|In "Under Stand Avenue," there are colorful containers offering a variety of products to visitors inside.|
|/Photograph by Kim Ji-seun|
In recent days, many people are calling a city an ash-colored forest, because it consists of a huge number of tall buildings like trees. Due to this characteristics, people living in the city are not able to see colorful architecture easily. However, the make-over of container allows people to see structures painted in various colors. Not only does it offer a chance to encounter new type of architecture to people but also plays new roles for people’s cultural life.
Encyclopedically, a “container” is a basic tool, consisting of any device creating a partially or fully enclosed space that can be used to contain, store, and transport objects of materials. As it is stated in its definition, in the past, containers were found at ports or construction sites only to be used as a means of transportation. This is because many people emphatically pointed out its weakness such as vulnerability to temperature and durability, though they also recognized that the container had strong advantages such as low cost and mobility.
On the other hand, due to the development of technology, a lot of people currently tend to highlight container’s strengths and try to utilize them in diverse ways. Regarding its representative merits as a construction, containers can save vast amounts of money when used and shorten the time to be constructed. By applying those advantages to the reality, “Common Ground,” located around Konkuk University, was established in six months which is halved with original period for construction and reduced 25 percent of prime cost. Plus, with an aspect of mobility, the place is operated as a pop-up store for only eight years, and then be removed.
Container becoming a part of modern art
Nowadays, a number of artists are turning containers into an art piece more than before. Some of them utilize the container to exhibit their sculptures outside. In the case of “Street Museum” in Pildong 1-ga, Jung-gu, it installed four different containers on the street to display pieces of sculptures and keep them from being destroyed. Thanks to the “Street Museum,” many people could spend their spare time enjoying art works without paying money and to have more interest in art or art exhibition. Other artists tend to open their own exhibition by using container’s mobility and economic feasibility. For instance, the “Chronicle of preparation tribe: Water” is shown at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)’s outdoor exhibition hall which is composed by containers.
Beginning of a fusion of cultural activities
The container provides people in the city with a cheerful and colorful mood, which is different from other places full of common concrete buildings in the city. Especially, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, is a representative place which is packed with high buildings and hundreds of visitors. Because of its complexity, it is hard to build up a variety kinds of structures. However, the container helps the city to overcome such limitations. “SJ Kunsthalle” in Nonhyun-dong, Gangnam-gu, is built with containers and runs numerous programs where many people are able to participate such as exhibitions, parties, performances, fashion shows, and workshops. Consequently, “SJ Kunsthalle” blends different forms of culture - food, music, and fashion - together.
A place for future artists to fulfill their dreams
The container gives an opportunity of education for future artists as well. “Platform Chang Dong 61” is newly built in Dobong-gu near Chang-dong subway station. Previously, four areas northeast of Seoul - Gangbuk-gu, Seongbuk-gu, Dobong-gu, and Nowon-gu - were known as “bad town” areas which were just full of residences. Instead, now the container, those areas are decorated with colorful structures. In “Platform Chang Dong 61”, there are three sorts of containers with different colors - red, yellow, and green, and each container has distinct characteristics. “Red Box” is armed with music, “Yellow Box” is filled with fashion, and “Green Box” is occupied with food and a place to relax. Particularly, “Red Box” is the first special theater to hold a concert, which encourages people to enjoy music. It also inspires students who want to work at fields of cultural art or cultural contents to focus on their tasks. Until June, 2016, a program related to creativity was held every Tuesday, from 5 P.M. to 7 P.M. for teenagers at “Red Box.”
The container for alienated classes
Meanwhile, the container tries to help isolated people these days at the same time. To name a few, there are adolescents, youth ventures, women from multicultural families or from one-parent families, and so on. The place where it is constructed by containers continuously discovers the way to aid people and strive to support them. In particular, “Under Stand Avenue” situated at Seongdong-gu, Seoul, is a new model developed by public organization, enterprise, and nonprofit organization. It is divided into seven stands: youth stand, heart stand, mom stand, art stand, power stand, social stand, and open stand. Each stand has a separate theme, involving different products for consumers. In the case of mom stand, the women operate the container as a unique brunch restaurant. Those women are from multicultural families or one-parent families. By making a business with the container, they are able to become independent. Han su-min, a visitor of “Under Stand Avenue,” said, “It is my first time to visit this kind of place which is built of several unique containers. Originally, I thought that containers should be utilized only as a tool of transportation, but this place has changed my mind. Containers allow people to live more abundantly by providing a colorful place to enjoy cultural life and helping neglected people at the same time. I am having a great time.”
As time goes by, the role of container also transforms. The container is beneficial for both majorities and minorities. Thus, it is valuable to notice its change with its merits in the society. Finally, it can be a powerful source to form a new culture for teenagers growing up, youths pursuing their dreams, and senior citizens enjoying the rest of their lives.
Kim Ji-seun email@example.com
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