New details revealed for 23rd Serpentine Pavilion designed by Minsuk Cho

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New details revealed for 23rd Serpentine Pavilion designed by Minsuk Cho
Serpentine Pavilion 2024 designed by Minsuk Cho, Mass Studies. Design render, view of void from the Gallery and Play Tower. Photo © Mass Studies, Courtesy: Serpentine.



LONDON.- The 23rd Serpentine Pavilion, Archipelagic Void, designed by Seoul-based Korean architect Minsuk Cho and his firm Mass Studies opens to the public on 7 June 2024, with Goldman Sachs supporting the annual project for the 10th consecutive year.

Launching a season of specially curated activations, the 23rd Serpentine Pavilion will play host to a new commissioned soundscape, a library and a series of performances and talks.

Comprised of five ‘islands’, each structure of the Pavilion is unique in size, form, name and purpose, providing a multifaceted platform for Serpentine’s live programme from June to October.

As the main entry to the Pavilion, the Gallery will play host to a six-channel sound installation created by musician and composer Jang Young-Gyu, presenting The Willow is <버들은> in the Summer and Moonlight <월정명> in the Autumn. Taking inspiration from the surrounding environment of the Pavilion, Jang incorporates sounds from nature and human activities recorded in Kensington Gardens with traditional Korean vocal music and instruments. The distinctive tones and melodies trace the changing of seasons. They respond to the constantly transforming landscape and ecology of the Park.

The Library of Unread Books by artist Heman Chong and archivist Renée Staal will be located in the north of the Pavilion. Conceived as an artwork that functions as a ‘living’ reference library, each book has been donated by its previous owner to form a pool of common knowledge. Visitors are welcome to contribute and submit an unread book in their possession to the growing collection. By making these titles accessible, The Library of Unread Books functions as a collective gesture, addressing notions of access and distribution.

In a nod to the history of the Serpentine building the Tea House will be located to the east of the Pavilion. Designed by James Grey West, the Serpentine South building opened in 1934 and originally functioned as a teahouse until the early 1960s, before reopening as an art gallery in 1970.

Providing a space for outdoor play, the Pavilion also features the Play Tower, a pyramid structure fitted with a bright orange netscape for visitors to climb and interact.

To the west, is the Auditorium, the largest structure of the five ‘islands’. With benches built into its inner walls, this space will provide an area for public gathering, performances and talks.

Starting on Friday 7 June, Minsuk Cho will be in conversation with Serpentine Artistic Director Hans Ulrich Obrist to discuss the inspirations behind this year’s Pavilion, Cho’s approach to architecture and the history of the commission.

The Serpentine Pavilion 2024 will also become a platform for Serpentine’s Park Nights, the annual interdisciplinary platform for live encounters in music, poetry, performance, and dance that will see artists create brand new site-specific works.

Serpentine will present a performance by artist, choreographer and dancer Eun-Me Ahn in June to commence the programme.

In July, Serpentine Arts Technologies will host a day of events exploring the relationship of technology, property, and ecology. Visitors will be invited to become stewards of a collective artwork initiated by Tomás Saraceno and his long-term collaborators, the communities of Salinas Grandes in Jujuy, Argentina. Titled Fairclouds, this unique project builds connections between the cycles of water, information and life. By purchasing a partial common ownership licence and becoming part of an international network of stewards, audiences will support the work of indigenous communities in Argentina. The project is part of an ongoing collaboration between Serpentine Arts Technologies, RadicalxChange and Aerocene Foundation.

Minsuk Cho, Architect, Mass Studies, said: “We are honoured and grateful to unveil Archipelagic Void in June. To realise the Pavilion, we began by asking what can be uncovered and added to the Serpentine site, which has already featured over twenty historical iterations at the centre of the lawn, from a roster of great architects and artists. To approach this new chapter differently, instead of viewing it as a carte blanche, we embraced the challenge of considering the many existing peripheral elements while exploring the centre as a void. It also begins to address the history of the Serpentine Pavilion. By inverting the centre as a void, we shift our architectural focus away from the built centre of the past, facilitating new possibilities and narratives.”

Bettina Korek, Chief Executive, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine, said: “Mass Studies’s Serpentine pavilion led by Minsuk Cho is another exciting step forward for this singular commission that has pushed the boundaries of creative experimentation with architecture. We’re thrilled that Archipelagic Void will expand on Serpentine’s evolving history as a site for bringing people together in the park, and our continued mission of building bridges between art and audiences. We are deeply grateful to our loyal partners for sustaining the Pavilion each year and look forward to a summer full of experiences made possible by Cho’s brilliant complex for encounters and collaboration.”










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