"Invisible Factories: Factory Run Project" is an art project that creates a running course around factories that once existed in this world. Started in Japan and South Korea by artists Gemini Kim and Arts Maebashi. Through the memory of factories that have played various roles in history, we are looking at the problems of history and society, machinery and manual labor, and changes in life. Factories that lived with the lives of working people disappeared due to changes in the times and were transformed into shopping malls, restaurants, and houses. However, by imagining the past from the scenery of the present town, we can imagine the appearance of the town and people's lives that were born because of the existence of the factory. The city of Maebashi has been greatly developed by the sericulture and silk reeling industries during the modernization, and various industries such as machinery, woodworking, and food industry are derived. However, 60₋80% of the central area was destroyed by the air raids on Maebashi at the end of the Pacific War. The factories that once stood in the center of the city can no longer be seen. However, the remnants of it live on railroad tracks, waterways, and highways, creating the shape of the current town of Maebashi. Introducing three routes around the Maebashi factory and history.
Invisible Factories – Factory Run Project –
About this project
A body feels the whole size of a factory complex by running the area. Heart palpitations up and the body heat links the running body to the very youth of people who used to work at the site. This project was born in Sosa Samyang Machinery near Seoul and Chonbang Fabric Factory, Gwangju where thousands of people spent more than 12 hours a day. This project regularly finds old factory locations to activate ‘one person time machine’, in other words, industrial runners’ high experience.
Factories are floating around the world. Factories from Japan landed at the outskirts of Seoul in the early 20th century, then Seoul got bigger, factories moved out to further countryside or went abroad. As factory workers' life drastically changed during decades, factory sites are still complex areas but different purposes like apartments, shopping malls, or car parking spaces.
Some things still cannot loudly tell in Korea, even though we are living in different centuries. What and when the factories were, still hide in the shadow. And workers' time in factories also stays in the past. How about Haebang Space Time (around 1945 to 1950) where socialist groups and right-wing liberals violently fought against each other in Incheon and Yeongdeongpo factory zone? Their mundane yet triumphant every day never be forgotten. I wish to remember the young eyes were sparkling, the fact that their monthly salary saved their family. My run is to light on their everyday victory in the area through repetitive and mechanic body experience.
Artwork by Gemini Kim
Sound by Nadoe