Having the chance to visit Seoul, S. Korea was not only a treat, but a great opportunity to explore a new world of public art. You might think that this city would be conservative or creatively stifled given its proximity to the communist N. Korea, but nothing could be further from the truth. This hub of imagination is bursting at every seam with public art of all sorts. From sculptures that complement the complicated skyline to paintings and street artists that radiate the city’s cool vibe – Seoul has so much soul it is hard to digest it all.

And the city of Seoul is promoting the development of more public art and the development of emerging artists through their “Art on Seoul’s Streets Found by Citizens” project. Through this initiative participants divided into 11 groups and accompanied field experts to visit several areas of Seoul to discover unidentified artworks. This project took more than two-months and allowed the community to connect with an important part of Seoul’s societal identity, public art.

This program helped the city and its participants to realize the importance of installed arts on Seoul’s streets. One group focused on finding art that had historical relevance while others took a chance at finding unknown artists creating innovative works. Some contributors highlighted the positive function that public art has on the cities inhabitants. While many committee members recognized that public art is allowing people to remember and find traces of Korea’s tumultuous modern history.

This group is just one example of how a city that is thought to be conservative and constricted is becoming a bustling epicenter for innovation. And initiatives like this are creating a more inclusive and vibrant city and country for its citizens, making for a better place to work, live and visit.

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