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Feb 7 – Mar 14, 2013

«» Exhibition

The exhibition as a solo show of ahn sang-soo, Hangeul, Typography trailblazer will commemorate the foundation of PaTI (Paju Typography Institute).
ahn sang-soo (b.1952), the typography designer has developed typography as an art and design genre and established a new generation of ‘Hangeul typography’. He has been teaching Hangeul typography at Hongik University for the past 30 years but now has founded the alternative college PaTI to nurture creative design education in Korean typography. PaTI, is a modest but modern apprentices’ institute with global visions of leading the international culture of design by utilising the spirit of Sejong Ido and East Asian culture.
The artclub1563 brings up exhibition as a solo show of ahn sang-soo which alerts the establishment of PaTI and for fundraising of the non-profit organization. ahn sang-soo, Nal-gae (principal) of PaTI has photographed people who were asked to conceal their one eye in front of his camera just for fun since 1988. He calls the photos the ‘one.eye. project’. ahn sang-soo is from the first generation of global Korean artist and has taken photos of everyone who he met no matter where he found himself in the world. More than 30,000 shots of one eye. are included from ordinary people on the street to celebrities.
Photography is a contradictory medium which captures a very short moment but remains forever. In this way, there is a contradictory exposure for posers in his ‘one.eye. project.’ For example, some ordinary people’s have a strong and unique pose, on the other hand, some celeb’s look shy in front of the camera. ‘one.eye. project’ is the trace of a life in art and design, meeting people in the world, simultaneously his own philosophical perspective; “let’s see things from a different perspective.” Despite the competitive design world, he is still thriving as his work is very postmodern, unlike some of his generation lost in serious discourse.


About ahn.sang-soo and his typography

The author, Alain de Botton has mentioned ‘Hangeul’ as a source of inspiration for his works in a newspaper interview.

“Hangeul is amazingly fantastic and traditional character. It is not simple, looks very complicated somehow but unbelievably beautiful and calm… it has a power to transcend something. Why I love Hangeul so much is that I desire to be an existence like that. I believe that you would persue the silence of empty space as much as you don’t have it in your mind. I wish to have the calm insight, rough but noble, useful and poetic, like Hangeul.”
— Alain de Botton

Hangeul has dominated lives of Korean people for around 560 years but now, it is not Korean monocultural character any more.
In 1985 when the notion of ‘typography’ was rarely known in Korea, ahn sang-soo created the ‘font of ahn sang-soo’ coined from his name, which was a monumental innovation in the graphic design movement as there were only quadrilateral types of font such as, gothic type or arial font at that moment. It can be understood in the same way of that San-ul-lims’s ‘Na euddukhe’ in 70s and Taiji boys’ ‘Nan Alayo’ in 90s were very shocking and affected Korean-pop musicians immediately and to the present day. It is not only the ‘font of ahn sang-soo’, he also created many popular fonts. He is legendary in the design world yet his name is not known as much as it deserves to be or illuminated in general as his fonts are default fonts for the computer. It is time to shed new light on ahn sang-soo’s contribution for Korean design history.


About PaTI

PaTI opens for the training of professional Hangeul typographic designers and researchers. Typography is at an important stage in the evolution of graphic design.
Computer graphic design has changed rapidly with new media and high technology devices such as tablet PC or smart phone. Actually before the phrase ‘graphic design’ was coined, typography was used to denote graphic design. So the meaning of PaTI is intertwined with the basic notion of graphic design and Hangeul, Korean identity. PaTI is an alternative college, PaTI is very different from typical Korean Universities. PaTI’s training is very practical, maximum number of students is 10 for both bachelor and master courses and the relation between teacher and student is not hierarchical. In this way, PaTi overcomes the limitation of the traditional Korean college academy. PaTi will be a role model that Korea’s education system should approach as demonstrating the importance of respecting diversity. PaTI is located in Paju cultural city which includes the biggest publishing district and art business companies, many artist residencies, etc. In addition PaTI has a partnership with the film school, photography and architecture schools, together they will be composed like one university, exchanging their multi-interdisciplinary curriculum. Also PaTI has global networking with the Basel School of Design in Switzerland, China Central Academy of Fine Art and Werkplaats Typografie in Netherland. PaTI seems small visibly; yet, it will affect to future design education in Korea magnificently.