Crossing Parallel(s)

International open ideas competition, 1st Prize

Location : DMZ, Korea
Program: Underground Bathhouse
Design Period : February, 2017
Design Team: Jinhyun Jun, Minkyung Song, Kangil Ji

Organizer: Arch Out Loud (



Crossing Parallel(s): Bathhouse as a Metaphorical Theater

38th parallel is not a thin superficial line, rather a thickened situation: it has been solidified by accumulation of ambivalent emotions – tensions and relaxations – between North and South. We propose the bathhouse in DMZ as a ‘metaphorical theater’ for 1) retroactive rehearsal, which reproduces the process of solidification, that ends with 2) a communal performance liquefying such amalgamated emotions into water. The play is performed by visitors (actors and audiences at the sametime) coming from each side (North and South), and divided into 3 spatial sequences.



38th Parallel, Checkpoint/Changing Room, and Entrance to Double Helix Ramp (Scene 1-3)
Visitors from each side approach the theater by walking along the 38th parallel: approach towards a same point on the line, become closer, but turn to opposite directions, and enter the theater (scene 1). After passing by the checkpoint and the changing room (scene 2), they confront again, but with distance (scene 3).

Double Helix Ramp as Stage and Audience (Scene 4-7)
While walking down the double helix ramp, visitors experience series of emotional/physical merging and diverging, moments of crossing uncrossable lines (projected 38th parallel line on the ramp), while being more away from each other. Here, visitors become actors and audience at the same time; each observe each other’s feelings, while passing through layers of tension and relaxation: a process of accumulating ambivalent communal emotions.

Communal Pool (Scene 8)
Upon reaching communal pool, all emotions experienced before are liquefied into water; debris of emotions brought by actors / audiences compose pools of emotions. Now, a performance without playwright is played by visitors’ spontaneous conversations, and by wave in the emotional pool.

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