With 17 projects inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites as Outstanding Contribution[s] to the Modern Movement, Le Corbusier may be known to some as the "people’s architect." With the effort to design better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities, he is forever credited for the first modern apartments and is remembered in the history as the Father of Modern Architecture.
Seoul Art Center’s Hangaram Design Museum is hosting Le Corbusier’s largest exhibition to date, from December 6 through March 26, 2017. As the first exhibition proceeding the inscription of his establishments in UNESCO’s list on July 17, 2016, it will include 140 never-before-shown pieces along with 500 paintings, sculptures, drawings and models. Curated to show the architect's methods of study and, ultimately, an insight into the evolution of his style, a look around each of the creation evokes a strange mix of grandeur and modesty, a sensation that is uniquely Le Corbusier.
With low-light black and white photography of all 17 UNESCO listed sites, the first room can be read as an homage to the great architect. A vintage film of Le Corbusier's funeral conducted in Paris along with the music which had asked to be played during the occasion create a nostalgic and almost reverent mood. The rest of the exhibition, appropriately, is the architect's life's work which granted him the many remarkable titles. Starting with some of his earliest works as a student watchmaker (following his family’s heritage), Le Corbusier's rough yet fluid illustrations of landscapes soon evolve into more rigid formations. With increasing complexity, an almost overwhelming sense of development becomes more obvious. Surprisingly, the exhibition does not highlight the interior of many of his buildings, except for the replica of the wooden cottage in which Le Corbusier spent his last days. Instead, it delicately depicts the modest, practical and undeniably beautiful manner in which he practiced art (looking out the window of the replica, you even will find the projection of the same waves Le Corbusier would have seen), granting somewhat intense yet soothing effect to its audience. Offering stories of the environment which influenced the architect, these varying aspects come together to educate the viewer, ultimately, as to how to understand his works through the life he lived.