Plastic is indeed a convenient material, widely used in daily life. However, frankly speaking, it cannot avoid the impression that it is cheap. Therefore, it would be quite a surprise for many if they find out that there is an exhibition that turns mere plastic into art. PLASTIC FANTASTIC is the place where you can check out the inspiring transformation. Like the Stone Age or the Iron Age, we tend to name the period by the tool that was prevalent throughout that time. As you might have guessed, the modern time can likewise called the Plastic Age, as the invention of plastic brought immense convenience to humans. Though plastic was first used for industrial purpose, it is now actively applied in the world of design due to its versatile characteristics. Let’s meet the new side of plastic!
1. Look around the Exhibit
a. The Beginning of a Dream, Polymer
The entrance marks the beginning of a journey into the world of plastic, introducing the unique characteristics and potential of its material. An installation work, made with translucent plastic material, leads the audience into the exhibit. It demonstrates its pure quality, signaling the start of infinite change that is about to come.
b. Bring Color to Domesticity
This part shows the broad development in the form of plastic that took place from the beginning of the 1950s. It is the time when plastic started to replace natural materials, from glass lab ware to household items. The color spectrum also changed from monotone to a wide range of bright colors.
c. Molding New Living
The theme explores the time of prosperity for plastic, focusing on practicality. Its design reflected upon the atmosphere during 1960s and 70s. It was the time when people were optimistic about the future, the rise of outdoor lifestyle trend, and the dawn of the Space Age. Featuring both interior and exterior furniture, as well as light fixtures, the products are all based on plastic’s flexibility to change in accordance with the user’s aim. A variety of bold and uniquely designed products are on display, not to mention colorful outdoor items. Due to plastic’s intrinsic advantage of its outstanding waterproof qualities and lightness, it was also able to be developed into children’s furniture. Time to move on to the next floor! Even the way up will not be boring as the stairs are decorated with shining light fixtures.
d. When Designers Dream
This section is divided into three themes. The first theme celebrates the legendary Italian designer Ettore Sottsass, introducing his unique pattern-based works. The second one is decorated with large installation works, displayed by a slowly revolving tower design and also a row of chairs hanging from the ceiling. These are works from Philippe Starck, Antonio Citterio, and Piero Lissoni, who applied their own artistic sensibilities to plastic. The last theme goes beyond the classic form, providing close-up experience of a different aspect of plastic made by young star designers.
e. Constantly Evolving
The final stage takes the form of another symbolic installation work with a video film, produced by the design studio Showmakers. It is made to inspire new developments of plastic, hoping it to constantly expand our imagination by its boundless potential. The exhibition ends here, but the journey of plastic will still go on.
2. Introducing Main Designers
a. Patricia Urquiola(1961~, Spain)
Patricia Urquiola is one of the most influential architects and iconic industrial designers of the 20th century. Her works encompass furniture, product design, and architecture, bringing curiosity by combining femininity with a variety of unexpected elements of design. Urquiola has received numerous international awards and her works have been exhibited by many leading institutions of art.
b. Anna Castelli Ferrieri (1918~2006, Italy)
Anna Castelli Ferrieri was an industrial designer, renowned for her influence in the world of Italian design during the 1980s. Serving as an editor of the international architecture magazine Casabella, she worked in a wide range of fields. She was greatly interested in alternative materials, particularly with plastic, which was not a popular choice at that time.
c. Philippe Starck (1949~, France)
Philippe Starck is recognized as a designer who brought a new sense of elegance and functionality to industrial plastic at the same time. His passion for work can be found across the world in almost every field of design. Well-known for a unique sense of humor, wit, and sometimes erotic style, his works never seem to disappoint the audience.
3. Redefinition of Plastic
Unlike wood, metal or glass, it is a rare chance to find plastic transformed into art and design. Perhaps its cheap image contributed greatly to this state. However, let’s think about it from another perspective. Thanks to its low price, plastic accelerated mass production. As a spin-off, designers were able to pursue more popular and democratic design instead of art limited to only a minority who could afford it. Furthermore, plastic is one of the best materials to portray diversity as it has an unlimited method for molding and is relatively easy to express with. Now, art works made from plastic materials have become part of our lives as well. As a matter of fact, it is not that the plastic’s inherent qualities have changed. It is the designers (producers) and people who appreciate and use plastic works that can stir true fantasy in plastic.
From exploring the exhibit, you may receive the impression that plastic is not only useful but also can be beautiful. However, Anna Castelli Ferrieri offers a different perspective on this matter: “It is not true that what is useful is beautiful. It is what is beautiful that is useful. Beauty can improve people’s way of life and thinking.” Taking her words in mind, why not go and find usefulness in plastic’s genuine beauty at the exhibit PLASTIC FANSTASTIC?
Time: Tue~Sun: 10:00~18:00 (Mon closed) / Fri, Sat: 10:00~20:00
Location: D Museum
Price: Adult 8,000 won / Student 5,000 won
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