Towards a more Ambiguous world
Dimensions: 200x160 cm
Medium: Interactive installation
Materials: So-chang and Korean traditional fabric, LCD, Arduino, DC motors and touch sensor switch
Description: This project is the second part of a visual and audio interactive documentation I did about the area of Jung-gu, Incheon in South Korea. Incheon was once the cultural and economical entry way to South Korea when the port was first opened. Thus water was the main medium for the locals to interact with the word. This part of my project offers stories that I captured and combined together into one narrative about people living in the area. When the visitors of exhibition recite those stories on the wall out loud, the pump attached to the glass vessel respond producing movement in the water. This two-part project, is the second in my series ‘How do I look on paper?’ Through interactivity with the public, the series provides alternative means to document memories and thoughts that constitute the narratives of individuals, places, and groups of people.
Below is the text about the people living in Jung-gu,
Jung-gu was once the center of Incheon, a city that was built with no center, as they say. I walk up to Freedom Park and look over the ward. I could see the water and the ships, only visually accessible. This is a narrative about 7 Different people from different ages, all living in the area of Jung-gu, Incheon. The narrative has no morale, only to document some aspects and happenings in their lives, and some of their thoughts. Please read the following narrative out loud so that the water hears you!
In the café that serves flower tea around the corner the owner tells me about red brick walls from the Japanese era, and how the Japanese came in through the port and built their brick walls.
Hyo-Gyong is happy to practice her English with me; she gives me free fresh peach juice (Seon-mool). She tells me that her favorite place in Jung-gu is her own restaurant.
Jung-gu used to only be for rich people, said Hal-a-beo-gi. Lots of people came from North Korea after the war and American soldiers came through the port and settled in the area. Daebul Hotel was the first place to sell coffee. Now, There is no more land for people to buy, as there is no construction. He says it is too behind than any other place in Incheon.
Hal-money has been in Jung-gu for 70 years. She sold American goods, eggs, kimchi, rice and everything else she could sell. She tells me Incheon has not changed and that everything is good in the rich area on top of the hill. She lives in Song-hak Dong. She used to go to the dance club up until her husband met another woman there and then she stopped going. When she first went to school, she was taught Japanese instead of Korean. The Japanese stole her house when she was a kid. She only went to school till the 2ndgrade and then the war broke out; she never returned back to school afterwards. During that time in her childhood village, girls were not allowed to attend school.
She went to the curly hair academy to make money and then she bought her house. The street where her house is and where we met was full of bars. American soldiers used to visit her house for 5 years as she introduced them to Korean sex workers and one of them ended up marrying one of the girls and travelling together to the US; they still come and visit her every time they visit Incheon. The American soldiers used to bring her American goods from their camp to help her sell them and make money. She lived a hard life, she said.
The drainage system was bad in other parts of Jung-gu, so when it rained so much the street where the oriental melon market was, would be covered with floating oriental melon all over. Now it is called the Oriental melon street. Ho-young’s grandfather lived in an orphanage for 3 years during the war, he got lost from his father. On his way to school he could see inside this prison, prisoners being prosecuted and hung with their faces covered.
Ho-Young told me jung-gu is not a place where young people want to stay anymore and that now it is old.
2018 Towards a More Ambiguous World. Warehouse Gallery. Incheon, South Korea