The JJ-W is not only a hotel. It is a combination of a hotel, a gallery, a conference hall, a forum, an online platform, and an open possibility. It is a long-term project that aims to hold various cultural events, to stimulate new thoughts on art, life, cites, and the world, and to make art practical, accessible, and vivid in everyday life.
The whole guestroom design and exhibition project is titled ‘Jia Jia: Non-Home’, home pronounced the same as Jia in Chinese. Its first subproject, called ‘Non-Home in Memory’, is about the JJ-W’s 10 unique rooms that feature Tainan’s history. These 10 rooms opened on 20 Oct 2009 and have gained in popularity ever since.
Recently, in the second subproject, entitled ‘Non-Homes: 17 Moving Relaxations’, the JJ-W has added another 11 rooms, 6 more coming soon, which provide everything necessary for a guestroom but temporarily mainly in white or the original colours of building materials without any decoration. These basic, primary, simple or minimal rooms will be serving their visitors and awaiting their designers to give them life.
The concept “non-home” intends to bring a new thought to the being of hotel that is usually expected to be homely and comfortable. Indeed, people do expect something more than homeliness, such as luxury, novelty, or fantasy. It is to this non-homeliness that we would like to offer another option, something that is like and beyond home, just as art is like and beyond life. If “home” can be defined as a place to relax and “travel” as a being of leaving the homely relaxation and going for an extreme rest in movement, then the JJ-W wishes to be a non-home, a moving relaxation, a place to extremely relax as well as to journey.
We plan to provide six types of non-homes at the JJ-W. The first is the above-mentioned ‘Non-Home in Memory’, represented by the 10 finished rooms featuring Tainan’s history as they offer an alternative to vitrines or archives in museum to accommodate memory. The non-homeliness of these rooms refers to the fact that they are not cosy homes for memory to lie lazy, but the places where history interacts with the visitor and performs in the plays of various signs extracted from the memory about the historic Tainan City.
The JJ-W Hotel has invited people of different professions to explore these five possibilities of non-homes, such as:
- Malaysian-born, Taiwan-grown film director Ming-Liang Tsai, whose film ‘Face’ (2009) was commissioned by the Louvre Museum,
- Taiwanese Actor/ film director Kang-Sheng Lee,
- Director of Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts Pei-Ni Beatrice Hsieh,
- Art historian and critic Julian Stallabrass,
- London-based pair of photographers Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin
- Samoan photographer Greg Semu,
- Taiwan’s Ami aboriginal artist Ra Hei Zi Palifo,
- Taiwanese painter/ hostess for Discovery Travel & Living Yolanda Pong,
- Taiwanese writer/ product designer Hao-Yi Wang,
- Assistant Professor in National Kaohsiung Hospitality College, Former General manager of the five-star Landis Hotel, Taipei, Taichung, and Tainan Patrick Su,
- Professor of Architecture in National Cheng Kung University Ming-Hung Wang,
- Assistant Professor in Sue-Te University of Technology/ leader of the Opening-United Studio Kuo-Chang Liu,
- Co-leader of the Opening-United Studio/ leader of Pei-Huan Tsai Space Design Studio Pei-Huan Tsai,
- Taiwanese Artist Hung Liang
- Taiwanese Artist Yu-Cheng Lin & Feng Liu, Black Snail Studio, Tainan
The JJ-W Hotel has also invited the designers to imagine their future visitors—be she, he, or they and be real or fictional. In other words, the designers ‘customise’ their design for their imaginary visitor(s), to encounter and talk to her, him, or them, even before the room is finished according to their design. In this way, the JJ-W intends to reconsider art’s attitude towards its viewers. This is because the shock of the new, with which modern art attempted to attack its bourgeois viewers, has been long gone and the decentred shift of the postmodern authorship, which meant to empower the viewer, could not claim to be successful.
For our visitors, the JJ-W proposes a friendly and active invitation of a journey of art, culture, and history that will call forth something deep rooted in daily life yet simultaneously going beyond it. To formally manifesto, we will first hold a group exhibition, titled ‘The Encounter between the Proto-design and the Imaginary Visitor’ at the beginning of November, to display not only the generation of these 17 creative ideas, but also the starting points of the 17 stories or conversations between each designer and his or her imaginary visitor(s).
he JJ-W Hotel is planed, redesigned and reconstructed by the Opening-United Studio, led by Kuo-Chang Liu, Leader of the Opening-United Studio and Assistant Professor in Sue-Te University of Technology, and Pei-Huan Tsai, Co-leader of the Opening-United Studio and Leader of Pei-Huan Tsai Space Design Studio. The well-known Japanese architect, Sosuke Fujimoto, also joined the design team of the hotel. The management team includes Patrick Su, Assistant Professor in National Kaohsiung Hospitality College and former General Manager of the Landis Taipei Hotel, and Andy Chen, General Manager of the JJ-W HOTEL and Lecturer in National Kaohsiung Hospitality College.