Flickering Shores, Sea Imaginaries, this year’s edition of the Sea Art Festival, is inviting us to rethink our relationship with the sea, referring to the beauty but at the same time, the fragility of our shores, and exploring alternative frameworks and visions for engaging with the ocean and marine environments.
            The sea is deeply embedded in our lives and capitalist society, a vital source for our survival, but also a vast industry we exploit for food, medicines, energy, minerals, trading, travel and so on. But increased human activity, from extensive cruise tourism, shipping and overfishing to nuclear testing, pollution and deep-sea mining have been plaguing the sea, having a huge impact on marine ecosystems and habitats.
            Instead of viewing the sea from the coast as a divided and abstract surface for moving around commodities, Flickering Shores, Sea Imaginaries reminds us that we are part of this body of water. This year's Sea Art Festival aims to explore new relationships with the sea and its ecologies, enabling spaces for cooperation, collective visions and synergies as a call to resistance and restoration.
Flickering Shores
Sea Imaginaries


Rebecca Moss

                                            Rebecca Moss’s artistic practice explores notions of absurdity, precarity, and instability, and takes a variety of forms across different media. She is drawn to slapstick for its sense of reciprocity inasmuch as our surroundings can act back upon us because we are not always in control. She is inspired by slapstick performances and creates scenarios that stage interactions between human gestures and elemental forces, where an idea or gesture is humorously played out to the point of futility, chaos, or crisis.                                                                                    

Lab C

                                            Lab C works with the keywords “plant,” “region,” and “art.” Lab C, a collaborative duo made up of Mira Park (Forest Curator) and Changpa (Art Director), studies the experience they had in one particular place in the past after carefully observing one single part of Busan’s mountains and surrounding sea over a long period of time. They have presented curatorial programs such as Time to Ramble, Time to Ramble: The Sea, and Cosmos in One Square Meter by curating viewers’ experiences.                                                                                    

Seema Nusrat

                                            Based in Karachi, Pakistan, Seema Nusrat finds her creative muse in the bustling energy of her urban metropolis. With a deep-rooted fascination for urban life and the interaction between existing and imposed urban landscapes, she seeks to understand the complex relationship between people and the environment around them. Nusrat embraces a collaborative work method involving artisans and technical experts from diverse backgrounds, enhancing the depth and richness of her artwork and imbuing it with layers of cultural significance and craftsmanship. Nusrat’s work invites contemplation, urging audiences to question the underlying essence of their urban surroundings and the lives pulsating within them.                                                                                    

Yun Pil Nam

                                            Based in Busan, Yun Pil Nam has participated in eight solo exhibitions and more than 50 group exhibitions at leading art institutions in Korea. By moving from the flat surface to three dimensions, Yun strives to express a world of art that goes beyond the superficial boundaries of painting, which can bind the past, present, and future together. Since 2016, she has been particularly interested in installation art and has also participated in creating theater costumes and public art projects.                                                                                    


                                            STUDIO 1750 (Kim Younghyun, Son Jinhee) is a project group that expresses freedom without any restrictions concerning materials or locations, and adds artistic imagination to everyday life. Their works are mainly based on the theme of a hybrid culture that originates from reality and the transformation of everyday objects, examining questions ranging from trivial curiosities to the unknown future. They propose to see things differently by shifting the meanings, perspectives, and functions of objects, while at the same time deconstructing/reconstructing various cultures and transforming/reorganizing everyday objects. They currently live in various places around Korea, engaging in bold initiatives for change and continuing their experiments to expand the framework of art.                                                                                    


How to Become Wholesome

Kasia Molga
                                        Would you adapt your body to “serve” marine ecosystems and keep aquatic organisms healthy?

How to Become Wholesome investigates how bodily waste, in the broadest sense (tears, sweat, and urine), may contribute towards the wellbeing of aquatic organisms.

