Nam June Paik Museum

Kyonggi, Korea

This was an entry in a competition for an art museum dedicated to an artist who works in video art. The difference between traditional art and video art is that video art is not itself a material medium. It can be said to have no physical character. A museum dedicated to such an art should not be based on a conventional concept of architecture. A building for the display of works that question the conventional definition of art–and of course “work” is itself a problematic concept in this context–should not be acquiescent. That was the starting point for this project.
I felt that Nam June Paik should be regarded not as an artist but as an activity. What was needed here was not a building to accommodate works but a site for such activity.
I proposed only a place, that is, a horizontal floor that has been excavated and distinguished from the landscape like the sites of Ellora and Ajanta, and, covering that entire place, an irregularly-shaped roof that almost mimics the landscape.
Here, it is not architecture but the place that is defined by the roof that in effect creates the site where activity occurs.