General Article

International Journal of Sustainable Building Technology and Urban Development. 30 December 2023. 552-563
https://doi.org/10.22712/susb.20230043

ABSTRACT


MAIN

  • Introduction

  •   Research Purposes and Necessities

  • Theoretical Background

  •   The Oil Tank Culture Park

  • Spatial Analysis of the Oil Tank Culture Park

  •   TANK 1: Glass Pavilion

  •   TANK 2: Stage

  •   TANK 4: Culture Complex

  • Characteristics of the Art Spaces of the Oil Tank Culture Park

  •   TANK 1: Glass Pavilion

  •   TANK 2: Stage

  •   TANK 4: Culture Complex

  • Characteristics of art spaces of the Oil Tank Culture Park

  • Conclusions

Introduction

Research Purposes and Necessities

Cities encompass the comprehensive aspects of human lives. As a consequence of South Korea’s rapid and uniform urban development spurred by substantial industrial growth, the country has faced critical urban issues, such as the decline of old towns caused by urban sprawl and the emergence of regional doughnut effects due to a population exodus. These problems have led to a chain of challenges including the loss of cultural, historical, and regional features and the deterioration of urban functions [1, 2]. To solve these urban issues and revitalize urban areas across economic, social, physical, and environmental dimensions, urban regeneration projects, such as large-scale New Town policies, have emerged. Urban regeneration projects aim to not only enhance deteriorated facilities through redevelopment and reconstruction but also ensure the competitiveness of cities and promote sustainable development [3]. Urban regeneration projects have continuously been carried out in European countries since the 1980s. These initiatives prioritize the values and methodologies of transforming cities into sustainable cities and adopt a software-oriented approach that reflects the unique identity of each city and region and utilizes human-centered contents [4].

In the ongoing trend of urban regeneration, there is a growing demand for cultural urban regeneration which intends to revitalize cities based on cultural methods and contents. Cultural urban regeneration is gaining attention for its role in improving the cultural level of local residents and facilitating communication with people from other regions. In terms of spatial dynamics, it offers opportunities for engaging with culture and arts and creates hubs for innovation, thereby contributing to urban revitalization [5]. It transforms unused spaces into spaces for cultural and artistic creation and production, providing artists with venues for their cultural and artistic pursuits [1]. Simultaneously, it encourages local residents to experience cultural and artistic activities to highlight regional cultural identity and infuse regions with new values [6].

As stated by Kim (2020), in the realm of artistic dance, the initial perception we experience are often shaped by the spatial flow created by the choreography. Similarly, within the context of cultural arts, space holds a paramount importance [7]. A complex cultural space is a representative culture-oriented space established through urban regeneration. As indicated by its name, which combines the expressions “complex” and “cultural space”, a complex cultural space refers to a multi-purpose space that accommodates a wide range of cultural and artistic activities [5]. A few complex cultural spaces developed for urban regeneration in the metropolitan area include Common Ground near Konkuk University, Mullae Artist Village in Mullae-dong, the Oil Tank Culture Park, Incheon Art Platform, and Bucheon Art Bunker B39. Notably, the Oil Tank Culture Park, Incheon Art Platform, and Bucheon Art Bunker B39 primarily serve as venues for exhibitions and artistic performances rather than activities related to communities, experience, and education. With regard to the current status of venue rental for cultural and artistic activities such as performances and exhibitions in 2022, Incheon Art Platform was rented 13 times, Bucheon Art Bunker B39 was rented 6 times, and the Oil Tank Culture Park was rented 35 times. These three spaces surpassed any other complex cultural spaces in terms of venue rental for cultural and artistic activities and serve as pivotal points for culture and arts. Frequent venue rental suggests that artists and cultural enthusiasts voluntarily select complex cultural spaces created through cultural urban regeneration to showcase their works. In other words, performers use complex cultural spaces as artistic venues where they can introduce their cultural and artistic activities. Despite the existence of cultural and artistic facilities in each field such as art museums for fine arts, exhibition halls for exhibitions, and special performance venues for performing arts, there is a growing trend of seeking out these complex cultural spaces. Based on this phenomenon, it can be inferred that users of complex cultural spaces regard the art spaces of these venues as spaces that carry distinct meaning and roles compared to traditional, specialized cultural and artistic facilities. Under the current circumstances characterized by the growing prevalence and utilization of complex cultural spaces developed for urban regeneration, an analysis of characteristics of the art spaces of these venues can elevate their usability and promote cultural and artistic appreciation among local residents.

