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Bizarre contest of doing nothing in public place gets popular

By Park Sae-jin Posted : April 3, 2018, 11:01 Updated : April 3, 2018, 11:01

[Courtesy of Space-out Contest organizers]

SEOUL -- If you are burned out due to a heavy workload or a busy city life, go and find free time at a weird "space-out" contest which requires participants to do absolutely nothing but chill out.

Woopsyang, a Seoul-based art company, said Tuesday that the contest of doing nothing would be held at a riverside park at Yeouido on April 22. Among 10 finalists chosen by voters, the trophy will go to one who records the lowest heart rate.

[Courtesy of Space-out Contest organizers]

The scene will be somewhat eerie as dozens of people silently sit, lie down or relax in intricate postures. Many of them stare into the void with no focus in their eyes. Anyone found to be dozing off or do other than doing nothing will be dragged out by organizers wearing the traditional costumes of royal palace guards.

[Courtesy of Space-out Contest organizers]

The contest was organized as a mass performance to "visually juxtapose" two groups -- people who do nothing and those who are very busy at work. No need to feel nervous about doing nothing because there are dozens of others doing the same thing together.

"People living in a busy city feel anxious when they do nothing. This competition was to overcome the anxiousness of the people when they are together," Woopsyang said in a statement posted on its website.

[Courtesy of Space-out Contest organizers]

The annual contest that began as a small event in 2014, has now become international. Contests have been held in Beijing, Rotterdam, Taipei and Hong Kong.


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