Bringing life back to art – Choi Jeong Hwa

Some months ago I met up with the artist Choi Jeong Hwa and I was surprised in the very best of ways. We met up at the Wired Cafe on the bottom level of Roppongi Tower, when it was still shorts and T-shirt weather, unlike the bitter cold we’re currently experiencing.

After a while of talk with Choi, I found his viewpoints on art, refreshing and discussing his various current and future projects, I thought this man should be in some kind of record book. Being in the art world as long as I have, why have I not heard of him before? Why was I only now meeting an artist who’s works are in; museums all over the world, public spaces, private collections and anywhere else you might find.

We talked for a good few hours and then he asked “Have you seen my park?” I replied “No” and he said “It’s not far from here, would you like to see it?” Of course, I said yes. What was I in for? What part of Tokyo would we be traveling to? Maybe Shibuya or Ebisu? But no, that was not to be. We walked for maybe 10 minutes and I was just blown away. “Roboroborobo” is a 12-meter-tall series of robots stacked on each other and underneath there is one of the most fun kids parks I’ve ever seen. Completely taken aback, I wondered what this artist was doing designing a kids park. Soon enough Choi and I we’re sliding the slides and going down something I can only describe as a conveyor belt of fun.

Choi surprised me that day and I hope over the years we can develop a good friendship, as the last time I slid on a slide, it must have been at least 25 years ago (excluding water parks of course), and I’m still friends with the kids I played with back then. Maybe it brought out the little kid in me, the little kid that’s still in all of us.

I think that experience gave me an excitement to see Choi’s other art works and a few weeks ago I saw a flyer for his most recent exhibition at Shin Marunouchi Building, near Tokyo Station. So of course I had to attend and once again, I found myself excited to see his next exhibition.

I’m not going to say to much about it, but it brings fun back to art, like most of his works, it’s something everyone can appreciate and enjoy. I would recommend anyone and everyone to go along and enjoy his works. It’s free, so it’s a great bonus to see his works and the newly refurbished Tokyo Station (best seen at night).

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