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At Culture Station Seoul 284, art from across Asia

A modern Byzantine style of architecture with a unique domed roof and red bricks was constructed at the heart of the capital city, Seoul, in 1925 under the name of Gyeongsung Station.

At that time, the emergence of the new building left people agog and open-mouthed. The station has witnessed significant historical events of the nation since then, and also undergone some changes including partial destruction and restoration. The year 2004 provided a turning point when the private-funded new station for the KTX, a high speed rail line, was constructed to replace the old one. Once having been the major gateway for transportation and the center stage for a century of historical moments, the old Seoul Station was neglected for the past few years after the opening of the new KTX rail line.

The 2012 Asian Students and Young Artists Art Festival (ASYAAF) kicks off at Culture Station Seoul 284 on August 1, showcasing over 2,000 art pieces by young artists from across Asia (photo courtesy of ASYAAF Office). The 2012 Asian Students and Young Artists Art Festival (ASYAAF) kicks off at Culture Station Seoul 284 on August 1, showcasing over 2,000 art pieces by young artists from across Asia (photo courtesy of ASYAAF Office).

After almost two years of renovation ended in August last year, the old station was reborn as Culture Station Seoul 284, where the significance of its historic and architectural value was recognized. Since Countdown, its opening project in August 2011 which received glowing reviews, a series of cultural performances and exhibitions have been taking place at this special venue.

This summer will see festivities at this newly renovated Culture Station. The 2012 Asian Students and Young Artists Art Festival (ASYAAF) will kick off on the first day of August and continue until August 26.

The Fifth ASYAAF this year showcases around 2,000 art pieces created by 777 young artists from across Asia. The application was limited to graduate and post-graduate students and applicants below the age of 30. For the past four years, the annual exhibition was visited by a total of 194,000 art fans and sold no fewer than 3,000 works. With rave reviews, the art fair has started to be recognized as the gateway to success for young artists.

“The artists who participate in the ASYAAF will be offered a new opportunity to build up some sales experience for their own works that is totally different from their learning in school,” said Kim Jong-hak, a professor from Sejong University who was present at the orientation session for the ASYAAF.

The official poster for the 2012 Asian Students and Young Artists Art Festival (photo courtesy of ASYAAF Office)The official poster for the 2012 Asian Students and Young Artists Art Festival (photo courtesy of ASYAAF Office)
2012 ASYAAF: the past and the future collide

Korea’s largest exhibition for young leading artists takes place at the charmingly old-fashioned historical place, displaying a variety of artwork such as 772 Western paintings, 337 Korean paintings, 239 photographs, and 85 works from overseas artists.

“It is a pleasant experience for me to display all of my works that represent my artistic aspect of life,” said Cui Sheung, a Chinese student who has stayed in Korea for four years. “It is a perfect chance to meet artists of similar ages from various backgrounds and share different views with them.” Regarding the work she submitted for this year’s fair, she revealed her own perspective of how she views the world through a little toy.

The examiners’ commentary for the 2012 ASYAAF included some complimentary messages such as "It was nice to see the enthusiasm and passion of the youngsters in their 20s,” and "We all agreed to pick up works that reflect their own language,” while a few messages expressed wishes like "It’d be better if it were less focused on techniques.”

Besides the major exhibition, there are plenty of side events to delight visitors. Some space was dedicated for the artists’ portfolios while another area offers programs allowing the fair attendees to participate.

Admission costs 6,000 won for adults and 4,000 won for students, and a discount is available for groups of 20 or more people. More information is available on the ASYAAF official website.

By Lee Seung-ah
Korea.net Staff Writer

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