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Event news: South Korea at London Design Biennale 2016

The first London Design Biennale opened yesterday at Somerset House with over 30 countries and territories participating. Nations from six continents present newly commissioned works that explore the theme Utopia by Design. South Korea is present with a project which explores the famous 1447 AD painting by An Gyeong, Dream Journey to the Peach Blossom Land. The Korean team present their work in a talk at 12 noon on Sunday 11 September. The biennale lasts until 27 September. Tickets for the Biennale are available here, and details of the Korean project and talk are given below.

Peach Blossom

Visual Element Study

An international team blends East, West, ancient and modern with Peach Blossom, a digital map that you can explore virtually and co-create by adding your own utopian thoughts. The starting point for the Republic of Korea’s installation is Ahn Gyeon’s 1447 drawing Mong Yu Do Won Do (夢遊桃源圖 / 몽유도원도 / Dream Journey to the Peach Blossom Land).

Ahn Gyeon’s ideal vista – of a serene orchard surrounded by craggy mountains – has been digitally transformed into an interactive map that you can manipulate with physical gestures, zooming in and navigating through different levels of abstractions, and by adding your own visions of utopia.

An Gyeong: Dream Journey to the Peach Blossom Land (1447)
An Gyeong: Dream Journey to the Peach Blossom Land (1447)

Be a part of building Korea’s interactive map by sharing what you think Utopia is! Share on

Administering Body: Korean Institute of Design Promotion (KIDP)
Design Team: Austin S. Lee, Goo-Ryong Kang, Jaewon Seok, Sungjoon Steve Won, Kiheon Shin, Jeeyeon Ha, Jae-Hyouk Sung
Curator: Jae-Hyouk Sung

Blurring the Digital Realm: Mongyudowondo (몽유도원도) & Utopia

Austin S. Lee, Goo-Ryong Kang, Jaewon Seok, Jae-Hyouk Sung, Sungjoon Steve Won, Jeeyeon Ha
Sun 11 Sept, 12pm
Book tickets here


By reimagining the dreamland from Mong-You-Do-Won-Do, Ahn Gyeon’s master drawing from the Joseon Dynasty in Korea, the South Korean team explored ways to bring the Utopian perspectives of the East and the West together into a single canvas. The installation piece aspires to visualize a view of reimagined utopia that blurs boundaries between the digital and the physical to depict the world people dream of. The speakers will share the design process of their London Design Biennale 2016 piece and discuss how the modern digital culture have influenced people’s notions of utopia.


Austin Seungmin Lee is an interactive media designer and assistant professor at the Carnegie Mellon School of Design. His professional design work includes augmented reality and immersive spatial drawing applications in Skype’s HoloLens companion experience from Microsoft, and exhibition design for NASA JPL. Lee obtained his masters at the MIT Media Lab where he studied in the Tangible Media Group under Hiroshi Ishii, focusing on virtual 3D collaborations. His work was shown internationally at various venues such as CHI and the IDSA conference and he has received design awards from Red Dot and Adobe Design Achievement Awards (ADAA).

Goo-Ryong Kang is a graphic designer and design writer working in Seoul. He has written columns in TASCHEN, G Colon and the GRAPHIC magazine, and is the coauthor of Wit and Design and Design Loudspeaker. He has organized and spoken at the Kang Show, a cultural venue focusing on narratives related to design and its social impact. Currently an art director at the Seoul-based design studio, Chung Choon, Kang’s work has been awarded and featured by the Type Directors Club, the ADC 87 Annual Awards, I.D. Annual Design Review, the :Output Award, International Poster Biennale Warsaw, International Poster and Graphic Arts Festival of Chaumont, ADAA and How International Design Awards.

Jaewon Seok is a design professor at Hongik University and an award-winning graphic designer based in Seoul. His works have been recognized and featured in Brno Biennial, Graphis, Tokyo Type Directors Club, :output award, Computer Arts, Chicago International Poster Biennale, and he was awarded William Pardee Prize by Yale School of Art where he earned his MFA in graphic design. A former Next Generation Design Leader appointed by the Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy and the Korean Institute of Design Promotion, Seok has a strong track record in the field as a design lead at design studios including 2 x 4, Inc. New York and AABB, Inc.

Jae-Hyouk Sung earned his MFA from CalArts in 2003. An associate professor at the Kookmin University’s Visual Communication Design program, graphic designer Sung has focused on exploring areas where design could play a more integral role in everyday life. He has won awards from the Type Directors Club, the Art Directors Club, Adobe and I.D. magazine. His work has been exhibited internationally at venues including, the International Poster and Graphic Design Festival in Chaumont, France. He has co-curated the following exhibitions: Enroll in Brand New School; Yokoo Tadanori Poster Exhibition; Out of Print-Mevis & Van Deursen; Starting from Zero: 10 years of exhibition, Werkplaats Typografie at the university’s Zero-One Design Center in Seoul.

Sungjoon Steve Won is a designer and design technologist at Microsoft. His professional work includes being the founder for S View Cover at Samsung and creating a new trend of smartphone accessories, being the founder and product lead for Hub Keyboard at Microsoft, helping create user experience for Windows 10, leading designs for mobile-focused products including Sidekick 4G / SideSync / Galaxy Round, and driving a number of internal incubation products. His work has been shown at international venues such as ACM CHI, and he has received awards from Good Design, iF, and IBM. Sungjoon Steve holds Master of Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University. His undergraduate background is also from Carnegie Mellon University, with dual Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Human-Computer Interaction.

Jee Yeon Ha is a multidisciplinary designer with architectural and interior design background. Ha currently runs a space identity design studio, ‘Project mg Ltd’, in London as the creative director and also works as an assistant researcher at PI studio, Goldsmiths University of London. Her main interests lie in interventions that can enhance people’s cultural experiences. ‘Korean Film Archive London’ which she designed whilst working at JAIA Architects won the Public Building Interior category at the Surface Design Awards 2013. She (Project mg) was recently commissioned to design the exhibition space for Korea Now! at Les Arts Decoratifs, Louvre Paris.


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

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