Therefore, this study examines the characteristics of the art spaces of the Oil Tank Culture Park, a complex cultural space developed for urban regeneration. This space was established through the transformation of a stockpile base, a remnant of the industrialization era with strictly controlled public access and use. Located in the outskirts of Seoul, the Oil Tank Culture Park boasts significant geographical advantages. It comprises seven distinct spaces, ranging from Tank 0, designated as the culture yard, to Tank 6, designated as the community center. As all seven spaces are available for use, a diverse range of cultural and artistic activities, including exhibitions, dance, plays, music, media, and workshops, can take place in these spaces. Particularly, activities related to performing arts, such as music, dance, and plays, account for the majority of the activities performed in these spaces. Performing arts are considered to have dynamic and one-time characteristics due to their nature of being performed on a stage. This genre also requires spatiality to accommodate a large number of people at a time [8]. Lee (2014) stated that the contents and forms of arts originate from a sense of place and that a place represents the forms, contents, and storytelling of arts [9]. Han and Son (2019) mentioned that site-specific arts, which have drawn increasing attention, facilitate artistic regeneration by enabling the audience to rediscover a space, feel unfamiliar with a previously familiar space, and perceive the present moment differently through new processes [10]. As such, in terms of cultural and artistic activities, space is part of culture and arts beyond its spatial concept. Thus, we considered the Oil Tank Culture Park as an appropriate complex cultural space for examining the characteristics of art spaces, given the various cultural performances and artistic activities performed in this venue.

As for existing studies on the Oil Tank Culture Park, Woo and Suh (2021) analyzed the characteristics of the use of urban regeneration parks [11]. Cho et al. (2018) compared the processes of citizens’ participation in urban regeneration, and Shin and Lee (2021) examined experimental values derived to visitors from urban regeneration areas. As these studies mainly focused on analyzing the spatial use or use characteristics of urban regeneration areas, they provided insights in the overall use patterns of these areas [12, 13]. However, they offered limited observations on the spatial characteristics of these areas. Park (2021) investigated the spatial form of the Oil Tank Culture Park in his research on analyzing spatial elements for the expansion of contemporary dance [14]. However, as the scope of his research was limited to spaces for dance, it provided insufficient information on the spatial characteristics of art spaces. Moreover, no research has been done on the characteristics of the art spaces of complex cultural spaces including the Oil Tank Culture Park, stressing the necessity for relevant research.

In this study, we examined the Oil Tank Culture Park developed for cultural urban regeneration and analyzed the characteristics of its art spaces based on the activities of artists. Accordingly, our analysis was carried out under the following conditions. First, the scope of our research targets is limited to the T1, T2, and T4 areas of the Oil Tank Culture Park, which serve as primary hubs for artistic activities, instead of the entirety of its spaces. Second, we investigated the current status of artistic activities performed in this complex by focusing solely on external performances based on venue rental.

As culture and arts are constantly changing, performers have begun to create cultural and artistic works in a friendly but fresh way to derive a bond of empathy from the audience and satisfy their needs. In this regard, it is expected that our research on the characteristics of the art spaces of the Oil Tank Culture Park, a complex cultural and artistic space, will provide useful data for performers who are willing to conduct various and experimental artistic activities in new, strange spaces beyond the familiarity of the specialized spaces. Furthermore, we aim to support local residents in enjoying various cultural and artistic activities and fulfill their needs through such experiences, thereby contributing to the promotion of complex cultural spaces.

