Chairman Park, was in the final stages of his greatest achievement, The Raum, “Social Venue”, a modern castle in the heart of downtown Seoul that would host the Country’s most prestigious events, from weddings to operas.
To give you an idea of the power of Chairman Park, when he bought the land for development, in the heart of Seoul, the transit authority began construction on a subway connection to his block. His residential project, 10 years prior was Traumhaus. It is the most expensive place to live in the Country and I was commissioned for that as well. This was my third trip to work with this esteemed developer and visionary.
This undertaking stretched me in every possible way. Not the least of which was the answer to the question, “How am I going to demonstrate a technique that is repeatable, yet unique to each room and can be taught to their painters in 3 weeks?”
The first week was spent trying everything out and seeing what worked for the scale and materials we were painting on. I led a team of 6 painters, with 300,000 square feet of walls, doors and ceilings to consider.
Throughout 3 weeks, every medium and almost every tool I had ever used was implemented; pure tint colors, dry pigment, acrylic, latex, oil color, UTC, Japan colors, mineral spirits, wax, plaster, stucco, sprayers, rollers, sponges, brushes, sandpaper, steel wool, rags, gold leaf, metallic paint, putty, spatula, palette knife, scraper, trowel, chisel. Don’t forget the towering scaffolds.
It was incredibly hard work but more satisfying than any commission or contract that had come before. The scale was incredible. Massive walls that varied in age. Stages, grand halls, staircases, it was awesome. And it was a success.
For the past 10 years I have called myself a fine artist and not a craftsperson. Craft is definitely in my blood. And construction, building, planning on grand scales is WAY fun. My true expressions and fine art paintings are a very personal part of me – an internal feeling brought to life. The Raum was just a huge canvas – a collaborative art project that brought out the artist, craftsperson, leader and collaborator in all of us.