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Jaemin Lee and Hyunsun You, Studio Fnt: Spectres of the State Avant-garde

Work / Graphic Design

Jaemin Lee’s juxtaposing design explores 60s Korean architecture and the state

Founded in 2006, Studio Fnt arose out of a desire to collect fragmented thoughts, and then organise and transform them into relevant forms. Its three founding partners, Heesun Kim, Jaemin Lee and Woogyung Geel collaborate on a number of design projects, delivering consistently sleek outputs from corporate branding to graphic design in the cultural sector.

As a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale since 2016, not to mention a full-time dad to two beautiful cats, One of the founders, Jaemin Lee’s key role as art director involves managing the overall visual aspects of most projects. As well as teaching on the visual communication design course in his native Seoul, the busy designer additionally operates his own practice in which he designed and art directed the visual identity for the Korean Pavilion and the 16th International Architecture Exhibition.

“It explores the complex relationship between 1960s modern Korean architecture and the state,” he tells It’s Nice That. “It’s a period when the ideology of the state the vision of architects became intertwined, and through the juxtaposition of the contradictory terms ‘state’ and ‘avant-garde’," the exhibition highlights the schism between political power and the imagination: a contradiction between political and utopian ideals.”

Consequently the exhibition’s identity reflects the concept of the show. Focusing on the concept of dislocated time, Jaemin uses discontinuous location grids to express “spectres”. These spectres refer to a past that has influence over the present but isn’t fully captured within the present day. As Jaemin puts it: “spectres are an entity that haunts but whose substance is uncertain.” And in this vein, the designer places unconnected pieces of text around the grid to echo a ghostly murmuring that hovers around each design element.

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Jaemin Lee and Hyunsun You, Studio Fnt: Spectres of the State Avant-garde

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Jaemin Lee and Hyunsun You, Studio Fnt: Spectres of the State Avant-garde

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Jaemin Lee and Hyunsun You, Studio Fnt: Spectres of the State Avant-garde

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Jaemin Lee and Hyunsun You, Studio Fnt: Spectres of the State Avant-garde

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Jaemin Lee and Hyunsun You, Studio Fnt: Spectres of the State Avant-garde

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Jaemin Lee and Hyunsun You, Studio Fnt: Spectres of the State Avant-garde

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Jaemin Lee and Hyunsun You, Studio Fnt: Spectres of the State Avant-garde

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Jaemin Lee and Hyunsun You, Studio Fnt: Spectres of the State Avant-garde