Paper and Drying Rack
View of Installation at Carnaghi Arts Building in Tallahassee, Florida
Considering the consequence of migration, separation from their original country, and division of one country can be considered as another format of migration. My work focuses on the cultural gap that the division of Korea has resulted in by comparing their different languages, South and North Korean as a mirror to reflect the way of thinking. (tentatively) washed displays parallelly North-South Korean words that have the same meanings while being spelled and pronounced differently. By allowing a single source of light to pass through two stencils: the South Korean word on white paper and the North Korean word on black paper, a same-colored silhouette is shown on the wall regardless of the paper color. While the two languages are influenced by their distinctive way of life (black and white), they (and their language) came from the same origins (same source of light) and the meaning of their seemingly different words are synonym (shadow). To illustrate how language influences the way of thinking (that is, manipulation of language can be a tool to brainwash people), stenciling papers are hung on a drying rack. As alluded to in the title, the division of Korea is tentative, not permanent.
The first-word set “표준어” in South Korean and “문화어” in North Korean represents the standard language which is used in written from and distinguishable from various dialects. The second-word set “동의어” (South Korean) “뜻같은말”(North Korean) shows how they respond to traditional Chinese characters. “동의어” is Hanja-eo referring to words of Chinese origin while “뜻같은말” is native Korean. The last word set South Korean word “도넛” and North Korean word “가락지빵” means donut. Since it is a newer vocabulary, it distinctively shows the way to accept the new culture. The South tends to use loanwords of English (that is, “도넛” is pronounced as [|doʊnʌt]) while the North does not.