Development Process of the 88 Seoul Olympic Park as Sculpture Park and Its Discourses
Journal of the Korean Institute of Landscape Architecture
88올림픽공원 조각공원의 조성 과정 및 전후 담론의 해석†
The 88 Olympic Park is a monumental urban park in Seoul, developed to commemorate South Korea's hosting of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. Initially conceived to emphasize the event slogan, 'Cultural Olympics,' which was driven by the Korean government, the park, already designed and constructed by 1986, was reconfigured into a sculpture park following two international outdoor sculpture Olympiads and an invitational sculpture exhibition. This study takes a look at the process of redesigning the
... of redesigning the park into sculpture park and the socio-political discussions surrounding such a process, in order to reconsider the significance of the 88 Seoul Olympic Park with regards to Korean landscape architectural history. Several discussions within Korean society arose during the redesign process. First, there were critiques on the artwork selection during the early phase of the project. Second, issues regarding the conservation of the national heritage site, Mongchon-tosung, located within the park, gave rise to a larger discourse on heritage preservation in Seoul. Third, discussions regarding the formation of the park identity, or lack thereof, prevalent. Through this study, the 88 Seoul Olympic Park presents itself as an example where large park construction in Seoul caused discussions regarding globalization, nationalism, publicness and art to be brought forth. This paper concludes that the 88 Seoul Olympic Park is a cultural landscape that requires further examination and exploration as it provides rich historical context for understanding the history of cultural and artistic practices in Korean urban landscapes.