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"In Chloe, a great city, the people who move through the streets are all strangers. At each encounter, they imagine a thousand things about one another; meetings which could take place between them, conversations, surprises, caresses, bites. But no one greets anyone; eyes lock for a second, then dart away, seeking other eyes, never stopping. Something runs among them, an exchange of glances link lines that connect one figure with another and draws arrows, stars, triangles, until all combinations are used up in a moment, and other characters come on to the scene."
Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino

A luminous city at a glance, which on its other face is made up of mounded dark desires. To some, it is a place of opportunities for higher power and luxurious honor, and to others it is merely a heartless and desolate place. Glances of those who live in such a city is repeatedly connected and disconnected among each other. This poster is a compilation of contrast, which wishes to reveal and hide its inhabitants' concealed stories at the same time.
Typojanchi is an International Biennale that takes place in Seoul. Typojanchi uniquely explores various intersections where the art of visible language meets other cultural areas — literature, city, music, film, politics and economy. The forth edition of Typojanchi was held under the theme of City and Typography, and named its identity C(   )T(   ). There were 10 individual projects within this exhibition, and (   ) on the Walls was one of them.

Posters are a traditional means of visual communication. Born in cities and alongside its residents, this is precisely the reason we decided to concentrate on this particular medium. Over the years, posters have undergone a series of vicissitudes with respect to communication in the media. Even today, they are still very present in places such as kiosks and screens.
The (   ) on the Walls project displays how artists who live and work in different cities can present their various thoughts and experiences about cities through the medium of the poster. I selected seven graphic designers who have been working with recurring media often seen in an urban environment such as posters, postcards, and magazines for this exhibition. The aim was for these artists to design the official poster for Typojanchi 2015 through their own interpretive lens. The designers hail from multiethnic cities to relatively small and unknown towns, working in regions as diverse as Europe, Asia, and North America.

Boulevard Solitude
Jaemin Lee, Pigment print, 160×106.7cm, October 2015

The designers used a variety of methods to accomplish their goal. One, for example, extracted elements from three European city posters to create an abstract poster (Ludovic Balland). Another used the Spätkauf, something commonly found in Berlin convenience stores, to express the city’s typography as a part of our lives (Siggi Eggertsson). Then there was the designer (Keetra Dean Dixon) who established a substantial city structure using nothing more than words, and yet another who exhibited ambivalent feelings, the fatigue of a city’s superfluous typography elements, and a fascination with complexity (Helmo). Then, a poster was designed after taking all kinds of signs, symbols, and unreadable characters to the same space in order to function as an exhibition space (Aaron Nieh), while another highlighted the meaning of the word 'festival' through fluorescent silkscreen posters using traffic signs and signals, signboards for travelers, and festival decorations (Richard Niessen).
The last design concealed and later revealed every intention and story a city contains through connected/disconnected views of the people living there (Jaemin Lee).
One by one, a total of seven official posters were shown through the official Typojanchi website and on social media platforms before the exhibition. They were used to promote Typojanchi 2015 prior to the exhibition and concurrently were exhibited at Culture Station Seoul 284 as artworks. The posters, which have been printed on paper, were reanalyzed through different media outlets and environments in collaboration with our media associates.

  • Participants: Aaron Nieh, Helmo, Jaemin Lee, Keetra Dean Dixon, Ludovic Balland, Richard Niessen and Siggi Eggertsson
  • Curator: Jaemin Lee
  • Scenography: Zero-lab
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