Crossing Parallels

:Bathhouse as a Metaphorical Theater

1st Prize 

International open ideas compeition

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Location : DMZ, Korea

Design Period : February, 2017

Design Team: Jinhyun Jun, Minkyung Song, Kangil Ji

 

 

38th parallel is not a thin superficial line, rather a thickened situation: it has been solidified by accumulation of ambivalent emotions - tensions and relaxations - between North and South. In the proposed bathhouse, represented as a ‘metaphorical theater’, visitors (actors/audiences) coming from each side reproduce the process of such solidification while walking down the double helix ramp; experience of merging and diverging, moments of crossing uncrossable lines, while being more away from each other. Upon reaching the communal pool, all such experience is liquefied into water, and debris of emotions brought by visitors soaks into each other’s skin.

Visitors from each side approach the theater by walking along the 38th
38th Parallel, Checkpoint/Changing Room, and Entrance to Double Helix Ramp (Scene 1-3)approach towards a same point on the line, become closer, but turn to opposite directions, and enter the theater (scene 1). After passing by the checkpoint and the changing room (scene 2), they confront again, but with distance (scene 3).

Double Helix Ramp as Stage and Audience (Scene 4-7)
While walking down the double helix ramp, visitors experience series of emotional/physical merging and diverging, moments of crossing uncrossable lines (projected 38th parallel line on the ramp), while being more away from each other. Here, visitors become actors and audience at the same time; each observe each other’s feelings, while passing through layers of tension and relaxation: a process of accumulating ambivalent communal emotions.

Communal Pool (Scene 8)
Upon reaching communal pool, all emotions experienced before are liquefied into water; debris of emotions brought by actors / audiences compose pools of emotions. Now, a performance without playwright is played by visitors’ spontaneous conversations, and by wave in the emotional pool.