Theoretical Background

The Oil Tank Culture Park

The Oil Tank Culture Park is a cultural park surrounded by the Maebongsan Mountain near the Seoul World Cup Stadium in Mapo-gu. This space was established as a result of the transformation of an oil reserve facility, a remnant of the industrialization era with strictly controlled public access and use, through urban regeneration. The previous oil reserve facility was operated to store approximately 69.97 million liters of oil in its five tanks from 1976 to 1978 following the 1973 oil crisis. Closed for safety reasons in the run-up to the 2002 World Cup, it remained underutilized for a decade due to a lack of appropriate measures for using it. Then, its reconstruction as the Oil Tank Culture Park was executed based on the award-winning work of the citizen idea contest in 2013. The Oil Tank Culture Park contains multiple significant regenerative values. The most prominent value is that the five tanks of the oil reserve facility currently serve as cultural tanks that create new and diverse cultural aspects every day. These tanks were converted to open cultural spaces, and the T6 area, newly constructed using iron plates of dismantled tanks, provides a community area for citizens. Furthermore, an empty outdoor space in front of tanks, which is the size of a large playground, was named T0 and established as the culture yard, where children can play around. In addition, efforts were made to preserve the natural ecosystem around the Oil Tank Culture Park by maintaining existing forests and planting various types of flowers and trees. In this regard, the Oil Tank Culture Park is representative for holding the characteristics of an oil reserve facility, regenerating resources, containing cultural aspects, and supporting cultural and artistic appreciation. It is also an exemplary case of a cultural and artistic space established through urban regeneration, given that a place representing the industrialization era centered on oil and construction was transformed into an ecological and cultural park centered on eco-friendliness, regeneration, and culture. In this study, we examined the characteristics of art spaces of the Oil Tank Culture Park by focusing on its T1, T2, and T4 areas.

Spatial Analysis of the Oil Tank Culture Park

TANK 1: Glass Pavilion

The space depicted in Figure 1 and Figure 2 is a designated area referred to as Tank 1 or T1, commonly known as the Glass Pavilion. When this site was part of the oil reserve facility, the tank structure was used to store gasoline. T1 covers an area of 554 m2 and is used as a multi-purpose space for exhibitions, performances, workshops, and more [15]. Through a cultural passage connecting the building’s entrance to its art space, visitors can enter the interior of a performance area installed with glass walls. T1 symbolizes the rebirth of an existing place as a new place that still maintains past memories in a transparent way [16]. In this sense, the interior of the performance area features a distinctive design with the complete dismantling of the previous exterior walls of the tank. Notably, the walls and roof of T1 have been replaced with glass, allowing visitors to enjoy the view of the Maebongsan Mountain’s bedrock and the green areas that encircled the tank for approximately 40 years. When observing the visual natural landscape from T1, individuals can experience both the magnificence of the scenery and a sense of historical temporality. The most distinguished characteristic of T1 is the ambiance created within its space, flooded with light streaming in from all directions. However, this venue presents drawbacks, including the absence of lighting, air conditioning and heating facilities, the vulnerability to noise arising from the extensive use of glass, and difficulties in practically maintaining the consistent and intact transmission of the musical elements projected [14].

https://static.apub.kr/journalsite/sites/durabi/2023-014-04/N0300140410/images/Figure_susb_14_04_10_F1.jpg
Figure 1.

The view of Tank 1 of the Oil Tank Culture Park.

https://static.apub.kr/journalsite/sites/durabi/2023-014-04/N0300140410/images/Figure_susb_14_04_10_F2.jpg
Figure 2.

The view of Tank 1 of the Oil Tank Culture Park.

TANK 2: Stage

TANK 2 or T2 was established based on a tank previously used to store diesel. The upper and lower parts of this tank were transformed into T2’s outdoor stage and its performance area, respectively. The upper and lower parts of T2 cover an area of 2,580 m2 and are used for performances, workshops, and events [15]. The outdoor stage, which is the upper space of T2, was established as an open space by dismantling the existing tank. It is the largest space among the spaces in tanks, except the culture yard (playground). As illustrated in Figure 3, visitors can experience the ultimate in beauty from the spectacular view of Maebongsan Mountain and its natural environment unfolded like a picturesque scene. Moreover, this site has rare and unique features that cannot be found in other stages in Korea [14]. The concrete retaining walls surrounding the outdoor area of T2 are displayed like exhibition items along with a stone stage and stone chairs. The stone stage, facing the entrance, is used both for artistic purposes such as performances, exhibitions, etc. and as a rest area. It is also worth noting that the boundary between the stage and seats is unclear due to the close distance between the stage and stone chairs. As presented in Figure 4, the performance area, which is the lower indoor space of T2, has the structure of a stage, clearly distinguished by its seats, like other general performance areas. Installed with additional performance facilities such as lighting equipment and devices related to the stage floor, this area is appropriate for performing arts. In addition, when the space below the installed stage is used, the performance area can be turned into a black box theater. As indicated above, this site can be used for multiple purposes.

