"Nightfield" is a multi-sensory media installation, where vibrations of sound on paper transform a space full of Korean traditional Hanji (한지) suspended in the air into a field of an immersive and embodied journey that is deeply emotional, sensorial, and reflective. Through sonic, tactile and kinesthetic registers, visitors interact with the installation as small transducers attached to the Hanji transmit different acoustic elements of the wind spatially distributed across the field. Visitors move through the dazzlingly translucent papers traversing the quietly howling winds that are everywhere, yet mysterious in their directionality. As visitors bring the papers to the ear to listen closely, an enigmatic sonic space opens up from the thin paper that is ambiguous between exterior and interior and with a depth that is hard to fathom. This surprising and evocative spatiality resonates with the inner memories of the listeners, evoking reflective and affective engagement.
It is the affective encounter of our own body with the materiality of paper that activates through intimate contact what I refer to as sympathetic vibration, where sound transmits from one entity to another allowing us to experience sound as vibration that is ‘moving’ and ‘touching’ both physically and emotionally. Paper is an old medium that played an essential role in human culture. As the traditional door element in Korean architecture, Hanji paper allowed the natural order into the everyday awareness letting sound from nature such as rain and wind permeate to the indoor space, in a philosophical tradition that situated the human within nature seeking a harmonious relationship.
The piece is dedicated to the winter nights of my childhood where wind from Siberian high pressure vibrates the door papers all night, literally turning them into a sound instrument that cries with the wind and becomes a part of it, a soundscape that is deeply rooted in the memories of Koreans for centuries.