The Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture announced that it will host the 2019 Seoul Street Arts Festival from October 3 to 6. This year, art groups from nine countries including Germany, the United States, Spain, Austria, Chile, France, Hungary and Australia will participate in the festival to show 42 street arts performances in a total of 183 times.
The theme of this year is “Spares.” The festival identifies small and hidden “spare” places in Seoul and uses them as venues for performance and provide citizens with “spare” places to take a break and rest. The number of festival venues are increased from last year. They include Seoul Plaza, Cheonggye Plaza, Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway, Sejong-daero, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul Hall of Urbanism & Architecture, Seoul Metropolitan Library, Cecil Theater and the Hoehyeon subway station area.
At Seoul Plaza, “People’s Station” will be installed by Olivier Grossetête from France for four days. It is a large-scale installation performance where thousands of citizens participate in the 16-meter-sized artwork of building up a former Seoul station and Pyeongyang station. During the performance, 540 citizens pile up more than 3,000 paper boxes at the site that had been already made and build up a station as a collective architecture project.
“Mobile Performance” is another unique program of this year’s festival. In the performance, performers move in the city and capillary-like alleys to take a detailed look at the “spare spaces” of the city. One of its representative performances is “On the way to Cemetery” (performing group: Teatro del Silencio, Chile and France) where about 70 performers with unique costumes cross paths along the Cheonggyecheon Stream and show circus and dance on trapezes. “Walk-Man in Seoul” is another performance (performing group: Theatre de l’Arpenteur, France) where each participant puts on a headset and take a walk along backstreets of Hoehyeon-dong.
Other interesting performances include “Resist” (Les Filles du Renard Pâle, France) with a funambulist on a yarn at a high height who gives a thrilling moment; and “#MoneyForFree” (John Fisherman, Spain), an impromptu performance of communicating with audience and giving a chance to think about the meaning of “money” by hanging a paper bill on a fishing line.
On the last day of the festival (Oct. 6), the eleven-lane Sejong-daero street will be transformed into a mega-sized playground dubbed “Urban Playground: Pipe City,” which will celebrate the finale of the festival. A three-meter-high huge structure of multi-colored pipes will be installed in all lanes of the street stretching 300 meters.
Meanwhile, a traffic control is implemented from October 3 to 5 on the 200-meter-section from Mugyo-ro intersection behind the City Hall to Mojeongyo, which will be entirely closed from 12pm to 10pm. On the last day (Oct 6), Sejong-daero will be closed in both directions from Sejong-daero intersection (in front of Cheonggye Plaza) to Daehanmum Gate of Deoksugung Palace from 9am to 10pm. However, a traffic control is temporarily lifted on Mugyo-ro from 5:30 pm to 8 pm on October 4.