https://static.apub.kr/journalsite/sites/durabi/2023-014-04/N0300140410/images/Figure_susb_14_04_10_F3.jpg
Figure 3.

The upper part of Tank 2 of the Oil Tank Culture Park.

https://static.apub.kr/journalsite/sites/durabi/2023-014-04/N0300140410/images/Figure_susb_14_04_10_F4.jpg
Figure 4.

The lower part of Tank 2 of the Oil Tank Culture Park.

TANK 4: Culture Complex

TANK 4 or T4 is a space that preserves the original interior of a tank, which was formerly used to store kerosene. T4 covers an area of 1,228 m2 and serves as a venue for displaying a variety of complex cultural and artistic works utilizing the space’s resonance and lighting [15]. The effects of low intensity of illumination and dark exterior concrete texture are maximized in this building [16]. The interior walls are surrounded by the remaining ironwork of the original tank, and red iron pipes, which were used to circulate fire extinguishing liquid, are still placed throughout the interior. Walls with clear contamination marks create a visual perception of the past, and the smell of oil serves as a catalyst for stimulating senses and evoking the past latent in this space [16]. In reference to Figure 5, the high ceiling of T4 leads to a vivid depiction of the tank filled with oil in the past, allowing visitors to physically experience the enormity of the tank. As for the distinct characteristics of this space compared to other tanks, it stimulates auditory elements by maximizing the resonance of sound based on its iron interior and high ceiling. Additionally, it creates different visual elements by completely blocking light.

https://static.apub.kr/journalsite/sites/durabi/2023-014-04/N0300140410/images/Figure_susb_14_04_10_F5.jpg
Figure 5.

The interior of T4 of the Oil Tank Culture Park.

Table 1 shows the results of comparing the T1, T2, and T4 areas of the Oil Tank Culture Park.

Table 1.

A comparative analysis of spaces in the Oil Tank Culture Park

Space name Size of area Exterior wall /
Interior wall
Purpose Key Feature
T1.
Glass Pavilion
554 m2 Concrete /
Glass
A multi-purpose
space
▸A circular space
▸Glass interior walls
▸Variations in light influx over time
▸Natural rocks and green areas in the background
▸Vulnerability to noise and the lack of sound
resonance
T2.
Stage
2,580 m2 Concrete Performances and
events
▸Separation between the upper and lower parts
▸Separation between the stage and seats
▸The use of the upper space as the outdoor stage
and the lower space as the performance area, which
can be converted from a proscenium-style space to a black
box theater space
T4.
Culture Complex
1,228 m2 Concrete /
Iron
Cultural and artistic
works using the sense
of hearing and light
▸Preservation of the existing interior of the
tank including iron interior walls and pipes
installed throughout the site
▸Light blocking
▸Sound resonance

Characteristics of the Art Spaces of the Oil Tank Culture Park

The purpose of this study is to examine the artistic characteristics of the Oil Tank Culture Park developed for cultural urban regeneration. The Oil Tank Culture Park is a complex cultural space centered on culture and arts and distinguished by a high proportion of artistic activities conducted in this space. Particularly, the T1 (Glass Pavilion), T2 (Stage), and T4 (Cultural Complex) witness a higher frequency of artistic activities compared to other tank areas of this complex. Thus, this study investigates the characteristics of the three art spaces.

TANK 1: Glass Pavilion

T1 is a space constructed by dismantling the original external structure of a tank and adding walls and a roof made of glass. The rocks and greenery are visible through the glass form the backdrop of this space. Additionally, its spatial presentation varies depending on the season, time, atmosphere, and light projection level.

