The project “Animal Tower” originated from the observation of the contrast between traditional and modern forms of commerce in South Korea. Taking the commercial activity of Seoksu Market as the main focus, the project encouraged a reflection about the current transformation in the structures of commerce, not only in Anyang, but also in Seoul and other big cities.
Markets aren’t just a place of exchange of goods, but rather a place for communication. One of the things that impressed us most in Korea was the presence of living animals for selling in restaurants and traditional markets, which is considered a sign of fresh food: crabs, shrimps, and fish. In modern supermarkets it is in contrast very uncommon to find this.
The traditional Seoksu Market, like many others in Korea, has recently experienced a significant loss in the number of customers. The reasons for this are quite complex, for example: people nowadays feel more comfortable buying in supermarkets, because it’s faster and the prices are clearly labeled.
Our project consisted in a metal construction with a dimensions of 320x150x150 cm in the form of a rectangular prism, in which animals purchased at traditional Korean markets temporary lived. The tower rested on a welt-iron structure and was divided in four vertical levels. On the 1st floor there were fishes, in the 2nd turtles, in the 3rd hens and in the 4th rabbits. Each of these groups got fed only with the leftover food that fell down from the floor above. This happened through holes in the bottom of each floor, which progressively got smaller and smaller moving from the top level to the bottom.
The tower was placed outdoors in Seoksu market’s square with a temporary character, and after the exhibition was finished the animals were restored to the commercial cycle of the market.
“Animal Tower” was realized with the support of the Spanish Embassy in South Korea and Supplement Spacer Stone & Water