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A Study on Improvement of the Public Arts in Seoul

Do-Sam NaㆍJung-Hyun Lee



Since the Culture and Arts Promotion Act established a system of architectural artworks, a variety of artworks have been installed in many places. We found that 3,824 artworks had been installed in Seoul as of 2015. However, citizens can not understand the artworks due to a lack of management and utilization, so the value of the artworks has not been delivered to citizens. Currently, Seoul has two public art management systems: one for artwork at buildings and one for statues, monuments, and artifacts. These two systems are regulated by separate ordinances which focus only on management, not utilization. In addition, public art programs promoted as projects are not governed by any relevant regulations or systems.

First, the number of installed artworks should be limited, and the installed works should be removed after a certain period of time. These works can be categorized into several types, such as permanent installations, temporary installations, and artistic activities, but should be managed under the same platform.

Second, it is necessary to build a more systematic, integrated system of public art projects. Thus, we suggest establishing a Public Art Committee as an independent body responsible for overseeing projects throughout their lifespan. In addition, the office of the General Director of Public Arts and a department could be founded to handle public art projects.

Third, a new institution for public art projects needs to be established. This institution should improve the system for the installation of sculptures, such as architectural artworks. Also, we stress the need for systemic management which includes a comprehensive investigation of the currently installed works, construction of a database, creation of a guidebook, and drafting of a basic plan for Seoul public arts.

Finally, to implement these suggested measures, it will be necessary to reform the existing ordinances and enact an integrated, comprehensive ordinance.




01 Research Outline

1_Background and Objectives

2_Research Directions and Method


02 Concept of Public Arts and Its Current Installation Status

1_Concept of Public Arts

2_Public Artworks Installation and Management Status


03 Current Situation of the Public Arts System

1_Framework of the Institutional Structure

2_Current Condition of the System’s Operational Status

3_Problems and Issues


04 Discussion of Improvements to the Public Arts System

1_Existing Suggestions for Improvements

2_Expert Forum


05 Measures to Improve the Public Arts System

1_Directions for Improvement

2_Plans for Improvement

3_Proposed Ordinance Revisions

06 Summary and Conclusion