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A wash place

2010

In our modern lives, life structure is arranged in such a way that almost everything
can be settled in private spaces and within our homes. We are generally afraid and
careful on having our private matters publicly exposed. Furthermore Ansan's Wongok-dong
which serves as the subject of this project, is a particularly unusual place and harbours
about 62 nationalities. These people do not interact with each other nor do they invade
each other's 'territories' due to the differences in nationality, language, religion,
culture and way of thinking. They also do not take interest in people with other nationalities.
So when at times people do clash, trespass territories or find out that a compatriot was harmed,
they will act together and feel a notion of solidarity. These groups of nationalities gather and
network through their restaurants, religious houses and community houses. This controversial
phenomenon is typical for a city in which invisible borders are created.
Individualism and mass egoism are deeply embedded in our society. To achieve economical development
and in order to support this, treaties and agreements are signed between countries and new laws
are passed and subsequently the structure of our society has changed such that our lifestyles
and ties with people have changed tremendously. No longer is conversing with your neighbour
an ordinary thing. I have witnessed this through archived footage and old pictures. In the past,
women used to take out their dirty laundry to nearby wash places and wash along with their neighbours.
Laundry created its own movement. It was an occasion where people aired out their dirty laundry
literally and your dirty underwear was not the only thing on display but rather the gossip of the hour.
I hope that the wash place can be a space within this city with invisible borders where neighbours
can tear down the walls of indifference and create new networks and interact with each other.