All Free Canvas is a graffiti project from 2009 that have addressed gentrification by the city of Seoul. Seoul is the capital city of South Korea where one third of the entire Korean population resides. There are many places in Seoul that are under construction for gentrification. Gentrification can magnify the polarity between people who support development versus preservation. The process of gentrification often aggravates conflicts among local governments that may profit or lose money from such a project. Is development the only solution to the betterment of this important city? Are tall apartment buildings and skyscrapers the only dreams that Seoulites wish?
The artists who value cultural variety oppose gentrification and believe that those debilitating places still hold their values – history and tradition. The artists started to visit a couple of gentrifying locations in Seoul in order to increase people’s awareness about the issue.
Geumho-Dong and Wangsip-Ri
Geumho-Dong is located in the north of the Han River. It was a residential town until recently. The city of Seoul announced its plan to gentrify the area. When I visited Geumho-Dong with other artists, most residential buildings were demolished while construction has been underwent. The area appeared empty with little population left to live.
Wangsip-Ri is a part of New Town Re-Development Project of the city of Seoul. The city’s decision to develop the area brought about a huge conflict between the local residents and the city, and media attention. When I first visited the area, it appeared most residents moved out from the region but a few families were left living in dilapidation.
I worked on a graffiti that illustrated anxiety of the society and individuals, portraying old and neglected houses. I constructed an installation piece using garbage.Check other artists works that related in this project at each members of Kalmont Family’s web pages: http://www.kalmontfamily.com/who-are-we/