Machine Simulations: Life & Dreams by Refik Anadol © Hanwha LIFEPLUS
Impact One, in partnership with Ikona, commissioned Machine Simulations: Life & Dreams (Hee Ro Ae Rak) by Refik Anadol for Hanwha LIFEPLUS, unveiling the brand new and first permanent Refik Anadol artwork in South Korea on the occasion of the Seoul International Firework Festival in October 2023. The artwork serves as a representation of contemporary Korean urban life and is on display in the East Lobby of the Hanwha Group’s headquarters at the iconic 63 Building in Seoul. Incorporating vivid pigments, shapes and patterns, Life & Dreams offers an immersive experience that simulates the sense of excitement similar to watching a firework display.
For the Hanwha Group, fireworks are associated with zeal and represent the determination of many people to deliver a common goal or promise. The artwork allows Hanwha to express its values through artistic practice and connects the group to South Korea’s vibrant cultural scene.
Impact One CEO, Mikolaj Sekutowicz, attended the private opening and public unveiling alongside Refik Anadol and his partner Efsun Erkilic. Offering insights into the creative process behind the work, Refik shared:
“We used one of the most recent large language models (LLMs), the most advanced AI research and we let the AI dream of hope and possibility, to create one of the most advanced AI dreams and take the beautiful Korean firework moments into the artwork, to celebrate life and dreams.”
Machine Simulations: Life & Dreams by Refik Anadol © RAS
Life & Dreams takes viewers on a 16-minute multi-sensory journey of light, colour and movement based on vast datasets. These include publicly available firework images, K-Pop dance video databases, datasets of brain activities collected with EEG sensors and Korean classical music audio files. Told in chapters, each chapter focuses on a unique look and feel, distinct colour palette, virtual materials and body movements to bring different aspects of the data to life from various aesthetic perspectives. The chapters are:
  1. Inspiration – 1,893,408 images of fireworks from all over the world inform this chapter, taken from publicly available and private archives
  2. Vigor – motion and representations of physicality by merging the firework dataset with an archive of carefully selected K-POP choreography recordings
  3. Serenity – an archive of brain activities collected with EEG sensors, fMRI and DTI imaging techniques are connected with the firework visual dataset to creative this meditative art chapter based on neurological data. Through an EEG human connectome project, the team was able to visualise data based on human joy and happiness.
  4. Hope – an audiovisual experience that connects visual qualities and colours of fireworks to complete the data narrative in a firework-induced dream-like state
The artwork was created by analysing and reinterpreting about 1.89 million data sets related to the theme of ‘Happiness’. The digital media included data from fireworks festivals around the world, including the Seoul World Fireworks Festival, neural data measuring brain waves when people feel happy and joyful, and Korean music data.
New media artist Refik Anadol © Hanwha LIFEPLUS
Refik Anadol Studio (RAS) harnesses, filters and utilises datasets to train AI algorithms that help generate dynamic visuals and colour combinations. The resulting AI Data Sculptures create a uniquely dynamic relationship between art, science, and technology into the future, exploring how creative human-machine collaborations can activate multiple senses and simultaneous belongings.
With Life & Dreams, Refik Anadol became the first artist Hanwha LIFEPLUS is working with as part of their new art program. The exhibition marks the start of the program, which discovers and highlights overseas artists or promising new artists who are not yet known in Korea. It is based on the philosophy of LIFEPLUS of “making the lives of their customers valuable and enriching” and will select outstanding emerging artists every year to connect with art lovers and continue to discover cultural experiences that make the daily lives of Koreans special through art.

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Hanwha Lifeplus Commissions Impact One And Refik Anadol Studio For New Artwork Celebrating Korean Culture

On the occasion of the Seoul International Firework Festival in October 2023, Impact One, in partnership with Ikona, commissioned Refik Anadol’s brand new and first permanent artwork in South Korea for Hanwha LIFEPLUS.
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