Texas project 2004 – 2008
The registered prostitution was abrogated on the 14th of Feb, 1948 in Korea. It had to be done under the dominion of the U.S force advocating to defend civil liberty and sexual equality around that time, and also the government of the republic of Korea which was established on Aug. 15 at the same year as the time of abrogation in 1948 was advocated. The prostitution was, however, getting increased just like the title on the newspaper saying “Prostitution was getting increased rather than disappeared(1949. 12. 31 Dong-A Ilbo)”. The Brothels called ‘Jongsam’ on Jongno 3-ga(street) still remains in the middle of the city and they are the largest business of prostitution in history all over the world.
A brothel called ‘Miari Texas’ was located in Miari on the edge of Seoul. It was built by brothels from Jongsam which were closed in the late 1960’s and some others to put together. The business in Miari was officially started with management of health center for the foreigners visited Korea for 1986 Asian Games and 1988 Summer Olympics. The reason to be called ‘Miari Texas’ was to be located on the side of the hill to Miari.(2005. 4. 1 Chosun-Ilbo A 14)”
Miari Texas is just like a large scale of human-butcher shop at first. Pretty Girls as individual commodities are waiting to be picked-up under red light making them look as fresh as meat in each small building. What the structure and the girls inside tell us are quite significant to see their own circumstances and history in prostitution to have. And also the outside of the buildings that are used to be old houses is quite kitschy and gets them to construct the fictitious facade by remodelling them with gorgeous decoration. Its gorgeous decoration is unfortunately hard to get an attention from men who are usually busy to pick a girl because they open after sunset.
Since the law of ‘crackdowns and disappearing prostitution’was in effect in Sep. 2004, the closed buildings have remained. Those remained buildings are alike as if those are designed by the same one person and even the curtains inside are the same. They are absolutely united as if the brothel is an united small city. Miari Texas which is not on the map of Seoul and definitely not in Texas, the U.S. was used to be a new city of night. What I have done is to present the fictitious facade of the buildings in brothels and the inherent elements inside such as fantasy, power, history, and systems by photographs from the idea of Miari Texas.
Over 100 places out of 270 in total are forced to be moved or closed by the law for the urban redevelopment and some of them started a new business. The work is to record a process of changing the places for social and political reasons. The change of policy and spaces could create an image that could be done spontaneously but it is nothing but an illusion that society and power have created to change. This kind of illusion creates nostalgia for many people. The main idea is to present something between illusion that brothels had created over the years and nostalgia for many of Korean males to have on brothels.