Monday, 20 June 2011

Hanok for export

I have read somewhere that Korean traditional houses are to hit Korean Wave as new element. How very interesting concept.

Traditional Korean farmer's house is constructed in a way that it cools in summer by easy draft and cool floor and heats in winter by ondol- traditional floor heating system, concept of which did not change to modern times.

Hanok villages are to be constructed as special "green" projects in Germany and USA. This is very annoying of two reasons.

 "Traditional" house, difficult to guess if it is real or not.

Firstly, being green does not mean destroy environment and then turn to the stone age, it means preserve what you have and use it optimally, and you can live in modern houses. "Green" hanoks take much more space and electricity in modern times, than any living architecture in so called West.

Secondly, how can you export something and be so proud of something, you destroy and don't give a shit about in your own country? If someone had seen Korea, one knows that it is a country with close to none respect to it's own real heritage and history. Instead this country prefers to believe in myths and reconstructs reality- here including traditional villages.

If you haven't been to Korea yet, imagine that someone is destroying and then rebuilding Piazza San Marco in Venezia, or the Tower of London for some stupid conceptual reasons. City authorities in Seoul do invest in cultural preservation, but a closer look at Bukchon or other areas can reveal that most of the houses which could be researched scientifically and repaired, are being thorn down and rebuild from the ground - this way they only pretend the originals and have small historical value. So to speak, they look kitschy.

I really ask myself when will Koreans understand that "traditional" does not mean Joson style only? That what has been built in 1920's also has a style? What is older also has a style? Korean War and destruction of that time is a mere excuse of stupid unification which kills any valuable cultural or architectonic impact.

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