International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, Crow’s Eye View responds to the 2014 Biennale’s theme, Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014. Inspired by a poem of the same name by Korean architect turned poet Yi Sang (1910-37), the exhibition explores the wide range of architectural interventions that have reflected and shaped the Korean Peninsula after World War II. Crow’s Eye View was awarded the Golden Lion for the Best National Participation at the 2014 Venice Biennale.
Co-curated by the architectural historians and critics Hyungmin Pai and Changmo Ahn, the exhibitors include: Ahn Sekwon, Alessandro Belgiojoso, Nick Bonner (featuring the Mansudae Art Studio and anonymous artists and architects of North Korea), Marc Brossa, Charlie Crane, Maxime Delvaux, Jun Min Cho, Ik-Joong Kang, Karolis Kazlauskas & PLT Planning and Architecture Ltd., Dongsei Kim, Kim Hanyong, Kim Kichan, Seok Chul Kim & Franco Mancuso, Kim Swoo Geun, Young June Lee, Chris Marker, Philipp Meuser, Moon Hoon, MOTOElastico, Osamu Murai, Peter Noever (featuring the North Korean architects exhibited in Flowers for Kim Il Sung, MAK, 2010), Kyong Park (featuring Nam June Paik and the artists of Project DMZ, Storefront for Art and Architecture, 1988), James Powderly, Kyungsub Shin, Hyun-Suk Seo (Featuring Kim Jong Hui et al.), Yehre Suh, Yi Sang and Dongwoo Yim.
The discourse on the Korean Peninsula, divided by the global logic of the Cold War, has been dominated by the trauma of war and adversarial politics. Too often sensationalized, and simplified, it has reproduced clichés and prejudices that obscure the complexity and possibilities that lie in the Peninsula’s past, present and future. Crow’s Eye View has sought to open a new horizon through which we view the Korean Peninsula as symptom and agent, archetype and anomaly of the tumultuous global trajectory of the past 100 years. The exhibition is comprised of a diverse range of work by architects, urbanists, poets and writers, artists, photographers, filmmakers, curators and collectors. Like uncharted patches of an irregular globe, they form a multiple set of research programs, entry nodes, and points of view. Its four themes - Reconstructing Life, Monumental State, Borders, and Utopian Tours - call attention to the urban and architectural phenomena of the planned and the informal, the individual and collective, the heroic and the everyday. Admittedly a South Korean point of view, Crow’s Eye View is a prologue for a yet unrealized joint exhibition of the two Koreas, the “First Architecture Exhibition of the Korean Peninsula.”