AI WEIWEI. The power of this name has been very strong recently not only in art world, but also the world itself. I am sure you already know about his projects or you can check his works online easily. However, talking about the next Gwangju Design Biennale is something different.
When we got this presentation from Brendan McGetrick about the raw brainstorms from the team, the first thing hit my mind was plastic surgery. Of course, plastic surgery is the biggest design business in the world. If you think about the case of Korea in terms of plastic surgery, I can say Korea is the 'kingdom' among all the plastic surgery ever.
I want to say this is more complicated than you think, because of many reasons; not just about social beauty, but this is very complex. Since we have this thing called 'Gwansang' in Korean, 'Myansheng' in Chinese, we talk about our fate with facial characters. We have fortune tellers in Korea, then they will tell you what your face tells you. However, this goes more complex than anything else. Because if you want to get a job, your employer will prefer someone who has the face of 'good' employee who can be told with a certain facial character. According to interesting rumors, a lot of companies actually hire fortune tellers to pick 'a good face' for their companies.
Another thing is about recent phenomenon of Korean face. I saw the advertisement in Taipei says that they can change clients' face to Korean style. After successful Korean soap operas in Taiwan, people would like to get a plastic surgery to look more like 'Korean style'. This is based on the same theory as the hollywood stars' plastic surgery or barbie girls' style. However, it is a bit different situation in Asia now. Since we all prefer to have the "Hong Kong Style" when the film industry was conquered by Hong Kong in Korea, we are now moving to 'Hallyu' which is more about Korean film, Korean drama, etc. This makes so much effect on the Asian society even on the plastic surgery case.
We can also talk about 'whitening'. You will find so much cosmetics about whitening in Asian countries, especially in Japan, of course in Korea. You will find diamond peeling which is about getting 'baby skin' after this surgery. There are so many things.
Why do people want to have different design on their faces? This can be the biggest question towards the Gwangju Design Biennale, don't you think? Especially, if you want to talk about design in our lives in everyday, ordinary life?