2022.12.06 Kia

Kia Opposite United Special Exhibition: Communicating Through Art

Kia, which does its best in design, tried to communicate with customers through art. A special exhibition was held under the theme of ‘Opposites United’, Kia’s design philosophy.

브랜드에게 고객과의 소통은 아주 중요합니다. 고객이 원하는 것을 정확히 파악한 후 브랜드가 지향하는 미래를 전달해야 공감대를 형성할 수 있기 때문입니다. 과거에는 제품의 특징이나 우수성이 브랜드를 판단하는 기준이었습니다. 하지만 지금은 고객이 보고, 느끼고, 경험하는 모든 것이 브랜드를 정의합니다. 따라서 브랜드는 다양한 방법으로 고객과 소통하며 비전을 전달합니다. 물론, 이 또한 브랜드가 추구하는 방향과 일치해야 합니다.

In that sense, the ‘Opposites United Special Exhibition’ held by Kia at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul from October 1 to 23 was a very impressive communication. Opposites United (creative convergence of opposite concepts), Kia’s design philosophy is fully reflected in experiential works, while at the same time revealing its will to customers; Communicating with their customers while unraveling design philosophies that may seem difficult into art is a way that suits Kia, which focuses on design.

Design philosophy delivered through the five senses

One of the characteristics of the Opposites United special exhibition was that there were no cars. It is surprising that an automaker held a special exhibition on their design philosophy and there were no vehicles on display. The commercial part was excluded as much as possible. Senior researcher Hyun‒Soo Han of the Space Identity (SI) group of Kia Design Management Office explained this as follows;

“As the Kia brand was reborn, our design also began to communicate with customers with a new philosophy and message. We thought about various ways how to convey our hearts in a pure way, and prepared communication through exhibitions thinking that if we show our hearts without commercial purposes, our customers will be able to talk honestly as well.”

Of course, Kia’s focus on experiential productions has its own reasons; That is, experience can be more effective than words to convey a new design philosophy. In fact, in this exhibition, visitors can enjoy various experiences that stimulate the five senses while telling stories in formative elements.

An experiential art work that contains the creative fusion of conflicting concepts

The Opposites United special exhibition was like a journey through the spaces containing the works containing each message. By adding content to the sculptures designed by Kia Design Management Office SI Group, each space contains unique experiences and stories. For example, the entrance and exit of the exhibition hall were separated but united. This is also part of the creative fusion of conflicting concepts.

The first piece was ‘Technology for Life’. After passing through the entrance and entering the long aisle, I could see a circular shape radiating light from the edges of the walls on both sides. When you put your hand on the wall, a wave of light hinting at Kia’s philosophy and technology guided the direction of the exhibition. The moment the movement of light reached its climax, the condensed energy headed for the work. This expresses Kia’s commitment to creating memorable experiences in everyday life through technology.

The second piece was ‘Bold for Nature’. The experience of running through the multi‒layered works with your hands in a very quiet space like the dawn of nature reminds you of nature. In particular, like the dawn of dawn, media art awakened the senses of the whole body. This work contains a message to pursue bold beauty toward human beings with respect for all things in nature.

The theme of the third prepared work is ‘Joy for Reason’. The piece is in the center of the Mirror Room, and the floor is filled with balls symbolizing joy. It also contains unexpected fun that looks like a completely different work depending on the viewer’s point of view. The work contains a message to cherish even the smallest unexpected joy.

The fourth piece contained the theme of ‘Power to Progress’. Upon entering the hallway, where both walls are mirrored, visitors are faced with the artwork floating in the air, and at the same time, the dynamic lighting gives the impression of being in an infinite light. When the movement of light reaches its peak, another media art begins as the energy is concentrated in the work. This work contains the will to continuously redefine progress and paint the future for new values.

The theme of the fifth artwork was ‘Tension for Serenity’. In a large space with a radial structure that maximizes the sense of space, with media art filling the left and right sides of the work, visitors can experience moving toward a new boundary. This conveys the message that they will focus on balance that does not lose harmony even in the midst of chaos.

The last space, ‘Opposites Lounge’, contained all the messages about Kia’s design philosophy. While viewing the media art that visualized the design philosophy of creating something new through the creative convergence of conflicting concepts, visitors were able to appreciate Kia’s first five commitments one by one.

A space filled with sincerity reaches the heart

Each of the six spaces stimulated the five senses of the visitors with their different configurations. The biggest feature is that the center of the exhibition was the customer, not the brand. In addition to embodying the design philosophy in the exhibition, the automaker went one step further and carefully considered the minds of the visitors. An exhibition like this would have been difficult without Kia’s efforts to reach out to customers.

Regarding this, senior researcher Hyun‒soo Han explains as follows. “We imagined everyone who would visit the Opposites United special exhibition, and prepared it with the hope that they would have a variety of experiences and memories. We thought that the experience through the five senses would be more impressive, so we focused on delivering a different experience for each space.”

It is clear that this sincerity of Kia has reached the hearts of customers; People’s interest in the Opposites United special exhibition was very high. People were surprised by the fact that a pure design exhibition without cars or brand advertisements was held, and they responded that it was even better. As such, the Opposites United special exhibition presented a completely different perspective from conventional brand exhibitions that have only emphasized products.

Kia plans to continue communicating with customers in theirown way. At the ‘Kia DDP Design Forum’ held at the DDP Design Lab Design Hall on November 17th, architect Hyun‒Jun Yoo brought out various stories about the life of Karim Habib, executive director of Kia Design Center as a moderator, as well as Kia’s design philosophy and direction. Seoul Light, a large‒scale light show held at DDP from December 16th, plans to hold a large‒scale projection exhibition of 222m. By the way, the automaker will also participate in Milan Design Week next year, one of the most important design festivals in the world, to communicate with overseas customers.

Kia has left a message that it would improve our lives by constantly communicating with customers through the Opposites United special exhibition. It starts with design. We support Kia’s sincere words in the special exhibition, “Everything we design begins with passion for a better life for our customers.” Many hope Kia’s designs will deliver positive energy to everyone.

HMG Journal Operation Team


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