Neighborhood Collection sheds light on phenomena around small towns in Korea through Sinheung-dong. My relationship with this community began when I moved into the studio as a residency artist in 2017. During my residency, I could have a close look at what was happening in the community. Many houses were vacant, and stores were disappearing as people moved out. The town's changing landscape reflected the issues deeply rooted in history and recent social phenomena such as unbridled redevelopments of towns.
Sinheung-doing was the backdrop to the Gwangju Great Housing Complex Incident in 1971. It was the place where people living in shanty towns in Seoul were forcibly relocated to by the government's modernization process during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, and the community, a remnant of that historical event, will eventually be gone forever, caught in the crossroads of the city's redevelopment plan.
I intend to empower the community by creating a space for the neighbors while addressing essential matters, such as the historical consequences of the government’s failed city plan and its repercussions on the lives of people living in the area today. It is crucial to examine local narratives and phenomena as they are a microcosm of a much larger society. What was happening in this town is also experienced by many communities and cities across the globe. On my part, I created a space in which the local narrative and history of the community function as a record as well as a remembrance for the community, activating the space as an engaging and empowering site of gathering.