Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd.
4056 Basel, Switzerland
- 30 September – 20 November, 2021
To make an exhibition about architecture is, and remains, difficult because architecture functions in its entirety and can be fully experienced only on the site itself. We have been searching for methods to offer visitors their own way of engaging with it ever since our first exhibition, Architektur Denkform, at the Architekturmuseum in Basel in 1988.
Here in Seoul, it is crucial to us – as the exhibition title Exploring SongEun Art Space expresses – that the architectural spaces in which we present something are opened to the public for the first time. The exhibition display follows the careful sequence of spaces and offers a stroll through indoor and outdoor areas, the galleries above and below ground. In anticipation of future possibilities, this inaugural exploration allows us to test the potential of hosting various artistic media in the building, from traditional hangings with paintings and photographs to newer and alternative formats such as video, projections, augmented reality, and even smell.
Our particular interest in video and related filmic forms is part of a continuing debate about questions of perception, representation, and realities of architecture: “Video images are interesting because they relate to real life. As in photography, their pictorial reality expresses things and acts that look real, so suddenly we found ourselves with a tool that would allow us to express our ideas on architecture in a contemporary form even without a concrete commission – and much more successfully than by using classical means of representation like models, plans, and drawings.”1
We deliberately concentrate on immaterial themes and thought constructs to which we have long been committed, consistently revisiting them and acquiring new insights. Hence, we also present selected works from our past with a specific focus on the field of art: many films, conversations, and videos with artists, including our extended collaborations with Rémy Zaugg and Thomas Ruff.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2021
(1) Jacques Herzog in conversation with Jeff Wall, moderated by Philip Ursprung (Basel, November 2003), in: Pictures of Architecture. Architecture of Pictures. A Conversation between Jacques Herzog and Jeff Wall. Edited by: Cristina Bechtler. Vienna / New York, Springer, 2004, pp. 11-69, p.13.
Exploring 473—Augmented Reality Installation, 2021
3 digital models and 6 videos displayed in augmented reality accessed through web-based AR application. Foam and acrylic models in scale 1:500, concrete samples, printed aluminum-composite panels on C-stands, printed banners, vinyl on glass and concrete.
How can we exhibit architecture? We have been searching for methods to do so ever since our first exhibition “Architektur Denkform” at the Architekturmuseum in Basel in 1988. In our 2021 exhibition “Exploring SongEun Art Space”, among physical models, drawings, samples and printed images, one room tested the presentation of videos and digital models through augmented reality.
The installation introduced the new building, displaying documentation that explored the design and construction process from the initial conception in Basel to the physical realization in Seoul. It consisted of seven augmented reality stations, where different images in the room triggered videos, models and text from specific moments of the project’s process.
Since then, we’ve created an additional booklet that embeds these ‘trigger’ images, activating photographs of their initial presentation at SongEun Art Space. The augmented reality stations once set in Seoul are here mobilized, accessible beyond the time frame of the official exhibition.
Team SONGEUN Art and Cultural Foundation
Sang-Duck Yoo (Chairman of the Board), YoungKwan Kwon (Auditor General), Hyoung-Jung Yoo (Head of Art Management Planning Team), Laurencina Farrant-Lee (Artistic Director).
In association with Laurence Geoffrey’s Ltd. art consultant: Laurencina Farrant-Lee (Partner), Haeni Park (Senior Project Manager), Chae Won Lee (Project Manager), Kyusung Hwang (Project Manager), Minjee Kim (Communications and Public Engagement Coordinator), YeEun Lim (Administrative Assistant), Hyerin Jeong (Facilitator of First Impressions).
Sulki and Min
Bandara VR GmbH, Zurich
L&B Fine Art, Seoul
The exhibition and publication benefited from the financial support of: Janghak E&C · Janghak Design Co., Ltd.; PRO HELVETIA Swiss Arts Council
Herzog & de Meuron, SONGEUN Art and Cultural Foundation: Herzog & de Meuron. Exploring 473. Edited by: Mortiz Küng. SONGEUN Art and Cultural Foundation, Seoul, 2021. Vol. No. 1-6.
Six-volume box edition published on the occasion of the inaugural exhibition Herzog & de Meuron. Exploring SongEun Art Space at ST SONGEUN Building, Seoul, 30 September – 20 November, 2021.
Philipp Meier: In Seoul streicheln sie jetzt Häuser. Südkoreas Hauptstadt ist der neue Kunst-Hub Ostasiens – dazu trägt auch ein ungewöhnlicher Ort von Herzog & de Meuron bei. In: Eric Guyer (Ed.). Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Zürich, Neue Zürcher Zeitung AG, 29.11.2021. p. 30.
Herzog & de Meuron, Pierre de Meuron, Martin Knüsel: Design and Exhibition: Herzog & de Meuron. Exploring Songeun Art Space; ST International HG & Soungeun Art Space. In: Anne Lee (Ed.). Interiors. Theme Gallery. Vol. No. 422, Seoul, 11.2021. pp. 18-19; 126-139.