03.05 – 01.06.2024

The Lost Voyage

Hyun-Suk Seo

Fri–Sat 12–5pm or by appointment

As a symbolic gesture in war-torn Seoul, Kim’s colossal and uncompromising ocean liner sought to epitomise Korean modernity and lay the groundwork for what was to be an unprecedented urban transformation. Sewoon stands for ‘erecting good energy’ in Korean, while Sangga means ‘shopping mall’, promising a better, more prosperous future. 

Manon Mollard, The Architectural Review

Sewoon Sangga is a megastructure cutting across 1.2km of central Seoul—housing a complex mix of retail, industrial and residential spaces. Designed by Korea’s most important modern architect Kim Swoo-Geun and constructed 1967–72. The building’s conception, construction and life have run in parallel to Seoul’s own complex political life from its beginnings under a developmentalist dictatorship to more recent neoliberal visions of the city which have seen Sewoon Sangga being labelled ‘the ugliest building in Seoul’.

The Lost Voyage (2011–18) charts the short-lived glory and swift decline of Sewoon Sangga examining the contradictory legacies of architectural modernism in the Asian context—through an experimental documentary bringing together voices of the planners, the residents and the users.

Whilst situated in a radically different context there are themes running through the film—lack of long-term vision and council corruption to name a few—that speak very clearly to Glasgow.

The film runs to 1hr12mins and will be shown at 12:15, 13:45 and 15:15 on days the exhibition runs.