Table 2 shows the analytic results of the current rental status of the T1 venue by genres in 2022. As indicated in this table, T1 was rented on three occasions for the shooting genre, five occasions for the performing arts genre, one occasion for the movie genre. The majority of the nine programs implemented based on venue rental in T1 were in the form of performing arts, whereas four of them were related to the music gene, showing a high proportion.

As described in the section on spatial analysis, T1 has structural problems caused by the use of glass walls, such as vulnerability to noise and difficulties in maintaining the intact transmission of the musical elements projected. Nevertheless, the high proportion of music genre performances conducted in T1 implies that this space achieves enhanced transmission power based on the synergy between auditory elements and visual elements, which vary depending on the time, season, atmosphere, and light, despite its vulnerability to problems in auditory transmission due to the glass walls. Additionally, T1 hosted a higher frequency of programs in the shooting genre compared to other tank spaces. Specifically, three shooting-related programs were conducted in this place. In terms of shooting, light is an essential element. The light projected onto T1 is natural light, not artificial light. As natural light is significantly affected by the weather and time, shooting outcomes can be either unsatisfactory or above expectations depending on the conditions of natural light. Nonetheless, the occurrence of shooting activities conducted in T1 indicates that visual elements, which vary depending on natural light rather than artificial light, have positively impacted shooting outcomes.

Table 2.

The current rental status of the T1 venue by genres in 2022

Space name Genre Performance name
T1.
Glass Pavilion
Music In Choi Guitar Recital
Composer’s Concert
The Third Qualifying Round of the Riverside Song Festival
Meditation Concert: Tending My Small Garden
Shooting -.
-.
-.
Multidisciplinary arts Bach X Movement
Event Seoul International Women’s Film Festival

TANK 2: Stage

T2 is a space created from a tank previously used to store diesel. It has two separate spaces, unlike other tank-based areas of the Oil Tank Culture Park. Specifically, the upper and lower parts of the tank have been converted into T2’s outdoor stage and its performance area, respectively. The existing exterior walls of the tank have been preserved, with the exception of the upper section, which currently functions as an open outdoor space without exterior walls. For this reason, the spectacular view of the Maebongsan Mountain forms the background of this space. The lower space of T2 serves as a conventional theater equipped with professional stage structures.

The analytic results of the T2 venue rental in 2022 show that seven performances were carried out in the lower section (performance area) and five in the upper section (outdoor stage). The performance area located at the lower section of T1 is the only space that has the form of a professional theater in the Oil Tank Culture Park. This area can turn into a proscenium-style space by separating the stage from the seats or a black-box theater by removing portable seats. Since it is equipped with lighting and additional facilities to create stage effects, it is appropriate for performing arts requiring the stage. However, Table 3 shows that the performance area of T2 was rented on three occasions for the workshop and forum genre, one occasion for the exhibition genre and music genres, and two occasions for the event genre. In other words, this space was mainly rented for programs oriented to information delivery, rather than performing arts, despite its establishment as a theater equipped with professional facilities. These analytic results indicate that artists’ selection of the Oil Tank Culture Park is rooted from their preference for new and unfamiliar art spaces to familiar and standardized theater-style spaces.

Table 3.

The current rental status of the T2 venue by genres in 2022

Space name Genre Performance name
T2.
Performance area
Workshop and forum Mapo-gu Social Welfare Workshop
Climate Disaster Forum
Workshop on Cultural Arts Education Projects
Music SORI PERCUSSION Concert
Exhibition Kimseoryong Collection
Event Forest Education Fair for Early Childhood
Seoul International Women’s Film Festival
T2.
Outdoor stage
Play Antigone in the Square
Music The Third Qualifying Round of the Riverside Song Festival
Music Barrier-Free Music Concert With Dog
Shooting Art Lab Exhibition <Dabal Kim>
-.

