In Praise of Emptiness

Emptiness, as a spatial entity is a strong motif in the Korean tradition,  one compellingly registered during my visit to Gyeoungbok Palace where empty space gives form to the objects within it.
Traditional Korean architecture obscures the boundary between solid and void, (interior and exterior, public and private) enabling the flow of emptiness

Spatial expressions of emptiness:

1. Circularity
Sequentially arranged rooms, which unfold along the linear axis simplify circulation and preclude abrupt discontinuity
2. Overlapping
Folding doors and sliding screens diffuse the limit of interior and exterior, they create frames between spaces, encouraging one to enter the other

3. Transparency
Layering of light creates nuance and intricacy
The resultant spaces possess flexibility and are responsive to the possibility of filling.  But here, filling is separated from fullness (with its implication of unbreachable volume) and physical objects; it denotes intangible elements that anchor experience and imagination.

Elements of filling:

1. Light
Dark interiors amplify light diffused by paper screens affording it presence and weight

2. Shadow
Shadows symbolise formlessness, they are the trace of time left on space
'what strikes the eye is the massive roof of tile or thatch and the heavy darkness that hangs beneath the eaves'
 - In Praise of Shadows 
Jun'ichirō Tanizaki 

3. Landscape
Natural scenery is brought into view filling an empty space, this is the concept of ‘borrowed landscape’ (chagyeong

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