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Han Sung Motor-backed students present media art at Plastic Art Seoul

May 29, 2023 - 17:51 By Byun Hye-jin
Attendees view the artwork of Dream Gream students, the recipients of Han Sung Motor’s art scholarship program, at the Plastic Art Seoul 2023 fair at Coex in southern Seoul, Friday. (Han Sung Motor)

Recipients of Han Sung Motor’s Dream Gream scholarship showcased their work at Plastic Art Seoul 2023, a Seoul art fair dedicated to sculptures and installations that took place over the weekend.

Han Sung Motor, the official importer of Mercedes-Benz cars here, has sponsored young artistic talents through the program that offers scholarships and mentoring opportunities.

For the latest exhibition, 40 students joined to present media art creations under the theme “The most precious thing in my life 10 years from now.” Each of their works, displayed on an iPad, showed how the works can be changed through an image generator powered by artificial intelligence.

Entering a term like “Oscar-Claude Monet style,” for instance, the AI tool turned a student’s artwork into the French painter’s signature style, creating a new “collaborative” art piece.

And their works were also reinterpreted by Yang Min-ha, a media artist and professor at the University of Seoul who played a mentor role for Dream Gream students.

Yang also displayed his mashup artwork on a separate large media wall, called “Waves of Dreams,” showing his own interpretation of the students’ drawings using the same AI tool.

When visitors moved in front of the motion sensors installed at the bottom of the work, millions of white dots stirred in the form of waves in the same direction as the audience. The dots can symbolize many things, like flower seeds, waves or dreams, Yang said.

Attendees experience media art that utilizes motion sensors, created by Yang Min-ha, at the Plastic Art Seoul fair at Coex in southern Seoul, Friday. (Han Sung Motor)

“I wanted to change the stereotypical images of AI that are sometimes considered threatening due to its highly advanced technology. Through the artwork, you can see AI as a collaborative tool that can produce new forms of vibrant culture,” he told The Korea Herald.

Starting with Plastic Art Seoul, Han Sung Motor plans to support the Dream Gream students to participate in key art fairs in Seoul this year, including the Korea International Art Fair Seoul in September and the Seoul Design Festival in December.

In partnership with the Korea Mecenat Association, the company has operated the scholarship program since 2012 and a total of 279 students and their mentors have joined the program.

“Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, we increased our budget for social responsibility activities by 14 percent in 2021 compared to a year earlier,” a company official said. “We will continue to expand corporate donations and give back to local communities.”

Han Sung Motor has played a prominent role in Korea’s import car market for 38 years. It boasts the biggest network of auto importers in the country with 24 showrooms, 26 service centers and seven exhibition sites for certified secondhand Mercedes-Benz vehicles across the country.