Alternating between the material world and the digital world, I explore the ways in which the body and objects form relationships. I believe in cycles, reusing and reconfiguring the objects within the artificial civilization that have lost their original use and value, to create a meditative landscape that bears existential possibilities. My practice involves installations dealing with real materials, and creating alternative ecosystems through virtual space; these are based on the following two directions of interests.
#Part 1. Artificial Environments that Invoke the Human Body
Having lived in new cities and redevelopment areas, ‘construction sites’ were a familiar aspect of life for me. Then one time, the building next to the one I was living in underwent demolition, and I had the opportunity to see, close-up, the series of ‘construction processes’ including the compacting of the soil, and the construction of a new building; this was a novel experience, almost like observing the dissection and the pulsating innards of an unfamiliar life form. After this, all of the artificial environment I had been taking for granted, that I was subconsciously adapted to, suddenly turned into something foreign. This place, where endless urbanization under civilization is in progress, was of course an environment of ‘artifacts’, comprising artificial materials, structure, and objects. My body, since birth, was endlessly forming relationships with them.
I felt that the artificial environment, built by human beings for human beings, supported certain movements of my body, and began to pay renewed attention to the forms of the artifacts. The forms of the artifacts – the width of the road, the size of the window, the height of the ceiling, and the shapes of ordinary objects; including the height of the desk, the width of the bed – all ‘artifacts’ were made for the human body, designed ergonomically, produced to be used efficiently by the body, according to specific objectives. It is easy to think that the artifacts are born so that the human body may exercise sovereignty over it, but conversely, I feel that the practical forms of these objects induce certain movements, actions, even thoughts in my body, making me use them in certain ways. Furthermore, I believe that they are inciting our bodies in order to accomplish their own goals. In this way, I’m experiencing the moment of the reversal of relationship, where the meaning of the artifact, considered to be the object, is overturned, removing myself out of the position of the user, or the subject. (‘I sat on the chair and drank the water that was poured into the cup’; such a simple sentence can be read, ‘the chair made my buttocks and back touch its surface, while the cup made me pour water into its concave shape; it also made my hand take its appropriately-sized ring to lift up its body, and made me bring the water contained within itself towards my mouth’.)
These sensibilities reconfigured the unidirectional relationship between me (my body) and the artificial environment, and I felt as if the artifacts were the conscious subjects, while I was the resulting object that they had summoned, and the external artificial world felt like an independent ecosystem created by an unknown being. Breaking from the rules of existence that has been taken for granted in the human-centric perspective, and imagining the world of possibilities that will be.
#Part 2. Death of Materiality as a Process of a Cycle, and Subsequent Possibility of Unknown Ecosystems
I often feel the limitations of materiality. The dead skin cells that fall away from my body every day, the hair, the accumulating dust – each day, I experience the death of bodies. The daily collapses, the experience of constant and trivial deaths, expanded beyond my body into the external material world that surrounds me, and I realized that all materials are material beings that live temporary moments; a family of sorts.
Everyday objects and structures, including the hard asphalt we stand on, cannot last forever – realizing that they bear the potential to collapse at any moment, that they are not impregnable, faced with the fact that one day the social systems currently in effect and our steadfast convictions may also be abolished. But where the dead skin fell off, new skin will grow, and after the demolition of a building, a new one is built in its place, simultaneously collapsing and regenerating. This repeating landscape anecdotally shows that the material world is cyclical. The cycle I am referring to does not simply mean regeneration or recycling, but the potential to become something else (including data, or some other form of existence), following collapse and death.
Perceiving the ‘death of materiality’ as a process of a cycle leads to imagining the unknown world and the ways of existence that will be possible after the death of materiality. In this series of works, no longer useful, abandoned – dead – objects, fragments that fell out of large artificial structures, dead skin cells, and dirt are featured in a variety of ways, forming a new ecosystem that runs on its own cycle. To imagine an unknown ecosystem, made possible after the death of materiality, is based on the exploration of objects producing repetitive, meaningless movements, nature composed of broken artifacts, migrants in virtual space, a place where the body does not exist, and new beings born into the data world. In particular, the virtual world – which expands by the day – is also an artificial world, but a world where the material way of existence is irrelevant, stimulating my imagination about the world after the death of materiality and expanding my field of practice.
In conclusion, my practice begins with perceiving the familiar artificial environment around me and the artificial objects within, that form intimate relationships with my body, as unfamiliar. I’m imagining the collapse of the current artificial, material-based civilization, and about an unknown world, where the artifacts that were the objects may become the subjects. These imaginings, within my work, begin by focusing on the ‘death of the body (material existence)’, and by ‘eliminating the body’ in various ways; because of this, regardless of the medium, the series of landscapes present in my work may seem desolate. At first glance, my world may feel dystopian, but embedded within is the somewhat romantic attitude in looking at death: not with a pessimistic gaze, but seeing it as a new beginning, the opening up of alternative possibilities.
These conceptions are based on the outlook on our current world’s state, of being saturated with artificial materials, and imaginations about the virtual world, which is currently expanding. Moreover, they comprise matters concerning objects viewed through the gaze of humanity, and humanity viewed through the gaze of objects, and the influence of the material ‘body’