Hermès Fondation
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Hong Seung-Hye at Atelier Hermès

Square Square

Born in Seoul in 1959, Hong Seung-Hye is a proponent of ‘organic geometry,’ and the author of a large-scale work in situ at Atelier Hermès, transforming the space into an open ‘square’ as a venue for socialization. Square Square is a bold challenge to our certainties and preconceptions.

Hong Seung-Hye at Atelier Hermès
© Seung-Hye Hong, Photo by Kiyong Nam

From the Acropolis to the social network interface, social settings and the function of the ‘public square’ have come a long way. Hong Seung-Hye pushes back the walls of the Atelier Hermès to reveal its bare framework and engage in situ with the biggest possible volume. The aim is to create an open ‘square,’ temporary but real, inscribed in actual (not virtual) space.

Inspired by the square modules comprising the façade of the Maison Hermès in Dosan Park, the new square functions as a forum – a place where people and merchandise can come together. Square Square offers a new interpretation of traditional street furniture – an assortment of traditional façades, tables, fountains, lamp-posts and benches. A wine bar occupies one corner of the Atelier Hermès, complete with tables, a cellar, a neon sign and a video installation – the artist’s own work-within-a-work.

Hong Seung-Hye sees Square Square as a forum for art: the neon sign is co-authored by artist Park Gwangsoo, and the accompanying video is by ShimRaejung – collaborations designed to further extend the work’s examination of the role and meaning of the public square. This public meeting-place is an allegory in itself, a tribute to a modernist utopia.

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