Futures of the Past, Gwangju Design Biennale 2018

Projects dealing with the topic of the future. Vague hope and anxiety for the tomorrow is coexist. This led to the imagination of the unknown future. Some of them stayed in just idea but some had come true. At this gallery, there are several projects talking about the better future. Futures of the Past is an archival exhibition of the projects of people who dreamed of the future in the past. There were small and large creative experiments, which succeeded or failed in making utopia,revolution and technology development, made today’s world we are living in. Various materials and results from these experiments are here.

Future is a product of the past.It is an archaeological approach to envision our future by looking back on the past. what kind of futures the previous generations had imagined.


Early Concept of Space Exploration
NASA’s space development plan is a realm of science technology and politics are intertwined. Thus, these materials will have a glimpse of what kinds of futures those who lived in the past dreamed of.

Supercomputer Drawinx
by Nayoungim
The manual drawing of a supercomputer, a state- of-the-art technology, is an attempt to bring technological power back to the boundaries of humankind.

Life in the Year 2000 (1965)
by Lee Jung-moon
The science fiction comic series in 1965, picturing life in the 2000s. Surprisingly enough, much of what the cartoonist imagined in the series has become a reality in the new millennium.

“GoatMan” is an experimental project based on the idea that human beings may be able to understand the environment by becoming other animals, such as a goat.

The Archive Project:the birth of a space boy (2017)
by Park Sang-joon KOR
What kind of images contributed to the dreams of space industry in Korea?

Autarky (2010)
by Formafantasma
Installation that creates a scenario of building a peaceful and autonomous community where the members of the community grow their own food and make tools to use by themselves.

Parkcycle Swarm (2013)
by N55(Ion Sørvin, Till Wolfer)
The Parkcycle Swarm is a modular system that allows people to build an instant public park at any time and place.

Walking House (2008)
by N55(Ion Sørvin, Till Wolfer)
Walking House is a modular dwelling system that enables people to live a peaceful nomadic life, moving slowly through the landscape or cityscape with a minimal impact on the environment.

Psychotic Mickey Mouse (2007)
by Nayoungim, Gregory Maass
Psychotic Mickey Mouse represents the people of our society including salary man, students, and house wives, who end up losing themselves while striving to show only their bright sides to others.”

Life Cycle : Bici Coffee (2013)
by Kim Jong-buhm
“Life Cycle” is a project that reforms original designs to make them fit into the constraints of necessity, linking individual lifestyle and daily objects. it conveys the message of slowness.

CCTV Chandelier: Virtual Doppelganger Simulator (2008)
by Kim Hwang
This is an interactive installation that can reflect viewer’s virtual doppelganger. You can look objectively into yourself in a third person’s point of view.

Pyramid Light Bulb (2008)
by Kim Hwang
The Bulb that emits light to the extent that you turn a handles look like a self-powered flashlight. What do you think about a job of a human generator who works to supply power on behalf of others?

The Socio-Cultural History of Kit (2017)
by Unmake Lab (Song Soo-yon, Choi Binna)
“The Socio-Cultural History of Kit” illuminates the “kit” in the history of technology, and records the related histories, spaces, makers, and users.

Gwangju Design Biennale
The Gwangju Design Biennale, hosted by Gwangju City and organized by the Gwangju Design Center (GDC) Foundation, is held biennially at the Gwangju Biennale Exhibition Hall within the Gwangju Jungoe Park and other downtown areas in odd-numbered years between September & October, with various exhibitions and events. Along with exhibitions containing the discourses as the Design Biennale’s values, the Gwangju Design Biennale, is attempting to present the future and expand aesthetic, practical and economic values as designs’ attributes.

Located in the South West of the Korean peninsula, Gwangju has been known for its historical tradition of art and culture. Gwangju Biennale has contributed to its budding progress and to the emergence of Korean art on the international stage. The Gwangju Biennale, as such, has been a driving force for the contemporary art of Korea and an agent linking the arts throughout the globe.

For the last twenty-three years, the Gwangju Biennale has emerged as a network for international cultural exchanges and a platform for the visual arts, while producing discourses on contemporary art. Embodying the general value of human civilization through the medium of the visual arts, the Gwangju Biennale will continue to disseminate messages of democracy, human rights, and peace throughout Asia and the world, as well as within local communities.

The Gwangju Biennale will always reflect the vigor of its establishment and endeavor to lead aesthetic discourses on experimental and cutting-edge arts, while providing opportunities for more communication with the public and exploring the spirit of our time. We pursue for constant change and innovation to always seek for something new in order to solve our concerns and uncertainties about the present and the future.