is ruined, can people usher in a Renaissance. Regions in Jeongseon would be invited to join this project so as to appreciate their own living environment through the nostalgia for the past and the hopes of the future.

All copyright belongs to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.

Progress Agency