Song of the Wind

Socially Collaborative Art Project

About Song of the Wind project

Song of the Wind is part of a public art initiative conceived as a “socially collaborative art project,” with aims to create art that is both “inclusive” and “socially engaged.” It represents an extension of the curatorial method of Project 7½, developed in Korea and Indonesia between 2014 and 2019, which has aimed to examine the value of art in terms of humanistic and existential issues through projects devised to positively affect the lives of local communities. Project 7½’s strategy of taking art outside the institution has sought to explore the role of socially collaborative art projects; it also underpinned its methodology of bringing artists, audiences, and other stakeholders into a dialogic or a ‘Third Space’ to encourage all to openly discuss their different perspectives, including their understandings of art and its function/s. However, the forms of relational social engagement and their cooperative structures have followed different trajectories in the separate contexts of Korea and Indonesia.1

As an extension of this work, Song of the Wind engages within a new regional context in which the coordinates of the project are located in understanding the perspectives of local community members, and in the entire process of collaboration between project participants and residents alike. In this respect, Song of the Wind can be described as an “anthropological exploration through art.”

Song of the Wind, therefore, explores specific methodologies that consider new ways of engaging with ecological, environmental, and social problems through social participation in art practices situated at the intersection of art and ecology. To this end, the project emphasizes the necessity and importance of sustainable solidarity and cooperation in a human-centred, individualistic society, and, as such, it hopes to discover reasonable alternatives to respect individual rights and collaborative methods of “how to dwell together.” This process includes recording the way the artist approaches the art project, their processes of collaboration, and by considering their different attitudes and methods.

In conclusion, the goals of Song of the Wind are threefold:

  1. As a socially collaborative project related to ecology, it involves the efforts of artists and architects, along with local farmers and fishermen, to improve the area together;
  2. It aims to establish an economy that benefits the livelihoods of artists and the local community alike;
  3. It aims to share knowledge and devise sustainable ways to overcome ecological crises through a new paradigm of artistic practice. In doing so, it upholds ethical responsibilities relating to issues of the environment, the rights of migrant workers, gender equality, and other rights essential to the cohabitation of nature and humans in relation to UN Sustainable Development. Further strands of research relating to island landscapes, water quality, and ecological issues will proceed over the course of the year.

Song of the Wind project in 2022-2023

The first Song of the Wind project took place at Yaksan-myeon, Wando-gun, Jeollanam-do, South Korea, between May 2022 and November 2023.

By foregrounding the diverse social functions of art, the Song of the Wind project aimed to represent a new paradigm of artistic practice. Song of the Wind was the public platform and was conceived as a Third Place that facilitates the sharing of the processes and outcomes of the art project, whilst working towards sustainable solidarity or cooperation, especially in aiming to incorporate an economy of social benefit. The place of this project was Yaksan-myeon, Wando-gun, Jeollanam-do, a small island that is not well known among the islands of Jeollanam-do. It captured several lifetimes in Jeollanam-do, handing down the wisdom of life to the following generation, preserving the healthy ecosystems of the land and sea, respecting diversity, conserving cultural inheritances, and imagining the future ecology of our shared future. In other words, our project hoped to extend the cultural spectrum of Jeollanam-do and sought symbiosis through artistic approaches that linked people and gathered their wisdom. Here, the meaning of the “artistic approach” was not an approach for art creation but rather a way for people to gather together, feel joy, anger, sorrow, and pleasure, and “find a way to coexist.” Ultimately, it pointed to the minimum ethical responsibilities essential to the cohabitation of nature and humans in relation to UN Sustainable Development, for example, in environmental matters, the connection of land and sea, gender equality, migrant workers’ issues, sustainable cities, and communities, and more.

About Yaksan-myeon, Wando-gun, Jeollanam-do, South Korea

Yaksan-do is an island located in the northeast sea of Wando-gun, Jeollanam-do, and belongs to “myeon” as an administrative unit. Yaksan-myeon is one of the 12 islands in Wando-gun, located in the southernmost part of Jeollanam-do.

The area of Yaksan-myeon​​ is 28.74 ㎦, which is 7.5% of Wando-gun. As of March 2022, the population of Yaksan-myeon is 2,246.

