The 2019 Seoul Garden Fair (October 3-9) has kicked off. While previous garden fairs took place in large parks, this year’s edition is being held in Haebangchong, an downtown residential area with a long history, in line with the theme of “Gardens, Seeds for Urban Restoration.” This year, the garden fair is aiming at “urban restoration,” through which to infuse the gray city with a green breath by establishing small gardens in every nook and cranny, such as neighborhood markets, bus stops, flower beds beside dwellings, and vacant lots gathering waste paper.
The space setting of this fair is also different from the ones before. In previous years, fancy show gardens were established forming a “space,” while this year, a “linear” garden road connecting the “points” from Haebangchong and Baekbeom Square to the ones in Seoullo 7017 and Mallidong Square is on display.
Having this in view, 32 neighborhood gardens that reflect the characteristics of each village have been created in Haebangchon, the main stage of this year’s garden fair. Specifically, in Sinheung Market, which opened in 1968, a garden that looks like a rainbow will welcome visitors.
Baekbeom Square will offer various experience and exhibition programs to enable visitors to enjoy the gardens while enjoying a picnic in a spot where they can look down on a panoramic view of Seoul. Mallidong Square and Seoullo 7017 will be decorated with 10 pop-up gardens, which are creative and experimental gardens created in the short time of 7 and a half hours.
Seoul will make this year’s garden fair into a festival that achieves four goals: the ① urban restoration, ② local co-existence, ③ citizen participation, and ④ recharge of art and culture.
Firstly, being that this edition is the first “fair for urban restoration,” it will plant the seed of local revitalization by creating 32 neighborhood gardens in Haebangchon, a downtown residential area with few parks or green areas.
In Mallidong Square (Seoullo 7017) and Baekbeom Square, 38 gardens will be created to turn the desolate city with gray skyscrapers into a space for healing. These gardens include ▴ 10 pop-up gardens, ▴ 25 gardens for each autonomous district in collaboration with artists that have been selected by the Seoul Garden Fair, and ▴ 3 themed gardens.
Secondly, in order to make the garden fair a venue for local vitalization and local co-existence, cooperative projects with local merchants and garden-related companies are conducted.
Thirdly, beyond only appreciating the gardens, visitors can take part in gardening and communing with nature through participatory programs.
Fourthly, colorful art and culture performances, such as the garden concert in the fall evening, a band performance, and other small performances, as well as an exhibition of sculptures, will take place at the main stage of Mallidong Square and Baekbeom Square from October 3 to 9.
2019 Seoul Garden Fair: http://festival.seoul.go.kr/garden