All images © 2021 Choi+Shine Architects

The Membrane


Busan Biennale  -  Sea Art Festival 2021

October 16 - November 14, 2021  Busan, South Korea


Jin Choi and Thomas Shine


Jin Choi

Debbie Warner

Gitta Irmer

Sue Clark

Frame Fabrication and Installation 

Byungtak Moon and his studio members


Byungtak Moon and his studio members

Busan Biennale Installation Crew


Jin Choi 

Thomas Shine

Hyunmin Park

Min Kim

Special Thanks to:

Ritika Biswas, 

Artistic Director,  Busan Biennale 

Byungtak Moon

문병탁 조형연구소

Hafiza Mohamad

The Culture Trust Luton


UPS, Amsterdam

The realization of co-dwelling, as a state of being as well as a fundamental necessity, has been thrusted upon us rather sharply during the pandemic; we all experienced unknowability, precarity and varying degree of isolation, whilst unexpectedly we rediscovered ourselves connected to the bigger body of things; evidently, ’we are in this together’. We never felt more aware of others and never felt more in need of connection to others, human and/or non-human.

This project represents the permeability and porosity that encompass all ‘bodies’ to reveal the fluidity within us and that after all, we are not dissimilar to one another. The layers within us create the permeable membrane that breathes and interacts with environment while defining our bodies as enclosures. These enclosures enable all bodies to filter and defuse for constant growth and regeneration.

The project creates a unique sense of place with a pair of intricate, simple and repetitive objects. It is composed of individual equivocal membranes made of hand crocheted lace in an unusual scale. One floats above the river at the entry to the open sea, creating sequential views from the bridges, or a cinematic experience from a stroll below, allowing for variations of perspectival effect from different sight lines. The mysteriously glowing lace fin or a wing grows out of a concrete building, further reinforcing the idea of co-dwelling; the juxtaposition of different envelopment that constantly redefine and regenerate us.

The project interacts with the water and daylight during the day: the reflected daylight from the rippled water surface make the lace glisten. At night, the glowing lace membranes against the dark sky and its lit ghosty reflection on the dark water create a mirage, blurring the spatial boundary between water and sky, defusing and morphing bodies from their categorical substance.

The crocheted lace symbolizes the woven fabric of different bodies of human and non-human, living and non-living, while physically, openings in the lace surface create patterns of light against the sky, water and town, a juxtaposition of a permeable surface on different visual layers. The lace weaves the historic town with its future, weaving different people and culture from different environment.

Installation of the Membrane at the bridge

Assembly of the Membrane at Mr.Moon’s studio in Ulsan prior to the installation

The softly glowing diaphanous membranes in an unusual scale in unexpected places interrupts our mundane and coherent everyday, creating a sense of surprise that ignites imagination. The project aspires to evoke and reinforce a sense of wonder though this unexpected encounter; it prompts rediscoveries of our own familiar places and forms a lasting visual poetry that links the water with the land, tales and tradition with present and creatures with man as a indispensable whole.

Commissioned by Busan Biennale Organizing Committee, 2021.                                                                       부산비엔날레조직위원회의 커미션 작품, 2021

If you would like to participate

in our future crochet projects,

please send us an email to:

 skim [at]

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The Membrane™  is a trademark of Choi+Shine Architects.

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