SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul 2014: Ghosts, Spies, and Grandmothers
September 2 - November 23, 2014
Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul
Photo: © Seoul Museum of Art
Mounted on the wall of the third floor of the Seoul Museum of Art, Sonic Rotating Oval—Brass Plated #13, #14 and #15 are sculptures that can be rotated by hand. Once the sculpture is set in motion, the oval shapes begin to appear circular by way of an optical illusion and is accompanied by the rattling sound of bells. Sonic Rotating Geometry Type E—Brass Plated #23 retains the same principle of reciprocation between suspension and rotation
to which a visual effect of colour blending occurs as the painted background of red and the color of the bells are amalgamated. The phenomenological interaction generated by the physical movement of the work, its momentary shape, the sound of the bells crashing, the optical illusion, and the blending of colors leads the viewers to imagine a heightened possibility where ordinary objects tremble and where individual entities shift toward reverberation.
The installations on the ground floor construct an ensemble of a certain kind of animism that is generated by bells. Sonic Full Moon—Medium Regular #2 is a spherical object hung from the ceiling which chains of bells resembling tentacles are attached. When it is spun, the chains create a continuous pattern or ‘dance’ in a geometric shape. Taking hold of the grips attached to Sonic Dance—Half Sister, one could literally ‘dance partner’ through the exhibition space. The countless bells that constitute the work resonate with an unexpectedly delicate metallic rattle, the aural reverberation enlarging the physical space occupied by the sculptures. Empowered by anthropologically significant meanings of the bell across different eras and regions, each sculpture draws us out of the aural and physical space, eventually ushering us into a deeply imaginative journey traversing venerable time and ancient civilizations.
Through this ‘dance’ of bells, Yang’s work allusively suggests the topic of sound as the beginning force that opens up the world (as it is told in many ancient myths). Such an interest in this ‘cosmology’ also manifests as a representation of ‘orbit’ in Yang’s works. The arrangement of works gives an impression that they could move along the trajectory drawn by the vinyl tape on the floor. The part and the whole, the inalterability and fluidity of the exhibition space draws us to think of a certain principle of astrophysics in an unexpected manner. Yang’s work seems to tenaciously exhaust the mechanical determinism of modern natural science or desperately cast a spell for the creation of a new order. [Park Chan-kyong]