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A look at Gapa Island’s newly built future in Seoul

Nov 06,2018
“Gapado Video Work” by studio One O One is on the lower floor of the “gapado project” exhibit at Storage by Hyundai Card in central Seoul. [YOON SO-YEON]
In April, Hyundai Card presented a new future for Gapa Island. With the help of the local Jeju government, Hyundai Card completed the “gapado project” in which the company renovated six existing buildings and constructed a new facility on the island with architecture studio One O One at the helm. For those unable to get to the second southernmost point in Korea to see its transformation, Hyundai Card presents the “gapado project,” an exhibition to be held through Feb. 28 at Storage by Hyundai Card in Itaewon, central Seoul.

Gapa Island sits at a 15-minute boat ride off the southern shores of Jeju Island, its flat landscape - the reason why the project is spelled with lower-cased letters - filled with green barley fields that attract tens of thousands of tourists each year. The project was conceived in 2012 to help the residents of the island “find their future,” according to Choi Wook, director of One O One architects.

“To revive the island, we had to focus on three things,” said Choi. “We needed to revive the economy, then change the environment and finally bring in a new culture, not so that the island becomes a tourist spot, but so that the people of the island can stand on their own feet. So technically, the project is still on-going. As long as we’re helping the residents, then the project doesn’t stop.”

The exhibition highlights the steps the studio and Hyundai Card took in coming up with and executing their plans on the first floor of the exhibit space. Works by artist Yangachi and Chung So-young who worked in the AiR (Artist in Residence) space are also on display.

On the lower floor viewers are privy to four videos that demonstrate the beautiful and peaceful Gapa scenery, all shot by One O One.

“We had a principal rule, that we were going to preserve as much of the island as possible,” said Choi. “We thought a lot about what would be appropriate for the island and the people living inside it.”

BY YOON SO-YEON [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]