Look Who's Talking

Look Who's Talking

Arts Council Korea (ARKO)

January 11, 2023
Look Who's Talking
Socially collaborative art project

Look Who's Talking is an online platform dedicated to encouraging the expansion of the social role of artists. It is a preliminary step in understanding the contribution of each of the participants’ activities, as part of a more comprehensive socially collaborative art project. It started with the work of 16 artists and artist-led groups in twelve cities in eight countries in 2022; these include Seoul, Hwasun, London, Stoke-on-Trent, Yogyakarta, Bandung, Gunungkidul, Manila, Bangkok, Singapore, Copenhagen, and Berlin.

As a socially collaborative art project, Look Who's Talking (concept and directed by Dr. Sunyoung Oh) engages with a broad range of topics, such as art, society, politics, and ecology. It highlights the activities of individual participants in various cities around the world, while also facilitating greater solidarity and cooperation between them, despite their physical distance. As an online platform project, it aims to explore sustainable practices in art.

The project proposes developing artistic practices that engage with a broad section of the public to promote collaboration. The aim is to extend the role of “art” in “society” beyond the reach of contemporary art institutions; that is to say it seeks to make art genuinely inclusive.

Look Who’s Talking creates a dialogic situation, enabling participants to reflect on the past to understand the present, and to envision a brighter future; it uses interactive platforms as an expanded space for understanding the social and environmental issues of different communities and how we can work together to address them. As we come together in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation, we hope this can grow to include significant numbers of people.

The design of the online exhibition has sought practical ways to connect participants with a wider public, encouraging active participation by people from a variety of fields in order to make positive contributions to society, with art as a tool. In this regard, Look Who's Talking has the purpose of empowering audiences to actively collaborate with artists and curators to produce exhibitions and artworks, and to recognize the role that art can play in improving social issues. Just as contemporary art encompasses a variety of genres and forms, Look Who's Talking offers many different ways to communicate with people through art. Participating artists, curators, activists, architects, researchers, and others discuss social, ecological, and political issues with people in their respective fields, and within the communities their work affects. The participants also explore alternative views of how artistic practices can support the discovery of new ecological approaches. Through these processes, the aim is to continue to initiate socially significant projects with more collaborators.

Participants are Alaa Abu Asad & Ulufer Çelik; Anang Saptoto, with several groups of women farmers in Yogyakarta, along with children from Indonesia, Korea, and the UK; Another Public+Lasse Moritzen and Denniz Batak; Ceramic Research Center-UK; Clayground Collective; Hee-Sang Kim+Kira Kim; Leap Then Look; Lee Rok-Hyun+Youngsik Choi; Moonwen; Participatory Food Systems: Huiying Ng, Pujita Guha, Christina M. Sayson, Gatari Surya Kusuma, Napong Tao Rugkhapan, Boonanan Natakun, Zeke Sales; Sekolah Pagesangan; Sulki and Min; The Portland Inn Project; Village Community of Tungkluk; Vincent Rumahloine with Ibu Ilah, Mama Febri, Ibu Kokom, Ibu Elah, Ibu Eneng, Ibu Ela, Ibu Ani, Ibu Neneng, Ibu Jamil, Ibu Iis, Bapak Umen, Ibu Siti, Ibu Dede, Ibu Wati, Ibu Sitin Oliyah, Mang Iya, Mang Ojak, Mang Dian, Della Sabarini, Tegar Pratama, Djuli Pamungkas, and Arsya Ardiansyah; Yeongran Suh+Thore Jürgensen. And associate curators are Tessa Peters, Amalie Frederiksen, and Ruth Noack. 

Keywords: transnational, art and society, cooperation, solidarity, environment, contemporary art, public art, community art, socially engaged art, post-Minjung art, decolonization, socially collaborative art project.

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Arts Council Korea (ARKO)
January 11, 2023

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