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Archived text and images from original Metasenta website (2008 – 2012)

International Museum Installation Korea: The House That Jack Built. 2006


The T & B Museum, Je Ju Island, Korea 2006


The House That Jack Built is an international project developed by Dr Irene Barberis on Jeju Island, Korea . The site-specific outdoor artwork brought together students and staff from RMIT University, Melbourne, and Sangmyong University, Korea, in a collaboration inspired by popular culture and the influence of the works of Kurt Schwitters.

One of the parameters of the project required the structure be installed on site in a single day. This turned out to be a test of endurance which fostered a spirit of harmonious exchange between students from various cultures and geographies. The logistics involved required careful planning and significant teamwork by the 70 students and 10 staff from both Universities.

The preparation required hundreds of pieces of wood - cut to measure and hand painted. This kept students and staff busy all day and well into the night, cutting, painting and applying layers of text in various languages. Participants congregated on the Museum’s central outdoor space in the early morning of installation day, ready for action. Challenged by the summer heat wave conditions, students and staff worked tirelessly to complete the large scale work before dusk.

Resembling both an ephemeral monument and a fractured framing device, the large interlocking structure actively brings into play a collision of elements which resonate with the open ended cubic systems of Sol LeWitt, the Dada inspired assemblages of Kurt Schwitters and the popular nursery rhyme "The House that Jack Built".


Centrally positioned on pristine green lawns, against the backdrop of the Museum's modernist architecture, the unexpected colour and movement of The House That Jack Built creates an intriguing dynamic, suggestive of both freedom of expression and youthful exuberance.


Liliana Barbieri. ©
MA RMIT University

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