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* Date : 2018-06-06

Stairs, A Name of Desire

"Desire for God and Nature, The Stairway - The most powerful means of power "
"The hidden history of stairs that we meet through everyday stairs What does the stairway mean to us now?

The history of stairs is the history of mankind

One day in 7th century B.C., Nebuchadnezzar II, who destroyed the Jewish kingdom and built the strong New Babylonia, began building a tower facing the sky. That was the Tower of Babel.
Although the tower suddenly disappeared, possibly a curse from God or as a result of a neighboring country rising in power, it was a direct challenge against God and the most powerful human desire in history to establish a king's authority. And the beginning of the high tower was a staircase.
Since then, stairs have been with human history for many years. So it is said that the history of stairs is the same as that of mankind.

Stairway, a tool of power

Ironically, as stairways became personified, stairways gained "power."
As a ruler gained more power, steps became larger and more splendid.
The steep steps of Angkor Wat, which are the first of CNN's list of the [World's Most Feared 13 Stairways] symbolized power which also meant absolute obedience to the king. The grand three-stage staircase at the Chardin tomb in Vietnam reflects the greed of an emperor who pursued his own territory during the French colonial era. The colorful Geunjeongjeon Stairways of Gyeongbok Palace, which were reconstructed in the late Joseon Dynasty, contain a clear sense of purpose of Heungseon Daewongun to restore the fallen throne.

Stairway loses power

Unfortunately, stairways face a crisis. With the fall of the feudal dynasty and rapid mechanical civilization through the Industrial Revolution, the staircase has been reduced to a stark reality, losing its power, authority, and symbolism. The rise of elevators and escalators soon after replaced stairs. However, does that mean that as stairways disappear, human desires fade as well?

The rise of 'horizontal desires' rather than 'vertical desires'

If the beginning of the staircase was based on "vertical desire" and the power that flourished as a result, the staircase that is now approaching us is based on "horizontal desire."
The 168 Stairway in Busan has a painful history of involving refugees, however, it is no longer just a token of Korean history but rather a new landmark that revives the local economy.
The stairs that stood on the cliff of a small coastal village became a space for cultural festivals and it's covered with writings and artworks of novelists and painters. And the cliche, simple, gray stairs of the metropolitan subway stations are being recreated as donation staircases emphasizing a good heart with every step.

In today's society the horizontal stairs, dreaming of living together with vertical steps heading towards power, are approaching us in a new way. This is a reason why we are focusing on stairs today.

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