Connected One the impact of public art on communities and place

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Professor Moon Joo, Dean of Fine Art at Seoul National University and I followed a highly prestigious, worldwide call for an art competition, which attracted entries from all continents.The task was to develop an artistic work and strategy for the landmark outdoor sculpture in the PyeongChang Olympic Plaza, 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in South Korea. It was in its initial stages anonymous, blind peer reviewed by highly esteemed artists and theorists.The South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism selected the work through a public art competition co-hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Arts. During the design process Professor Moon and I identified the lack of democratic discussion and community involvement in public art as an issue to be solved and decided finally that the design will be based on an inquiry of interested community and stakeholders. We followed a statistic evaluation, the result is Connected One. Most people asked during the inquiry were identifying the Olympic rings, energy, colour and representations of major winter-sport disciplines as key elements, all of which are exemplified in the finished product.The horizontal Olympic Rings symbolize the five participating continents, Africa, Asia, America, Australia and Europe, with six life size figures skiing on a large vortex of colour. Professor Moon Joo and I may have put the project into motion, but the sculpture is a democratic design that intends to engage people of the host country and the rest of the world based on the Olympic values.Using the data baseline and methodological framework established by the my impact of public art research programme — a five-year study on the economic, environmental, social and cultural impacts of art in public. As in a number of former projects the aim is to gain deeper insight in processes around public art and to experiment with different forms of commissioning and final shapes of art in public. This object is highlighted on the global stage and seen by millions. The Culture Olympiad was a shared project between North and South Korea and had significant impact on the peace process and our wellbeing and security today.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationPyeongChang Olympic Plaza and Gangneung Olympic Park, South Korea
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 9 Feb 2018
EventConnected One, Cultural Olympiad, 2018 Olympic Winter Games - PyeongChang Olympic Plaza and Gangneung Olympic Park / PyeongChang, South Korea
Duration: 4 Feb 20185 Jan 2060


  • Cultural Olympiad 2018
  • PyeongChang Paralympics and Winter Olympic games
  • Ralf Sander
  • Artist
  • Art
  • Sculpture
  • public art impact
  • democratic sculpture
  • university of ulster
  • sculpture
  • Reader
  • University of Ulster
  • Landmark sculpture


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