The modified new version of “BreatheOut” was exhibited at QUT biennial event, Robotronica 2019. I added new sensors that resemble a Calla lily flower to allow the audience to mix the data visualiszation with the live Brisbane air data. By breathing out to the flower planted in the living plant, the local Brisbane audience can add new particles that represent Brisbane PM 2.5 (Particle Matters) quality in different colors depending on the air quality status. For example, the large screen displays the current air quality of Seoul city, Gangnam-gu and the real-time air quality data from Brisbane CBD will get mixed with Seoul air in the screen by breathing out to the sensor.
During the preparation of this art exhibition, I lost my beloved father in Seoul. At the moment, I almost gave up having this exhibition but, miraculously, the timing of installation and equipment rentals have worked out well with the kind helps of many – especially Sam An and Kazan Kang from datacook. Kazan’s technical support for data algorithm has been critical for my artwork. Also many thanks to my QUT supervisors: Dr. Jen Seevinck, Dr. Alice Payne and Dr. Jaz Choi. In the end, I was able to hold this solo art exhibition at the Platform-L Contemporary Art Center from 7th of Nov to 17th of Nov 2018 as a part of Platform-L Live Arts Program 2018. Perhaps dad was looking after me after all…
Art Exhibition by Younghui Kim: The Sense of Data – Seoul 2018
Here is the quickly printed postcard with the artwork, ‘Out-Layers – Seoul 2018‘ – screen version. I had to rush out to the printer during the exhibition as I had a very limited time to prepare. Fortunately, the art exhibition has gotten strong feedbacks in the sense of sharing my artistic view of data from the Seoul audience.
In the age of massive data where our action, decisions and opinions are digitally traced, hyper-connected and shared in many technologically developed societies, the artist questions about how our everyday lives are expressed and influenced through data. This series is composed of 3 artworks; two of them are in a set of a wearable and a screen projection piece of live data associated with Seoul.
Out-Layers – Seoul 2018
In the first set, ‘Out-Layers – Seoul 2018‘, the artist visualizes the live data of selfie-related texts in the public post of Selfie using the hashtag #셀카 in Instagram – ‘셀카’ is pronounced as ‘Selca’ and means ‘Selfie’ in Korean. The algorithm set in the datacook site looks for the Korean words that are associated with five kinds of emotions and thoughts exposed in the Korean selfies in social media, categrized based on thematic analysis; then visualizes into five colors of stripes: daily – green, travel – blue, emotions – yellow, appearance – pink, and promotion – orange. These bold graphic pattern projected in a large scale on the wall are built and updated with the live data along in parallel with the colourful lights embedded in the wearable version. Both patterns are inspired by Korean traditional color pattern called, ‘Sakdong’ and Hanbok image collars called, ‘Dong Jeong‘.
The set of artworks, ‘BreatheOut – Seoul 2018′ visualizes the live data of the air quality of Seoul – specifically the micro dust pollution levels in the district of the gallery is sited.
The air we breathe out unconsciously gets mixed up with the surrounding air (in Seoul this case), and we share air by breathing in and out. We are interacting with air dust by breathing in and out, and ‘BreatheOut – Seoul 2018‘ visualizes the interaction of our breathing out, blending with the live visualization of the current air dust quality. The artist relates this idea of data that influences our everyday lives by tracing, sharing and circulating. Also, the idea of sustainability is apparent with this artistic theme as this wearable, Pancho has been created with a zero-waste pattern; a pattern that does not create trimmed throwaways of the fabric.
The large screen is full of whimsical particles in the shape of circles all moving toward one direction. The artist visualized the air particles into small circles and refers them as, ‘air bubble’. These movements of air bubbles are intentionally designed simple but computationally randomized, which creates a meditative environment where one can stare at it for a while. The live data was filtered through an algorithm in the artwork and visualized into tiny moving air bubbles in different color stages based on the AQI (Air Quality Index) Calculator provided by airnow.gov. Each layer of colors represent PM10 (coarse particle matters) , and PM2.5 (finer particle matters) status and these air bubbles are joined with pink bubbles breathed out through the wearable. PM refers an air pollutant that is harmful for health when levels in air are high. Each layer of the air bubbles is displayed in one of three colours depending on the real-time data provided by the Seoul City Open Data API: green being healthy, orange being sensitive and light pink being unhealthy for some people.