Yaksan-do was linked to Gogeum-do through the Yaksan Bridge in 1999. And in 2007, Gogeum-do was connected to Gangjin-gun, Jeollanam-do through Gogeum Bridge, and Yaksan-do was connected to the land. (However, as administrative districts, Gogeum-do and Yaksan-do were Wando-gun, not Gangjin-gun.) Meanwhile, Gogeum-do is linked to Sinji-do through the Jangbogo Bridge, and Sinji-do is connected to Wando-gun via the Sinji Bridge. Geumil-do and Saengil-do are connected by passenger ferry from Dangmok harbor in Yaksan-myeon.

Yaksan-myeon consists of the main island, Joyakdo (formerly the name of Yaksan-do), and four uninhabited islands. In the center of Yaksan-myeon is Mt. Sammun, which is 399m high.

It has been called “Yaksan” because many medicinal herbs, such as Samjiguyeopcho (the name of the herb that grows in this area), have grown naturally since the old days. Black goats raised on the island’s herbs are also well-known as a specialty of Yaksan-myeon.

Gasa Beach is the only beach on Yaksan-do (island). Camellia, spruce, and chestnut trees around the coast in a circle.

Wando-gun’s representative specialty products, including Yaksan-myeon, include abalone, seaweed, and kelp.

Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
Seaweed Farms around Yaksan-do  in South Korea. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory, 2021

Team and Datasheet

Artistic Director
Sunyoung Oh

Associate Curators and Researchers
Tessa Peters
Marco Kusumawijaya
Shin-Koo Woo

Eunsoon Yoo, Jooyoung Oh

Participating Artists
Gatari Surya Kusuma
Christine Mackey
Rakarsa Collective (Vincent Rumahloine)

Wan Chantavilasvong
Daniel Duarte Pereira
Ezekiel Sales

Ambiguous Dance Company
Yeongran Suh

Vacant Spaces Research
Shin-Koo Woo + BK21Four, Living SOC Innovation Design Group, Pusan National University

Community Center Architecture Project
YIAN Architects (Jiin Kim, Changgyu Choi) with Byengseok Kim

Commission Works (Wall Paintings)
Soo Kyung Lee + Haeyum (Dangmok-ri and Eodu-ri)

Kira Kim, Sejin Kim, Sooyeon Kim, Heesun Kim, Kwangtae Park, Sojeong Park, E-bi Park, Hyunji Oh, Jaewon Lee, Hyeyun Cho, Xooang Choi, and Jeaho Hwang with Giloon Park, Mihwa Song, Hyunjun Park, Hyunji Park, Seoah Kim, Seowoo Kim, Moonkyeom Cheon, and Bobin Cheon (Eodu-ri)

Research about  Buoy
Jimin Kim (Testing of eco friendly buoy)
Chiho Park (General research about buoy)

Village Participants
Jung-Whan Choi, Boksam Gwon, Sooyoung Park, Sail Gwon, Heeja Choi, Giloon Park, Mihwa Song, Hyunji Park, Hyunjun Park,  Siyeon Lim, Kim Young Bok, Cha Woo Sam, Park Hyang Seop, Park Seung Yong, Kim Dae Ju, Jeong An Soon,  Kim Seong Mi, Lee Song Hee, Oh Eun Hee, Shin Su Young, Baek Hye Sun, Park Min Ja, Han Ae Shim, Grace A Pilyeta, Yoon Ju Ya, Cho Hyeong Suk, Lim Yi Seop,  Sunhee Bang, Nam-Soo Park, Joo-Nam Kim, villagers in Dangmok-ri and Eodu-ri in Yaksan-myeon, and Haeyum community in Gogeum-myeon

Jaehoon Choi

PUNG-MI ebook
Contributed by
Sunyoung Oh
Wan Chantavilasvong
Gatari Surya Kusuma
Daniel Duarte Pereira
Tessa Peters
Zeke Sales

Edited by

Sunyoung Oh, Tessa Peters
and Jooyoung Oh

Translated by
Seoul Reading Room, MW Trans, Uffici di Salmone

Designed by
Ana Resende with Rita Constante

Photography and video by
Jae Hoon Choi
Sunyoung Oh
Wan Chantavilasvong
Daniel Duarte Pereira
Vincent Rumahloine
Tessa Peters
Zeke Sales
Eri Rama Putra

Published by
Project 7½

Jeollanam-do Cultural Foundation

Arts Council Korea
Selected as “2022 Arko Public Art Project”