For ITAMI JUN, a writer who captured the beauty of Jeju in his works, Jeju was an eternal haven. He loved Jeju dearly that he dreamed of building the ITAMI JUN architectural museum. He wanted to make it in Jeju. But unfortunately, he passed away before he could achieve his dream. Still, his daughter Ehwa Yoo, who is the director of ITAMI JUN Architecture & Culture Foundation, made ITAMI JUN's dream come true.
This dream was named ITAMI JUN (Yoo Dong Ryong) Museum and found its place in Hallim-eup, right next to Jeoji Culture and Arts Village. The museum, which opened its doors on the 6th of last month, has fully embodied the beliefs and ideals that Itami Jun showed in his works.
ITAMI JUN (Yoo Dong Ryong) Museum has minimized exposure. It tried to avoid destroying nature by following ITAMI JUN’s idea that we should be in harmony with the surroundings. Therefore, you will be able to feel that ITAMI JUN (Yoo Dong Ryong) Museum was built to blend into the scenery and adapt to nature. Just like Podo Hotel, a signature work of ITAMI JUN.
The exterior of the building emulates the elliptical shape of Jeju. The elliptical shape was inspired by his works. ITAMI JUN enjoyed nature and harmony. Yet, the museum does not only embody “natural” objects but also blend nature with modern materials. Exposed concrete with a feel of pine board and stainless steel hung around the fence are modern materials but go well with nature. Director Yoo Ehwa emphasized that she “tried to harmonize by showing contrast with metal materials."
The interior of the museum is a space filled with the beliefs and ideals of ITAMI JUN. The symbol is "Muk (ink stick)." The black color of ink that dyes the hwasunji (Korean traditional drawing paper) tells us about his works. The black yet, soft color of Muk (ink stick) resembles that of basalts.
On the 1st floor of ITAMI JUN (Yoo Dong Ryong) Museum, there is a "library." In the library, you will see ITAMI JUN’s first work, "Mother's House" and books that tell his story. In addition, various forms of performances can be held in the library.
Yang Bang Ean’s music is playing inside the museum, and it goes well with ITAMI JUN. Even though Yang Bang Ean has never met ITAMI JUN during his lifetime, he has turned ITAMI JUN’s architectural language into music very well. You will be able to hear Yang Bang Ean’s music throughout the museum. Perhaps, the fact that they were immigrants to Japan made this feeling of connection, even though the two maestros had never met.
▲ ITAMI JUN Museum
The scent of Muk (ink stick) is faint, just like its soft color. The ITAMI JUN (Yoo Dong Ryong) Museum has introduced Muk (ink stick) as its 'signature fragrance,' like how Yang Bang Ean’s music was introduced as ‘signature music.’ Its space carries the scent of old paper and Muk (ink stick) for visitors. The ITAMI JUN (Yoo Dong Ryong) Museum is a “space for memories” that you don’t only come to see with your eyes but also experience with your auditory and olfactory senses.
On the 1st floor, ITAMI JUN's works from Korea and Japan are exhibited, and the Permanent Exhibition Hall on the 2nd floor displays his works from all around Jeju. It is full of sketches that have not been completed; hence, you will see the essence of the works of ITAMI JUN, who only ‘draws by hand.’
ITAMI JUN (Yoo Dong Ryong) Museum is holding an exhibition titled "ITAMI JUN: Architect of the Wind” for its opening until November 1st.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.net)
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