The design for the obverse side of the medals had already been chosen through a competition that attracted a record 3,000 entries, with 27-year-old Brazilian Dante Akira Uwai’s “A Sparkling Future” revealed as the winner.
To ensure the reverse side of the medals reflected Korean culture, the Gangwon 2024 Organising Committee invited local art students to an interactive workshop, where they discussed possible inspirations for the design, such as the traditional hanok roof and the landscape of Gangwon Province.
A total of 19 students from the Gangwon Arts High School and Yanggu Middle School attended the workshop, where they also took part in a collage session to spark their creativity and brainstorm ideas. They then simplified their collage work and applied it to a range of potential medal designs. To further inspire them, the students watched a video interview with Uwai, who talked about his own inspiration and process for creating the obverse design, which features a geometric interpretation of the Gangwon 2024 motto “Grow Together, Shine Forever”.
With the assistance of a creative agency, the students' drawings were subsequently transformed into official design proposals. The final medal design draws inspiration from the picturesque landscape and forests of Gangwon Province, featuring a geometric pattern of vertical lines that complements Uwai’s obverse design, as well as the Gangwon 2024 emblem and snowflake imagery that represents winter sports.
By actively involving local students in the creative process, the Gangwon 2024 Organising Committee aimed not only to showcase the region's artistic talent, but also empower and inspire local youth, fostering a sense of pride in and ownership of the YOG. This unique partnership between the Organising Committee and the local students underscores the former’s commitment to youth engagement and community involvement, while also ensuring that the medals authentically represent Korean culture.
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