Many people living in Seoul are accustomed to buying food as packaged products from supermarkets. They also tend to take it for granted that the city is the seat of food consumption rather than its production. The three projects that make up this exhibition challenge these perceptions. New York City (Steady) State by Terreform exhibits an experimental city-planning project that reconstructs New York in terms of food self-sufficiency. Guiyoung Hwang’s unmanned Future Mart presents a collection of food items that people routinely consume in Seoul. You can shop here if you would like, but this miniature market is mainly designed as a space to provide environmental information related to food items rather than sales.
And the photography of Suyeon Yun introduces us to guerilla farmers who produce food in small quantities throughout Seoul. Yun’s focus on the city’s urban farmers is not because the small amount of food they produce can actually contribute to feeding the population of Seoul, but rather to highlight the significance of these recreational farmers in the context of the still recent past of Korea’s rural to urban migration, and the agricultural legacy of Seoul. The project seeks to re-examine their important role in accumulating and transferring knowledge about different methods of farming to the next generation amidst increasingly visible impacts of climate change.