Can you tell what it is yet? Choi Jeong-hwa installation takes shape on the South Bank

A close-up of the Choi Jeong-hwa project under the Hayward Gallery
A close-up of the Choi Jeong-hwa project under the Hayward Gallery

If it’s plastic baskets, it’s got to be a Choi Jeong-hwa installation. The outside of the Korean Pavilion at Venice, a chandelier in the centre of the Asia House staircase, or even a crazy space helmet for the band members (which included his son) playing at the first anniversary party of the opening of London’s KCC – all involve Choi’s trademark brightly coloured plastic baskets.

Choi Jeong-hwa's design for decorating the Korean Pavillion at Venice Biennale 2005
Choi Jeong-hwa's design for decorating the Korean Pavillion with red plastic crates at Venice Biennale 2005

As part of London’s Cultural Olympiad, for which the Korean participation is called All Eyes on Korea, the Korean artist Choi Jeong-hwa, whose projects have included the interior design of the KCC, has two projects on the go: 20,000 coloured balloons to be hung on the trees on the approach to Hungerford Bridge, the footbridge which joins Embankment Station (and hence the KCC) to the South Bank. There was no sign of these as yet when I went in search of them the other day.

Choi Jeong-hwa's chandelier at Asia House
Choi Jeong-hwa's chandelier at Asia House, London, 2006

The other project is one of his plastic basket installations. The initial plans were for a giant and rather menacing five-legged construction which looked like a space alien that, at 10 metres high, was very vulnerable to a gentle puff of wind. The revised plans seem to be more modest: cladding the rather ugly concrete pillars which hold up the Hayward Gallery with those same green baskets.

The original plan for Choi Jeong-hwa's Hayward Gallery project
The original plan for Choi Jeong-hwa's Hayward Gallery project

They’re not going to blow away in a hurry, but they don’t look quite so dramatic as the original plan.

Work in Progress - Choi Jeong-hwa's part-finished project under the Hayward Gallery
Work in Progress - Choi Jeong-hwa's part-finished project under the Hayward Gallery

The completed installation, entitled Time after Time, should be ready at the end of this month and will remain in place until 9 September, the Thames Festival weekend.

(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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