Monday, June 27, 2011

"The ugly side of an art law"

Perched outside the Posco steel company office, the jarring 30-foot-tall object looks like the remains of a plane crash — all crushed steel and gnarled parts — because that's what it is.

Creator Frank Stella built what he considered a modern work of art and named it "Amabel," in honor of an artist friend's daughter who died in a plane accident. But many passersby for years have considered it to be something else: an eyesore.

The work is one of the more avant-garde sculptures in Seoul and the symbol of an art controversy in South Korea.

For 16 years, a national law has required builders of large commercial projects to commission an adjoining piece of art — including engravings, calligraphy works or sculptures — whose cost would equal 1% of the overall cost of the project. The public art promotion act produced 10,684 public art works between 1995 and 2008,— at a cost of more than $546 million.

But critics of the urban improvement effort objected, some saying the law had created a monster that over the years generated too much art that many find objectionable. There's the huge straw man that sits, feet dangling, on the ledge of a downtown building; the copper piece that is supposed to look like a group of people but which many say looks like a dirty ashtray; and a mammoth gorilla wearing a backpack scaling a building.

1 comment:

이가람 said...

As you said. It is sure unpopular. I suppose Amabel is made of junk.