The Art Sonje Center invited the artist, Jun Yang, to reframe its Hanok building during the museum’s renovation in the spring of 2016. Yang’s proposal and challenge to change the Hanok into a Café/Bar was not so much to create a commercial space—to him, there was no need for an art center to run a purely profit-seeking café like many others in the creative industry nowadays. Yang started this project by asking the questions: What role could a café or a bar play within an art institution? What additional benefits could it create? What is the economic significance of such space in a contemporary art institution? With these questions in mind, The Parallax Hanok is conceived as a space for a “dialogue with the public”—a meeting point, a resting area, and an extra venue for Art Sonje’s programs. Its name, “Parallax,” is derivd from the Greek word, “parallaxis,” which describes a displacement, difference or alteration of the apparent position of an object viewed from two different viewpoints.
“I kind of like the fact that the Hanok at Art Sonje is not a historical Hanok building but a new construction built in the 1990s. It is a re-interpretation of something traditional—thus a copy of sorts. The fact that it is a “fake” Hanok makes it more interesting to me than it would have been a real, century-old Hanok. The question of copy, remake, reinterpretation and divergence became the starting point for this project. It is a question dealing with authenticity and thinking of copies as different versions of reality. Instead of assuming the copy as opposed to the authentic or the original, we can think of copies as translations, as words referring to the same thing in different languages, which can be found in the linoleum floor that imitates wood, the hand-painted faux-marble counter, and the metal shelf that reflects and distorts the appearance of the space. Two types of tables were also re-interpreted and combined—plastic tables normally used in street Pojang Macha settings and traditional Korean Duriban tables. To translate The Parallax Hanok with a photograph—it is connected to another recent work of mine, Jun Yang meets Jun Yang. Where I meet people with the same name as mine. All of them are originals and copies at the same time; different versions of the same name.”
About the artist
Jun Yang is an artist based in Vienna, Taipei, and Yokohama. Having matured in various cultural contexts, in his work, Yang examines the influence of clichés and media images on identity politics through variety of media such as films, installations, performances, and projects in public spaces. He has exhibited in Gwangju Biennale 2012, Taipei Biennale 2008, Liverpool Biennale 2006, 51st Biennale di Venezia 2005, and Manifesta 4 in 2002. Yang has also been interested in the intersection of and relationship between visual arts, business, and politics, and has initiated many gastronomic and institutional projects, which include the gfzk garten and, a café and a hotel, Paris Syndrom at the Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig (GfZK). He is a co-founder of the Taipei Contemporary Art Center, which emerged from a project he initiated at the Taipei Biennale 2008. With his brother Tie Yang and friend Dong Ngo, Jun Yang also founded the restaurant/bar ra’mien in 2002 and the ra’mien go chain restaurant group in 2012 in Vienna. Most recently, Jun Yang published The Monograph Project, a monograph in six volumes, with Jovis, a publisher in Germany.
Art Sonje Space Project
In 2014, Art Sonje Center initiated its Space Project with an agenda to transform various corners of the museum through artistic interventions. The project seeks to explore architecture’s potential to grant new identities to the museum’s public spaces, as well as the interrelationships between art and architecture. The first Space Project invited architect Choon Choi to redesign the museum’s lounge space on the ground floor, under the title of Exit Strategy. For the second Space Project, the German architect Markus Miessen presented Discursive Sauna, a temporary site-specific structure installed in front of the museum entrance. In 2015, Art Sonje Center, in anticipation of the renovation of the building in 2016, invited Nikolaus Hirsch, whose proposal for ‘the new Art Sonje Center’ contemplates the role of museum and the use of museum space.