YEONGJONG, Jan. 12 (Korea Bizwire) — Days away from launching its first international flight, the newly completed second passenger terminal at Incheon International Airport is earning attention not just for the economic value it should generate, but also for the eye-catching artwork displayed throughout.
One example of the decorations that have persuaded some to call South Korea’s chief transport hub Incheon “artport” is the “Great Mobile”, an 18.5m high structure that will greet departing travelers entering the terminal’s third floor.
On January 11, Xavier Veilhan was on location taking in the view. One of the leading figures in modern art and the French arts scene, the architect of the Great Mobile explained the reasoning behind his latest creation.
“Mobiles by their nature move naturally and slowly in the air. The airport is a place with constant movement, because there is the movement of air, and the movement of millions of travelers. I wished to create a work that reflected natural movement.”
Veilhan further explained, “It was important that the finished product leave a lasting impression yet avoid making it feel as though it was taking up too much space at the cost of everything else. The work must of itself possess self-worth and assuredness, but it was crucial that it blend in, in this case not with a white backdrop of an art gallery but special surroundings that is this airport.”
Looking through the sparkling clear halls of the terminal, Veilhan adamantly stressed that “the presence of art is what makes Incheon International Airport truly special.”
Instead of the spherical structures in mobiles for which Veilhan is well-known for, the Great Mobile consists of flat shapes, colored in blue and green hues in consideration of the white and beige of the airport interior.
If art is, as Veilhan suggests, the cherry on top, than the cake will likely be the economic benefits the terminal has brought about and is projected to create going forward.
Work on the second passenger terminal first began in 2009, when the Incheon International Airport Corp. set out a budget of 4.93 trillion won for the expansion. The long period of construction has proved to be a boon for the local economy, as 94,000 jobs were created over the past eight years. An additional 8,500 jobs in operations and maintenance at the new facility have opened up. Going forward, the terminal is projected to create 30 trillion won in value with an ancillary benefit of 8 trillion won every year.
Inbound and outbound travel has increased in recent years. With the second passenger terminal up and running, Incheon International Airport will be able to support a maximum of 72 million travelers per year.
The first flight out of the terminal, a Korean Air flight to Manila, takes off on January 18.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)