JIRISAN In my room (2019) Tufted yarn on fabric,138 x 123cm
This work draws an image of a topography of a mountain in South Korea, Jirisan. While I was in London, I realized that it was hard to find mountains. (In Korea, 70% of land are mountains, so they are easily found anywhere, even in big cities.) This is an attempt of displacement of a mountain which is 5,505.77 miles away from London which reflects on my dream of a Utopia where I can experience all the positive things I’ve seen while living in 4 different countries. This Utopia I dream of is impossible to exist, as London and Seoul is geographically far away. As a person who grew up as a third-culture-kid (an individual raised in a culture other than their parents' or the culture of their country of nationality during childhood), I faced a lot of discrimination and stereotypes as a foreigner, especially in London, where I came alone without my family. I might say I made this work to use it as an escape from reality of being a stranger in a strange land, imagining a place that cannot be existing in the reality.
The world is now mixed up of different cultures and ethnic groups, due to globalization and more convenient transport systems between countries. People now move to countries to countries to work, or study, travel, or even as refugees. I see my work as a piece of desire through a perspective of one of the people who got significant effect of this globalization, as a person who have experienced living in 4 countries and 5 cities throughout lifetime. I believe this reflects on an image of the ‘contemporary’. At this time of globalization, the world is full of diversity of cultures, races, and traditions. This leads to diversity of the people. It is time when sincere understanding and educating ourselves about people who are different than I is needed in order to make this world equal to everyone. In this world today, we still face a lot of issues of hate, misunderstandings, ignorance between different cultural groups. This work suggests its viewers to learn how diversity of people are living this world when they are seen as a minority.
Ideas travel through layers (2019) | A Projection on a wall
Hyunha always had difficulties to communicate her thoughts to other people, especially as a foreigner in London. At first, she thought it was because of language or cultural differences, as a result of her uncommon situation of having a lot of experiences in different kinds of cultures and multicultural environment . But she realized it was because every people are all different and has different mental processes. Hyunha was able to find this out when she had conversation with her parents and sister. They were the only people she share cultural backgrounds, because they were the only people who always moved together. She also asked her other friends who only lived in one region through their whole life, and they said the same thing, that it is hard to share one's thoughts to others accurately, even if they did not have any problems with cultural differences. This explained that the issue was not only about the cultural differences, but also because everyone is different individuals.
What Hyunha explores in this work is the series of ‘layers’ in the process of communication. For example, at the beginning, one has an idea (thought). This idea turn this idea into words, then goes through one's voice, facial and body language to take it out to the world, through one's voice and tone of speaking. This is how one's idea comes out to the world. Then it reaches to another person, through another series of layers such as that person’s way of understanding, knowledge, values, or past experiences. This is how it is delivered to another person’s head. Comparing the idea originally existed in one's head to the idea that came out to the world, and the context that is actually delivered to the other person’s head are completely different. The idea not only transfers but also transforms as it goes through the ‘layers’. It is why it is impossible to communicate 100 percent of what I have in my head. This happens every day and every time, but people are not conscious about it.
At the very beginning of making this work, Hyunha had a real apple in front of her. She observed it, and painted on a canvas. Then she took a photo of the painting, took that image and printed out on a piece of fabric. Then she took a photo of the printing and used this projector to shoot on this wall.
Hyunha wanted to emphasize these stages of processes, as a metaphor of the journey of an idea going through layers. Originally, it was a real apple, but it became a projection of an image of printed image of a painting of an apple. She did not only gave meaning to the showing final outcome but also the process of making the work. According to the logic she gave to the work, the image of the apple should process on and on until it is unable to see if it is from an apple. The reason why she stopped at this particular stage is because it shows how much the apple changed from its original physical apple to this digital form of image which cannot even be touched.