June 10, 2009

Interview with SPACELab artist SunJin Choi

Posted in Category General

Installation view of Ambient Sound (detail), 2009 by SungJin Choi

On May 15, Sung Jin Choi talked with arts writer Eleanor LeBeau about his SPACELab exhibition, art school in Korea, and the hundreds of miniature plastic figures he cast for world-renowned Korean artist Do-Ho Suh (see Art:21, Season 2). Chois sound-producing kinetic sculpture explores the visual and auditory nature of memory.

You list Marcel Duchamp as a favorite on your Facebook page.

[Laughs.] I like the idea of using everyday objects. Even though these objects are common"everybody knows them and uses them"some people have specific memories attached to them. I use everyday objects like Duchamp [did], but I use them from a different point of view, as a private object with a private memory.

Tell me about AMBIENT SOUND.

I grew up with a lot of music at home. My father was a businessman and my mother was a housewife. She really liked music and she let me do the boys chorus. My sister plays the piano and went to a private middle school and high school. Right now shes in the music business in Michigan. So in my brain there is always music or some kind of sound.

What kind of music?

In my house we listened to classical music, very quiet and calm music. But during my teenage years I listened to heavy metal. I still have that classical music in my mind, but not always a whole piece of music"sometimes just a melody or a humming sound. Or bells. When I was young, my mother gave me small bells. Id always bring a bell with me when we went out, because I always got lost and shed find me by the sound of my bell. It was like an old-fashioned GPA. So the piece with bells [10,000 (2004), one of the works on view] is a way to remember my mom. I cast 10,000 bells for the piece, but in the exhibition space [here] I had trouble using all of them. I used an old-fashioned motor attached to a motion sensor, so the bells make sounds when people walk by the installation.

Whats the significance of the number 10,000?

In Buddhism, [the number] 10,000 means redemption. Sometimes people pray in the temple, and they bow 10,000 times for redemption. The piece [10,000 ] is a story to my mom, because Im living a life totally different from what my mom wanted for me.

Sign Up Never miss our goings-on. Sign up for our email.

Share This

Photo Gallery

1 of 22