What do you do with a thousand brightly painted, reclaimed doors? If you’re South Korean Artist Choi Jeong-Hwa, you use them to transform an unremarkable ten-story building in Seoul into an iconic work of art. It’s all part of Choi’s artistic mission to reimagine public space by using normal, everyday things in an extraordinary way.
Inhabitat reports that Choi’s imagery is born out of his desire to have art engage with the greater population. “I believe that everything is art,” he told The Creator’s Project. “Every material found in the kitchen, your room, the streets — everything in everyday life can be art.” This recycled/upcycled aesthetic thoroughly permeates the artist’s work, whether it’s a spider’s web of “prayer flags” made of old plastic packaging across a public square, or fascinating geometrical structures composed of plastic tubs.
To create these artworks, Choi collects a whole lot of trash (plastic in particular, which he prizes for its durability). During the 2009 Seoul Design Olympiad, for example, he gathered the trash that got thrown away by the 10 million people in attendance and hung it in Jamsil Stadium. The point was to see the difference between trash and art and ask the questions: What makes us feel emotion and affection? Who is to decide what’s worthy and what’s not? “The whole stadium was covered with trash,” he said, “but it became beautiful and sparkly and memorable when light was projected on it. Now I am doing that all over the globe. It’s basically a campaign that emphasizes working with worthless materials.”
The 1000 Doors project (which comes to us via Colossal) seems a fine way to highlight the artistic potentials of trash. It also sends a clear message: one man’s trash is another man’s art. (Interested in more utilitarian uses for recycled/reclaimed materials? Check out this extreme Portland remodel.)