With 100 days to go before the start of the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, the Organising Committee (POCOG) unveiled eight art posters that will shape the image of these Games and leave a unique legacy within the collective memory.
The posters offer a unique creative response to PyeongChang’s Olympic Moment by Korean artists whose work was selected from among 205 submissions to an open call. The art posters and the original artwork behind them will be presented to the public for the first time in an exhibition at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul from November 2 – December 3, 2017. The exhibition is hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and organized by Korea Craft and Design Foundation, in collaboration with POCOG.
During the selection process, the art poster evaluation committee paid particular attention to the aesthetic quality of the posters while looking for work that captures the philosophy and values of Olympism from a unique artistic angle. While certain works are inspired by the rings and interpret the emblem of the Games in PyeongChang to reflect the Olympic values, others pay tribute to traditional Korean creative arts such as embroidery, calligraphy or pottery. Because the Games are “Passion.Connected”, there is also a digital element to the selection, with the spectacular winter landscapes of Gangwon province providing the background.
The art poster selection committee included representatives of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; the National Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, Seoul; and experts in various fields of the arts, including Western and Korean painting, typography/visual design, design culture and pop art.
Passion of PyeongChang
«Passion of PyeongChang” showcases the passion and enthusiasm for sports being unleashed against the fields and mountains of Korea that have witnessed the five thousand year-long history of the country. The variation in saturation created by Chinese ink and single strokes are used to express the main idea. Black and white, often referred to as colors representing the Korean spirit, are used as a base upon which the five colors of the Olympic logo are layered to project the values of the Olympic Games and the five continents around the world. The strokes together stand for the overcoming of prejudice, race or ethnicity to celebrate mutual understanding, cooperation and equality of mankind. The images of snow-covered mountains, rivers, wind, clouds, people, fields and the sun capture the fundamental values of the Games, and more specifically the rise to challenge and passion shown by young athletes who have waited four years to take part in the Olympics.
Artist: Kim Jong-wook (1966)
Affiliation: Head of the reporting graphics department at Korea Broadcasting System (KBS)
The Extreme Landscape
“The Extreme Landscape” is a performance aimed at the accordance between physical training and drawing as well as the finished art itself. The artist overcomes the physical limitation and tedium of repetitive training while following the rules and constraints of physical exercise. In the midst of infinite intervals of repetition, the artist seeks a space for self-expression. As a result, the poster captures the movement and the kinetic energy of the artist’s body. The format of a landscape painting has been used to portray the snowy, mountainous terrain of Gangwon to create a dramatic scene where the values of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, “New Horizons” and “Passion Connected” are brought to the fore.
Artist: Kim Yeseul (1988)
Affiliation: CEO of Studio Myriad
Good morning, Moon!
When it is morning in South Korea, it is night on the other side of the earth. The title represents the time difference across the globe. The moon in the name of the “Moon Jar (White Porcelain Jar)” refers to the wishes for a successful Winter Games in PyeongChang that people all over the world in different time zones will enjoy at the same moment. The motif of the Moon Jar was inspired by the steel horse of the Goguryeo dynasty. The artist reinterpreted the horse in a small but sturdy form. Leaving behind hoof prints on the snowy surface, the horse climbs up to the entrance of the jar where it then descends on a bobsleigh ride. This adds a playful touch to the solemn and serious traditional pottery. The method of wood firing unglazed pottery allows the wood ashes to fly naturally in the kiln and creates an effect that reveals a subtle color unique to the calm whiteness of the Korean Jar, extracting the beauty of the dynamic movement of earth, fire, and wood.
Artist: Jeon Chang-hyun (1975)
Affiliation: Ceramic Artist
Jogak Hangeul Eeumbo
“Jogak Hangeul Eeumbo” is a Korean typography that captures the spirit of the Olympics. “HunminJeongeum Haerye Bon” that stipulates the consonants and vowels in the Korean alphabet, as well as the philosophy of “words uttered by mankind being based on the five energies of the universe,” was used as the basis for the design. The typography was used to complete one sentence that refers to the value that the Games stand for. The work is a traditional patchwork made of 336 scrap pieces of fabric that fall into 46 types of different materials, patterns and colors. The work intends to deliver the wishes for a successful 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang through close cooperation of all involved.
