Architect Doojin Hwang+DJHA designed the Korean Gallery at the Museum of far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, Sweden. With the working theme ‘Uniquely Intimate’, the design responded to both Korean and Swedish cultural traditions.
The general layout of the Korean Gallery was inspired by the Yun Tak Residence in Haenam, Korea. Juxtaposition, penetration and transition were the key concepts in creating a nonlinear, asymmetrical space, analogous in spatial experience to traditional Korean villas and gardens. DJHA decided to preserve the existing exposed wooden beams, respecting the museum building’s historical monument status, and sought to create an ideal environment for enjoying the delicate and understated Korean artworks and artifacts by introducing filtered and reflected light coming from three windows covered with Korean mulberry paper and the ceiling above the beams. DJHA also placed a few built-in benches on which visitors can sit and look at the objects at the eye level of floor sitting.
From the beginning of the project, DJHA worked with the museum curators in selecting major show pieces and incorporated them in the design accordingly. This is how a man’s portrait by Chae Yongshin, a famous painter from the late Joseon period, was chosen to be the center piece of the Korean Gallery. The rest of the exhibits was centered around this portrait, revealing the intimate and personal nature of the Korean culture.
The major materials are Swedish spruce, similar in color and texture to Korean pine and Korean mulberry paper. The Swedish construction crew for project gained an experience in Korean craft techniques such as woodwork details and working with Korean mulberry paper.