Extending from Kasia’s renowned installation How to Make an Ocean, where the artist collected and analyzed the chemical composition of human tears in order to feed tiny marine ecosystems, this work poses a series of questions such as: How to care for one's own body so that it becomes the most nutritious for a marine ecosystem? What tools are needed to harvest those nutrients from the human body? How do we test harvested substances for their suitability? What are the aesthetics of this process and of developing connections between the human body and the ocean?

The ongoing research behind this project is presented in a series of records and tools. Diet diaries and records of the chemical composition of Molga’s bodily secretion (Records of Transforming into Resource); a series of sketches of tools for helping to harvest nourishment from bodily waste (Tools for Harvesting Nourishment); and invented for purpose lab instruments.

Most importantly, at the heart of the current edition of this installation, are 3 to 4 interconnected water tanks. In these tanks, water made out of various bodily sources mixes with seawater, influencing the growth and nourishing the development of specially selected aquatic plants.

How to Become Wholesome draws a parallel between the wellbeing and survival of the human body with that of non-human species and reminds us that we are very much part of nature and the ocean, not a separate entity.                                    

when water seeps through the grains of sand under your feet

Dukkyoung Wang
                                        when water seeps through the grains of sand under your feet is an artwork deriving from the novel, Gaenmaeul by Young-soo Oh. The film, based on the same novel and also titled Gaenmaeul (The Seashore Village in English), was filmed in Ilgwang in 1965.

It is the story of a young woman named “Hae-soon”, who loses her fisherman husband only 10 days after their marriage because of a storm. But, commonly, there are several widows in this village since a lot of fishermen die at sea while they are on fishing trips for a living and to support their families. After her husband dies, a young man named Sangsu becomes Hae-soon’s suitor, and her brother-in-law and mother-in-law, who spot the couple, order them to leave the village before rumors spread out and bring shame to the family. So they leave Gaenmaeul and start working at a quarry but as fate has it, Sangsu also dies from an accident. Eventually, Hae-soon returns to the seaside village and the widows welcome her back. The novel reflects the passive image of women of that time and depicts their tragic lives from a fatalistic point of view.

The artist, inspired by this old novel, started collecting women’s stories in Ilgwang by interviewing women living in the area to capture their memories of Ilgwang as their living place, home, and reality. Dukkyoung Wang debunks gender stereotypes and ideas about the coast and sea as places dominated by men, reminding us that women throughout history have been an inherent and important part of sea histories and livelihoods that depend on the sea.

The glass bottles in the installation contain the women’s stories as messages in bottles floating in the vast sea. These bottles reach one room, a private and innermost place that represents the beach, a place where each body senses and drifts. This is the place covered with sand where Hae-soon lived, the artist lives, and we live together.                                    

Bricks from the Sea

Yang Jazoo
                                        Just over 40 years ago, most houses in Korea were earthen houses. Before the Saemaul Movement - the political initiative launched in the 1970s to modernize the rural South Korean economy - demolished all the houses, the walls and ceilings of both tiled and thatched houses were all finished with soil mixed with rice straw and reeds. In these houses people communicated between the thin layers made of window paper, which functioned like windows today. In any country, town or city, traditional houses are constructed using materials easily found within their local surroundings. In Korea, such materials were soil, wood, stone, and rice straw.

Jazoo Yang has been interested in traditional Korean hanok and thatched houses and has been researching archives and other relevant sources about the rapidly disappearing earthen houses. During her research, she found out that there had been a type of dwelling in Busan using seaweed as a construction material. Many refugees, who moved to Busan during the Korean War in the 1950s, had to build temporary and quick shelters using materials that they could easily find within their local proximity. Therefore, during the war, instead of rice straw, one of the ingredients of traditional earthen houses, they mixed seaweed, the material easiest to obtain on the beach, with soil to build a house.

