October saw me being chosen to take part in a British Council project by Neon called ‘Seoul Shoe Street’.
NEON x Seoul Shoe Street
Through a residency in Seoul, Neon are interested in addressing issues around urban regeneration in the Seoul Station area by commissioning 4 Korean shoemakers to create a bespoke collection of shoes for 10 international design influencers. To learn more visit www.britishcouncil.org/design and follow the digital campaign and journey of the shoes with #neonxseoulshoestreet
Neon has been developing a project around the Seoul Station area of the city that has recently become home to a new raised park called Seoullo 7017 which is not dissimilar to New York’s Highline. The project has bought about a sharp increase in tourism which is leading to rapid gentrification. There is a historic handmade shoe street close to this area which is under threat of extinction.
The project lead to the creation of 10 bespoke pairs of shoes which will be designed and made based on each participant’s tastes and sizings. We would like to tell the story via film of the maker and their product as well as including each wearer briefing us and wearing the shoes in their everyday environment.
I wanted my shoes to be linked to my installation at the Walker Gallery for the Liverpool Biennial. I wanted the shoes to be a reinterpreted English brogue through the hands of the maker in Seoul. An English Brogue with Seoul! Below are sketches and ideas for the shoe.
Suggested Pigeon punched hole design for shoe
My Liverpool Biennial Installation used for inspiration
It was great taking part in this project, it’s ambitions are very close to the ones we developed at MADE NORTH. The maker who crafted my shoes was called Jungs-Soo Youn in his words “I am 77 years old, I have been making shoes since I was 15. When I first started my career, I was so passionate about learning the techniques that I used to practice making shoes in the day and attend school in the evening. I opened my shop, England Shoemakers in 1981 and it is still going to this day. As mass production continues to increase, the handmade shoe industry is in decline but I believe that it can become popular again in the future.”
You can follow the story here https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/neonxseoulshoestreet/
Find out more about Neon www.seeNEON.com