Artist: Park Sung-hee (1971)
Affiliation: CEO of It-Company
At the time of Olympia’s splendour, letters and arts were harmoniously combined with sport, thus guaranteeing the grandeur of the Olympic Games.
PyeongChang, Gangneung, Jeongseon and Winter
The basic morphemes in the Korean alphabet are used as basic units of geometric shapes to which strokes are added or rotation was carried out to create a visual image that combines the name of each district where the PyeongChang Winter Games are held. Thick strokes that give off an abstract and modern vibe are vertically laid out to mimic a landscape painting. The images of mountains and valleys of Gangwon Province are layered to create a new, symbolic space to which falling snow adds a poetic touch.
Artist: Kim Joo-sung (1960)
Affiliation: Professor of Myongji College
Taebaek Mountains stretch vertically along the East coast of the Korean peninsula, from Wonsan in Gangwon Province to the mouth of Nakdong River and forms one of the longest stretch of mountainous terrain in Korea. The work shows the layers of Taebaek Mountains and represent the spirit of “connectedness” across the world. The dynamic way in which the mountains come together stand for the dynamism and vibrancy of the Winter Games. The curved and droopy forms were created using a brush technique often found in Korean landscape painting.
Artist: Kim Jae-young (1990)
Affiliation: Brand designer at architectural design firm ‘2Look’
Winter stitch: Love & Wish
“Winter Stitch” intends to deliver the wishes for a successful 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang through close cooperation of all involved, just as stitch works are completed through a number of single stitches being brought together. Gangneung in Gangwon Province is well renowned for crafts that are traditionally done by women. One of the leading examples of such crafts, a pouch with colorful stitches, was used as a motif to create an abstract geometric pattern that captures the images of the global festivities that are the Winter Games set against the winter landscape of Gangwon. The colors of blue and white, and forms representing snowflakes, flowers (stars), trees and the five rings of the Olympics were made into graphic format for traditional embroidery from Gangneung. The stitches were created to surround the basic forms of the snow flakes, flowers and trees. The work offers a glimpse into the unique aesthetics of Korean women skilled in traditional craft while delivering a message of love and respect on the occasion of the Olympic Games.
Artist: Hong Hyun-jung (1994)
Affiliation: Student of Yonsei University
Artist: Hwang Su-hong (1971)
Affiliation: Professor of Yonsei University
Blooms in Snow Flower
The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 that take place on the fast fields of snow has been transformed into a snow flower motif. The snow flower petals consist of pictograms that represent the five sport categories of figure skating, speed skating, free-style show skating, and ski jumping, as well as the values of harmony, hope and peace. The background color of blue also stands for the spirit of the Olympics where fairness and principle are still upheld on the wide winter fields of PyeongChang.
Artist: Ki Eun (1974)
Affiliation: CEO of DesignThreefour
Artist: Dong-soo (1970)
Affiliation: CEO of With Design Company
About Olympic posters
Posters created for the Olympic Games form an important element of their visual identity. They lend a special aesthetic touch to the Games and constitute their visual theme. Drawing on every imaginable style and technique, they never cease to amaze.
The Olympic posters visually trace the history and identity of each edition of the Olympic Games. They bear witness to the styles and values of the moment, and to the artistic, social and political context of their age. They are also an invitation to explore the history of the Games. Today, they convey the Olympic values and ideals, and maintain a dialogue with the international artistic community and the creative talent of the host country.
For artists, creating an Olympic poster provides the chance to make their work known to the world. They are free to choose their subject and style. However, each poster must convey a personal interpretation of the “Olympic moment”. This original artwork is a reflection of the philosophy and values of Olympism (excellence, respect and friendship), and is not limited to a simple representation of sport, the Olympic symbol or the emblem. Rather it reflects the universality of the Games.