As for the outdoor stage in the upper section of T2, it was rented on one occasion for the play genre and two occasions for the music and shooting genres. T2’s outdoor stage is the largest space in the Oil Tank Culture Park, featuring partially preserved round exterior retaining walls. Some of these wall structures function as the back curtain and background of the stage, harmoniously blending and coexisting with artworks positioned in this space. This spatial arrangement embodies the coexistence and interaction between the environment and the past. Additionally, the seats in the form of stone chairs are displayed like exhibition items, creating an impression that the stage and the seats are both distinct and integrated. Performing art programs presented on this stage, such as the concert titled Barrier-free Music Concert and the play titled Antigone in the Square, share the common characteristics that they should accommodate a large audience and explore various spatial arrangements through the disassembly and modification of the stage space. In this regard, the upper section of T2 is characterized by complex spatiality, serving as a multi-purpose space with features such as an open outdoor stage to enhance the accessibility of the audience and an open arrangement of the stage and seats to facilitate bidirectional communication between the audience and performers.

TANK 4: Culture Complex

T4 is a space that preserves the original interior of a tank formerly used to store kerosene. The interior walls are surrounded by the remaining ironwork of the original tank with clear contamination marks and red iron pipe columns connecting the high ceiling and the floor, which are placed throughout the interior. This spatial arrangement maximizes auditory effects by enhancing sound resonance and emphasizing a dark ambiance without light. However, the presence of the pipe columns limits the overall spatial usability of T4.

Table 4 shows the analytic results of the current rental status of the T4 venue by genres in 2022. As indicated in this table, T4 was rented on two occasions for the shooting genre and on six occasions for the performing arts genre. Performing arts programs account for the majority of the eight programs performed based on venue rental in T4, mainly including dance and music performances. In the section on spatial analysis, we considered the spatial usability of T4 to be low due to the placement of the red pipe columns, which were formerly used to circulate fire extinguishing liquid, throughout the interior. Particularly, these columns can be regarded as obstacles in dance performances that exhibit movement-based arts. Nevertheless, the high proportion of dance performances conducted in T4 indicates that the pipe columns are not regarded as obstacles, but rather used as objects such as props and background. It also suggests that artists select T4 as a new art space beyond familiar art spaces to express their artworks based on structures of the past, which become part of their performances, rather than simply applying movement. Furthermore, the light-blocking effects of the T4 building heighten the auditory sense, allowing for expressions based on maximized sound resonance. It is analyzed that this condition led to the frequent occurrence of music-based performances in the genres of musical arts and multidisciplinary arts in T4. In addition, the T4 building serves as a regenerative space by visually and auditorily displaying traces of the past alongside artworks, bringing the past to life in the present.

Table 4.

The current rental status of the T4 venue by genres in 2022

Space name Genre Performance name
T4.
Culture Complex
Multidisciplinary arts The Language of Sound and Space
Music Art Company Dalmoon <improvisation>
Dance Munmyo Jeryeak Showcase
Cobalt
Ppurijip
Exhibition and performance Sound Feedback: The True Balancer
Shooting <Orot>
-.

Characteristics of art spaces of the Oil Tank Culture Park

T1, T2, and T4 of the Oil Tank Culture Park have undergone a transformation from oil tanks to cultural tanks, hosting a continuous array of diverse cultural and artistic programs with the aim of promoting culture and the arts. Although they are not established as specialized cultural and artistic spaces, they are regarded as art spaces that display various cultural and artistic works. The spatial characteristics of these tanks identified by this study are as follows. First, visual elements of these spaces, such as visible historical and cultural features, synergistically contribute to enhancing the power of artistic expression. The frequent music-related performances in the space surrounded by glass, which causes the problem of reduced auditory transmission power, suggests that visual beauty serves as a bridge for amplifying the expressive power of artworks. Moreover, visual pleasure, inspired by light blocking, the inflow of natural light, great sound resonance due to ironworks, and preserved structures, delivers artistic messages more clearly by emphasizing various expressions of directing styles and sensory elements. Kim (2008) stated that auditory tunes and visual spatial backgrounds are interrelated as independent expressions of the same theme or image, enabling audiences to obtain a more compelling esthetic experience [17]. Wang and Kim (2020) suggested that visual effects generated by natural light can convey contents to the audience more effectively [18].

