The empty house, Choryang


Public work
Busan, South Korea, 2016
Commissioned by Ilmac Culture Foundation

The ‘Empty House’ of the Ilmac Cutural Foundation was originally built in a Japanese style in  the 1930’s as part of the Foundation’s then several houses, had been used as a private house until 1990’s, after which it had been abandoned for over 30 years until it was demolished in 2016 as part of a redevelopment business around Choryang-dong, Busan. Before it was torn down Jazoo Yang carried out researches on and around the spot, and held an exhibition with installation works composed of materials found there, which led to the ‘Materials’ series where she showed collected objects and materials during the project.

1930년대에 일본식 건축 양식으로 지어진 부산 일맥 문화 재단 건물의 일부로,  1990년대 초반까지 가정집으로 사용되다가 이후 약 30여년간 사람이 살지 않은 채 페쇄되어 있었다. 2016년 초량 일대의 재개발 사업 중 철거 되었다.  일맥 문화 재단 건물이 철거되기  전, 양자주 작가는  약 두 달간 건물에 머물며, 건물과 그 주변을 리서치하고, 건물의 잔해들을 모아  설치 작업을 진행하고, 건물 내부와 외부의 흔적들을 채집하는 작업을 진행했다.

[The empty house of Ilmac Cuture Foundation, 2016]

[ Impovisational installation pieces using found objects from

the empty house, Busan, South Korea, 2016 ]

[Impovisational installation pieces using found objects 
from the empty house, Busan, South Korea, 2016]

[Impovisational installation pieces using broken ceiling, house paints on
the empty house, Busan, South Korea, 2016]

[Impovisational installation pieces using found objects 
from the empty house, Busan, South Korea, 2016]

[Exhibition View 'Stolen Times' @ Ilmac Culture Foundation, Busan, South Korea
Collected materials from the empty house, 2016]

While developing projects related to the issues of redevelopment, I kept an interest in what the original senses of human being might be like within the rapid changes of a city. The speed of city life is running much faster than that of a human body, thus it enforces its speed on people living in the city. The situation, even maybe a violent one, may damage delicate aspects of human senses. When I opened the seal and first entered an abandoned house in the center of Busan, I rather felt something more of nature than of violence of the city. The unexpected particular atmosphere, smell, sound, and visual elements began to stimulate my sensations very acutely. The more I experienced the traces left behind, kept rekindling the acute senses, the more I began to think it was as if I had been there and an emotion of longing rose to my mind. Feeling such an emotion at a strange place was something very peculiar. What is a longing? What is this sensation of longing when I face those unfamiliar places during my work with old alleys and buildings? The verbal form of ‘longing(그리움)’ in Korean is 'to long(그리다)’, and its etymology seems to share with ‘writing().’ It seems to imply that the essence of writing is to express longings. Some scholars say ‘writing()’ and ‘language()’ have a common origin, and it is likely that human language is centered on the longing. The Greek used to look for the essence of language in ‘poiesis (creation, poetry)’ not in ‘techne (craft).’ Poetry is a language to express a longing. Tracing back the origin of longing brings us to the human language. The state of psychology, often called ‘nostalgia’ in the West, is a common emotion for the whole humanity. It is said that most people get nostalgic more than once a week, and about half of them 3 to 4 times. Something special to the emotion of nostalgia is that we all feel warmth in there. We feel more warmth in nostalgia. A study shows that people get more nostalgic on cold days, and another claims more people feel nostalgia in a colder room. If we could find physical comfort from memories, it could mean that in the ancient days of evolution human beings may have been able to endure better while looking for food and shelter. A recent study also concludes people may have more sincere attitude toward life through memories that nostalgia helped them feel more worthy. 

- 'Stolen Times', Jazoo Yang 2016