SPACE October 2023 (No. 671)
View of architecture talk ‘The Recipe for Rawness’ / Image courtesy of AND
METABOX (2022) ©Kyungsub Shin / covered in SPACE No. 669
LOSTON (2023) ©Kyungsub Shin / covered in SPACE No. 669
On Aug. 27, the architecture talk ‘The Recipe for Rawness’ was held at the LOSTON Gallery. Beginning with an introduction to recent works LOSTON (2023), METABOX (2022), and MELTING HOUSE (2022) by Jeong Euiyeob (principal, AND, covered in SPACE No. 669), the discussion was followed by a review and conversation with the architectural critics Song Jongryeol, Song Hayub (professor, Chung-Ang University), and Jeon Youchang (professor, Ajou University). Through the concept of ‘rawness, free from conventions, with nothing to hide or conceal in the materials used and the surroundings’, Jeong Euiyeob demonstrated his unique approach. He described LOSTON as a raw, undigitized kind of stone, and explained the design approach and rules that emerge from this clear motif. For the METABOX, which is a three-dimensional structure that forms a two-dimensional image, he revealed his intention to express not only the results of the design, but also the thoughts and attempts that came from the realisation process.
On the other hand, Song Hayub stressed that it is no longer possible to return to a primitive and primal state of architecture before institutional education, and that architects need to redraw the line between rationality and rawness. He pointed out Jeong Euiyeob’s tendency to categorise the social and the primitive in relative terms and noted the need to go beyond definitions of ‘rawness’ based on personal experience and rose tinted memories to progress towards a more socially acceptable understanding of the word.
In response, Song Jongryeol pointed out that the general definition of rawness derives from a misunderstanding of primitive societies. The pre-civilized world was not an uneducated and unadulterated state, and therefore, the logic of primitive societies should not be understood through the logic of the modern world. He also raised the question as to whether the shape of the stone in LOSTON is a free representation, in so far as it is visually fresh, but has the potential to be used as a commercial asset. His parting words were those of regret that the atmosphere of rawness intended for the building was weakened by the transparency of the building. Jeon Youchang began his critique by defining materiality and sensation in popular terms. While conventional architecture explores abstract spaces and forms derived from artistic aspirations, Jeong Euiyeob’s architecture communicates via the emotions. He also surveyed Jeong Euiyeob’s lyrical way of describing architecture and understanding of the immeasurable as positive outside the norms established by the older generation that distinguish and quantify architecture by elements.
Recently, there has been a growing interest in the primitive and raw, not only in art but also in architecture. The discussion at this event started with Jeong Euiyeob and his work but provided clues for interpreting this broader trend from different perspectives.