LED channel light, ambient sound

Um... is an ongoing series of works installed on water so that the text is read via its reflection.
音, a common Chinese character meaning “sound”, shares the same origin as 言, “to speak”. It is an ancient character, first etched into animal bones in the 2nd millennium BC. “Sound” was only differentiated from “speech” later in Chinese bronze age scripts (c. 800BC). Shirakawa Shizuka has suggested an etymology of the word, 音 that it originally depicted the sound of the shaman’s prayer, and a sensing of the faint sound of spiritual forces. Reflecting the prehistoric origin of the character, Um... was imagined as a message from the remote past, as an utterance voiced in the present.


installation for Hongje Yuyeon public art project, Seoul
image courtesy THE allim