Students from Aalto Media Lab will exhibit their works for the second time in Seoul in May 2019. The invitation to present came from some of the most prestigious universities in the world: KAIST, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and aSSIST, Seoul School of Integrated Sciences and Technologies, both Aalto partner universities in South Korea.
Previous Media Lab student showcase in Seoul, When The Tiger Was Smoking a Pipe, was a graduation exhibition from May to June 2016, also as part of Aalto Festival in Juno Academy. This year, exhibition will take place in Finland Tower and some students’ installations and creations will also be formed into their final works for their theses.
“There is a lot of conceptual, artistic, visual and technical talent and professionalism among these 9 students involved with this exhibition.” Pipsa Asiala, the exhibition producer explains. Asiala coordinated and produced the 2016 exhibition in Seoul as well and has now gathered backing from Korean technology companies to embassies and beyond to back the exhibition. “There is much that we cannot say at this point before the official announcement of partnerships. The exhibition itself is taking form as we speak,” Asiala says.
Korean poems as exhibition theme
The 2016 exhibition tackled a Korean saying, When The Tiger Smoked a Pipe, referring to ‘once upon a time’. The ideation for this year’s exhibition starts with approaching Korean haikus and poems. John Lee, a first year student of New Media, explains their starting point for ideation.
“Sijo, the Korean art of poem telling, is where we are starting to approach the creation process. These sijo poems are very short, almost like haikus and therefore have many meanings. First we figured out our individual skillsets and started to divide the work into more conceptual points,” Lee describes the start of the project.
Reishab Kailey, another New Media student in the project group describes the creation of the exhibition as a long creative process. “It is not a good idea to start thinking about what the end result might be. Instead every creative process should start with creating and making first while thinking about the long-term process,” he says.
Teacher as a gardener of ideas
The creation process and completion of the works will be a group incentive in which the guidance from teachers at the Department of Media as well as Asiala’s help will be of the essence. Asiala, however, emphasises that her role is merely supporting students’ creativity, not directing it.
“I want students to view me as a gardener. I want to make their ideas flourish and grow. Something unique is coming out but we don’t know it yet.”