Time for the Future

How do we imagine the future? Throughout history, technological advancements have consistently sped up the the pace of life: from transportation to the internet and new modes of communication. At a time of increased uncertainty surrounding health, politics and the climate, it can be hard to visualise the world 10, 20 or even 30 years from now. Our way of life continues, moment by moment, to evolve.

These ideas form the foundation of Hyundai Blue Prize Design exhibition, a new award launched to support the next generation of design curators. This year’s winner is Somi Sim, whose show, Do You Miss the Future?, imagines a world three decades from now. Designers, visual artists and researchers respond to the experience of living in the anxiety of the present. Here are five artworks to know, using new and existing technologies to ask questions about what happens next.

Off Reverse | Studio Hik

Hong Kong-based Studio Hik presents Off Reverse, an LED installation exploring the future of graphic design. It asks: how can we evolve beyond our current, human-centric visual culture? Off Reverse takes inspiration from a range of sources: from artificial intelligence to dystopian futures portrayed in films. In 2022, algorithms are increasingly able to create works of art. It asks: what could they achieve by 2052?

Liminal City | People’s Architecture Office

Liminal City is a towering site-specific installation spanning two floors. Twisted and knotted, the metallic pipe folds and twists around the space. It’s also interactive: the structure functions as a periscope system through which audiences can observe each other from different areas of the space. It taps into ideas of surveillance: using analogue technology to create something reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984.

Cabinet of Curiosities | Drawing Architecture Studio

Cabinet of Curiosities by Beijing-based Drawing Architecture Studio is a site-specific architectural drawing. It recreates the surrounding landscape of Hyundai Motorstudio and the city of Busan, inspired by the traditional Korean still-life genre of chaekgeori. The multicoloured design can be seen from both inside and outside; an eye-catching, contemporary stained glass window.

Breath | Minsu Oh

Minsu Oh has created a pipe organ with a difference. Breath spouts not only musical scales but water vapour – appearing from circular holes on the ground, similar to a fountain. The artist cites steam locomotives amongst their inspirations, with the piece symbolising the vitality of living organisms. It’s an interesting dichotomy, tapping into the strained relationship between humanity and nature.

Children | Sungseok Ahn

Sungseok Ahn takes inspiration from novelist William Gibson (b. 1948), who writes: “The future is already here. It’s just not very evenly distributed.” Reminiscing on childhood imagination, this audiovisual work depicts adventures and fantasies that stand against the “anxiety, skepticism and limitations” of adulthood. Ahn’s work considers what we pass on to the next generation, and hints at a hope for those after us.

Do You Miss the Future? is at Hyundai Motorstudio Busan until 31 March. Find out more here.

Image Credits:
1.Drawing Architecture Studio, Cabinet of Curiosities, 2021, PVC film installation, 912x599cm.
2.Studio Hik, Off Reverse, 2021, Inkjet print on vinyl, stainless steel, LED lamps, 600x290cm.
3.People’s Architecture Office, Liminal City, 2021, Galvanized steel, 400x400x1060cm.
4.Drawing Architecture Studio, Cabinet of Curiosities, 2021, PVC film installation, 912x599cm.
5.Minsu Oh, Breath, 2021, Mixed media installation, Dimensions variable.
6.Sungseok Ahn, Children, 2021, Single channel video, color, sound, 22 mins 35 sec.