The artist, as part of an ongoing research, has been exploring the earthen houses made of seaweed remnants of which can be found in seaside refugee villages, including Yeongdo, Busan, in order to examine and understand the architectural and construction techniques of refugees, especially the methods of using seaweed and soil as building materials.

In her installation for the Sea Art Festival 2023, Bricks from the Sea, as in other of her artworks, Jazoo Yang incorporates these methods of using soil and seaweed into the construction of her work itself, bringing back to life a now-forgotten, but ingenious and creative frugal innovation.                                    

Department of Seaweed Studio

Julia Lohmann
                                        It is said that during the Goryeo Dynasty (918 — 1392), Koreans discovered that whales would eat seaweed after giving birth to recover their strength, and it became a custom to feed seaweed soup to mothers. Even today, on birthdays, along with the congratulatory wishes, the question follows, "Did you eat seaweed soup?" It is the first dish cooked when a new life is born and invokes care, affection, and dedication in the Korean psyche.

In Gijang, this tradition is even stronger: According to research by Gijang County, when a child is born in the region, seaweed soup is served to the family on the ceremonial table every day for a week and every week for a month, to wish for the child’s health and well-being and give strength back to the mother after giving birth.

This installation and studio creates a special place for the seaweed that shaped the local cultures, next to Halmae Shrine and Halbae Shrine, an acknowledgement of a community’s multispecies entanglements and relations. It is a kind of ‘seaweed shrine’.

The artists exploring this natural resource aim at healing the damage that has already been caused and, in a synergic system, produce a material to be used on land with a low impact. However, it is crucial not to view seaweed as another resource to be extracted. In imagining future possibilities, Julia Lohmann and Kayoung Kim take on a regenerative mindset, rather than an exploitative one. The organism is seen as an embedded part of the ecosystem, and it is considered in all its life cycle. Through interdisciplinary, hands-on, creative and holistic approaches the “Seaweed Shrine” showcases new ways of engaging with a local organism and to explore its potential to restore and create.

As members of the Department of Seaweed - an interdisciplinary group dedicated to exploring the cultural, environmental, and sustainable aspects of seaweed and kelp, founded by Julia Lohmann - the artists delve into the vibrant stories of the people in the area, where seaweed and kelp play a significant part in their lives. It explores their relationship with the resources they obtain from nature and the material and psychological impact it has on their daily lives.

The collected materials, exhibited alongside the kelp sculptures, create an immersive experience that allows the public to engage with local stories and evoke a range of emotions.                                    

Methanol Blue

Jacob Bolton
                                        The entire world’s economy rests on the shipping industry. The majority of things that countries produce or use every day – consumer goods, wheat, rice, oil, wood, coal – are moved around the world on cargo ships that grow more and more massive every year. Most of these ships are powered by heavy fuel oil (HFO), a dirty fuel formed from the residual (and therefore cheaper) product left over from petroleum refining. All this HFO leaves its traces across oceans and waterways across the world.
One response to this within the maritime sector is to build ‘greener’ ships that run on ‘greener’ fuels. Over the coming years, Busan’s shipyards will be hard at work building a new fleet of ‘green’ ships that run on alternative fuels such as methanol and hydrogen. Once built, many of these ships will run across what are called ‘green corridors’, bilateral agreements formed between two ports around the world, to plan for the green transition in shipping, secure the supply of ‘green’ fuels and the new infrastructure for refueling ships.
This research film by Liquid Time remotely follows the course of one cargo ship sailing from Rotterdam to Singapore, down one of the world’s largest proposed green corridors. Through a series of conversations held over the course of the 30-day voyage, this work examines the production of the image of the shipping industry’s green future, looking at the legal, economic and infrastructural basis for a green transition that, although promised, remains a distant prospect.
Peeling back the layers of regulation and economic planning that constitute the green corridor, Liquid Time show how the industry response to the climate crisis is not one based on radically altering current markets away from destructive tendencies, but generating new markets within which the same business-as-usual processes that drive the world economy can play out.                                    

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