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Sound Art Korea & West Den Haag present Simple Acts of Listening

November 4–27, 2022

Sound Effects Seoul (SFX Seoul) started in 2007 as the first international sound art festival, based in Seoul. In Korea, there are an increasing number of sound artists, noise artists, and other types of experimenting with sound. Six Korean artists’ works are showcased in the old US Embassy to the Netherlands, which was designed by Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer, for this second foreign edition of SFX Seoul. Currently, the United States is still occupying Korea. This pseudo-colonial status has a significant impact on the country’s current social, economic, and cultural problems. It is now possible to listen to and reevaluate these ties in the present because to the integration of Korean artists’ sound work into the framework of American foreign power.

Visitors to Gina Kim’s Tearless are taken inside the “Monkey House,” a medical detention facility where women who were forced to serve the U.S. military in South Korea in a sexual capacity were housed from the 1970s to 2004. Kim urges viewers to feel the irony of visiting the Monkey House inside the former US embassy using AR and VR.

The ladder-bot version of the Buddhist five-limbed prostration (Ochetuji), created by Byungjun Kwon, diligently crawls and flattens itself against the ground in an effort to cleanse itself of pride, hubris, and stupidity.

In Ha Cha Youn’s installation MAT, BOAT, CARPET, which is titled “My Mat,” about 1,000 plastic bottles are strung together to create a mat, which serves as a minimum living area for someone who must leave their family and community. The carpet suggests a mystical flying machine that may carry one across the oceans, and a family may cuddle and cling to one other inside the boat.

Through an avatar created by 3D scanning pictures of her mother, Heesoo Kwon invokes the ancient Korean mythology of Mago the Crone in Mago Leymusoom. In order to suggest a world without patriarchy, Kwon reinterprets pregnancy, birth, and the female body that is responsible for these processes.

Go-Eun Iresearch m’s describes the lives and methods of female botanists who were not included in the history of Western botany and offers a non-linear narrative to reevaluate human interactions with nature.

REUS is a sound installation piece by Seulgi Lee. (The Dutch word for enormous is used in the title.) In a piece that expresses the paradoxical scales of power of nation and citizen, ropes run through various parts of the Embassy building to create an echoing device.

Sound Art is a form of visual art that is mostly experienced through listening. All day long, we hear, but do we listen? Visual perception does not have the same unifying power that sound does. Our bodies are vibrated by sound, which creates a shared physical sensation that unites us. The world as it is, not as it may or should be, is what sound art is radically open to. The world is communicating to us, and by listening, we may gather all the information we need to comprehend the true complexity of our political and personal situations. The first step in comprehending the present and imagining emergent possible worlds is the simple act of listening—to oneself and to others.

Artists: Ha Cha Youn, Go-Eun Im, Gina Kim, Byungjun Kwon, Heesoo Kwon, Seulgi Lee
Curators: Baruch Gottlieb, Ji Yoon Yang

Text: Baruch Gottlieb, Ji Yoon Yang 
Translation: Emily Yaewon Lee


Discussion: November 4, 5–6:30pm
Baruch Gottlieb, Ha Cha Youn, Byungjun Kwon, Seulgi Lee, Ji Yoon Yang

Performance: November 4, 7:30–8:30pm
Seulgi Lee, REUS, performance, 2022 & Byungjun Kwon, Ochetuji ladder-bot, robot performance, 2022

Conversation: November 26, 3–4pm
Baruch Gottlieb, Go-Eun Im

West Den Haag
Lange Voorhout 102
2514 EJ The Haag
The Netherlands
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