Second, these spaces function as complex areas, each of which can be adjusted or dismantled for different purposes and forms. With regard to the forms of venue rental conducted by artists, it was found that these spaces were used for purposes different than those originally intended at the time of establishment. For example, artists altered the configuration of seating and stage spaces or preferred conducting workshops and forums rather than performing arts in a space constructed as a specialized performance area. In a space including pipe columns without light, performances related to dance and performing arts, which require the use of wide spaces, were frequently held. These spatial use patterns indicate that artists select the art spaces of the Oil Tank Culture Park instead of familiar and standardized spaces to use them as complex and variable spaces and pursue interactions with audiences by highlighting symbolic expressions of artworks. Jang (2021) stated that art experts perceive arts as a realm capable of extending beyond the stage and adapting to various spaces based on the nature of the artworks [19]. The study also indicated that art spaces are used not only to display artworks but also to evoke the empathy of the audience toward artworks. Accordingly, the necessity of exploring multi-dimensional art spaces that embody symbolic expressions was emphasized. Kim (2012) concluded that a circular stage facilitates more active communication between performers and audiences [20]. Additionally, Hong (2012) suggested that spaces diverging from standardized theaters integrate everyday life aspects into venues and provide opportunities for performers to become more familiar with the public [21]. These existing studies support the reasons behind artists’ choices of art spaces of complex cultural spaces instead of specialized art spaces.

Third, these spaces represent regeneration based on the transformation of past structures into modern artworks. The structures and environments of tanks are recreated as artworks that represent regeneration. Although the same space is used, its spatial, background, and structural conditions, such as natural rocks and green areas, natural landscape and environment observed from the outdoor stage, light projection and darkness, and iron structures and high ceilings, convey different symbolic meanings depending on artworks and serve different roles in these works. In other words, spaces containing traces of the past can be reborn as regenerative spaces by applying new values and meanings to these spaces. Kim (2020) reported that visual devices, props, and objects symbolically manifest through the integration with images of space and time [7]. His findings are supported by Jang (2021), who stressed the need to recognize art spaces as psychological spaces represented through artworks rather than spaces defined by the viewpoints of the audience and diversify art spaces by using metaphysical spaces [19].

Conclusions

In this study, we examined the spaces of the Oil Tank Culture Park located in Sangam-dong, Seoul, among complex cultural spaces developed for urban regeneration and investigated the artistic activities conducted in these spaces to identify the characteristics of art spaces. This study aims to enable artists willing to perform in the Oil Tank Culture Park, to increase their understanding of its spaces and use them more effectively. Particularly, we focused on analyzing T1, T2, and T4 of the Oil Tank Culture Park, which have been used the most compared to the other spaces of this complex. Furthermore, we reviewed artistic programs conducted in the target spaces in 2022 to identify the unique characteristics of art spaces generated by artworks placed in these spaces. The conclusions of this study are as follows.

First, these spaces amplify the power of artistic expression based on visual elements. The influx of natural light, the grandeur of the landscape, and preserved structures inspire visual pleasure, highlighting a variety of directing styles and artistic expressions. In other words, the visual elements of the Oil Tank Culture Park’s spaces create synergistic effects to enhance the power of artistic expression.

Second, these spaces accentuate spatial complexity. They exhibit high levels of spatial variability and usability, given that they can be modified and dismantled solely depending on the direction of artworks regardless of their initial purpose at the establishment of the Oil Tank Culture Park. The condition of the Oil Tank Culture Park’s spaces that can be infinitely varied depending on artworks suggests that artists can use these spaces in a complex way to reflect any artistic messages they are willing to deliver.

Third, these spaces prominently showcase regenerative value. The founder of the Oil Tank Culture Park preserved spatial traces of the past, and artists have transformed these traces into arts. The reflection of the regenerative value of the Oil Tank Culture Park in artworks using space implies more significant spread of regenerative value.

This study has significance in that it examined the spaces and features of the Oil Tank Culture Park, which has distinct artistic characteristics compared to conventional specialized venues for performances. It is expected that the findings of this study will provide base data that can be used to promote experimental artistic activities of next-generation artists. In this regard, follow-up research should be conducted to analyze similar complex cultural spaces developed for urban regeneration and identify their unique characteristics. It is anticipated that further research on examining the distinct and unique characteristics of each art space will support artists who are willing to conduct experimental artistic activities in obtaining more clear and accurate information on art spaces and use these spaces effectively.

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