There are many international sports events such as the World Cup and Olympics apart from annual national sports events. I think the Olympics is one of the biggest sports events along with the World Cup. I am recently designing the lighting for the speed skating and ice hockey stadiums of the Winter Olympic which will be held in Pyeongchang, Korea in 2018. I feel great responsibility and honor as a lighting designer about this opportunity. Unfortunately, because of the economic crisis, the Korean athletic circles are asking to reduce the budget. Despite this situation, I am working hard to design the best light for the stadiums within the budget. I have a presentation of the lighting design in a government office soon. What I have to do now is just to keep going ahead accordingly.
Alighting Design:Are most of your projects in Korea? How to meet the culture needs?Is there any Korea characteristic in your works? What is it?
KKW: I am working on a project for the Middle East and Africa with Korea as the center from the past. When it comes to the design method, I would like to say the approach of traditional building and modern Gothic building. There is a kind of paper, Hanji (Traditional Korean paper) that is handmade from mulberry trees. Koreans traditionally used it to cover doors. When it comes to beautiful design methods, Koreans put importance on the gleaming silhouette through the door covered by Hanji when the light is turned on in the dark. Women traditionally wore Hanbok clothing. This Hanbok expresses a morphological ship shape in the arm part of it and inner beauty. This expression of Hanbok catches my eyes because of its own beauty. Like this, I prefer to design indirectly rather than directly. I set a goal of designing light in the case of the traditional building. First, there are five traditional colors in Korea. So I use these five colors to make people feel comfortable when they look at the traditional building. I also apply the Gothic or Renaissance style, which is not common in Korea, to the traditional building’s lighting design in order to demonstrate luxurious silhouettes for people.
Alighting Design: You have been in the lighting design profession for 19 years, what’s its development path in Korea?
KKW: There is KALD, which is the Korea Lighting Designer Association. I have been a member of this association for more than 10 years and doing various kinds of events of the lighting design such as seminars or festivals. Plus, as you know, I annually take part in ALDF (Asia Lighting Design Forum) and have my eyes on interacting with other designers as a Korean lighting designer. I recently started lecturing at a university and meet many students there. I gladly share practical knowledge with students through the lecture. Above all, the local government of Korea puts importance on the process of design review and I also work as a member of design council in the field of the public design and the sign design.
Alighting Design: What’s the biggest change of both the industry and yourself?
KKW: I think lighting design can also be changed according to the recent trends like fashion.
As fashion designers produce new items, it seems to be a bit hard for the lighting industry to keep up with the rapid pace of change like LEDs. That is why the lighting designers should be very sensitive about the ability to cope with this situation, though it would be hard. The Light Pollution Prevention Act was enacted in February, 2012. The regulation of excessive light is being controlled in order to prevent abuse of light but there is a possibility to demoralize the lighting designers when it comes to using their creativeness when designing light. So, lighting designers including me need to find a solution.
Alighting Design:Have you got projects in China? How do you think of the lighting design industry in China?
KKW: I am planning to do several projects based on lighting displays regardless of the size of the project. I am sure it would be really helpful when working with Chinese lighting designers. This is because they have the advantage of looking at the project in a big way. I, as a Korean lighting designer, tend to see the details carefully for lighting design. So I think this combination between Korean and Chinese lighting design would lead to a great result.
Alighting Design: Did you do the lighting design for your own house? What is it like?
KKW: I moved to a new house and I wanted to decorate it by myself. So I had conversations with an interior designer. I designed indirect light instead of direct one. This is because I want my family to feel comfortable when coming back home. For example, I replaced the light on the wall into LED lamp in order to feel comfortable. I also put the stand light to attain brightness and feel getting healed. I used the product of Italian S-company, which isa decorated point during the day. My children are very satisfied with it.
Alighting Design: What’s your advice to the young designers?
KKW: When I meet university students, I ask them what advantages they would have if they become a light designer. Then they answer me that they are good at programing. But, in order to be a good lighting designer, programing skill plays a minor role in terms of lighting design. They should understand space because light is a tool for space. In my case, I take pictures by myself and see other s’ pictures of light to expand this understanding. When it comes to designing light, this kind of work would be very helpful for lighting designers to understand the space and the emotional design approach only with the floor plan and the images.