The wearable also displays the color status of micro dust in LEDs embedded, and a breathing sensor is attached to the inner layer of the mask part. We breathe in and out the very same air; therefore, the wearer also participates with the live data visualization with her breathing.
As a part of her PhD research, “Artistic Exploration of Data Through Creative Practice“, Younghui begins to explore the meaning of outliers in data through her art practice and aims to expand the use of real-time data as art material for conceptual art practice through this series. It has been a long process of exploring data through an artistic approach for her already. Therefore, this artwork is the process, not a completion of work. In Seeking for Outliers, the artist first gathered her words that she posted on the walls of Facebook for ten years of her stay in Seoul – from Feb 2007 to Jan 2017. Apparently, the dataset was large which easily crashed the data analytic tools she played with.
‘Seeking for Outliers’ has begun with the idea of searching for outliers in personal data of the artist. To trace her memories of thoughts, opinions, and actions for the ten years living in Seoul, she first gathered English words as she often posts on the wall in two languages. Then she displayed the words by the counts of the word usage into her artwork to seek for the words that reveal her thoughts based on her memory and experience.
Notably, the artist seeked for the words that were used only once or twice instead of many – such in hundreds. They might be insignificant in counts in data analysis but, these diverse words are far more exciting and significant as they might be a record of passing ephemeral thoughts. For instance, the most repeatedly used word, ‘Happy’ – 400 times, would appear larger in yellow but, it will have lesser significant, therefore, behaves lighter in weights. Its opacity is low and moves slow and floats like air.
Throught ‘Seeking for Outliers‘, Younghui tries to understand the outliers of her past with her own memories and experience and based on its revelation, she expects to continue to further practice with this concept of outliers in the close future. The video below is a clip where the artist reads word by word out loud during the exhibition.
2. Exhibition at L U C E R I U M (Gwangju National Museum of Science)광주국립과학관 2015. 7.3 – 9.13
Younghui’s artwork, Scales(2014) is repaired and installed for the art and mathematics exhibition, “Keys and Mathematics” at the LUCERIUM (Gwangju, S. Korea). This kinetic installation project is inspired by Fibonacci numbers and pinecone scales. When the visitor blow one’s breath to the installed pole, the scales will open up. Each scales are made of wooden veneer papers – hand folded by the artist. The exhibition is open until Sept. 13th, 2015.
피보나치수열에 영감을 받아 제작된 인터랙티브 설치작품, 비늘(Scales, 2014)이 광주국립과학관에 초대되어 열쇠-수학체험전에서 전시를 하게 되었습니다. 본 작품은 244개의 목재종이를 접어 만든 설치물로써 입김을 불어 넣으면 살짝 열렸다 닫히는 설치물입니다. 광주국립과학관은 꽤 멋진 공간이며 다양한 상설전시가 있어서 아이들을 데리고 가기에 매우 유익한 장소인 것 같습니다.
3. BBC News Click Interview aired in June, 2015 in UK & USA
The reporters from BBC has visited Korea for South Korea special episodes. As their kindly request for an interview, we had a nice conversation at the Art Space Moon40 in the west village(서촌) area near Gyeongbokgung (The Palace.)
Here is the screen grab of the interview from UK version
2013.July 5th – July 21st, at HOMA (Hongik University Museum of Modern Art)
Younghui Kim is having a group exhibition with 4 other artists(Romy Achituv, Dan Mikesell, Dongsoo Suh, Jaemin Lee) who are also her colleagues at the WCU Digital Media Public Art Research Lab.
She is displaying her current three art works, ‘RUNNING! 달려라 영희!’ ‘A Moment 순간’ ‘Body Graffiti in Trio.’
RUNNING! 125 x 147 x 65 cm, EL sheets, electronics
A Characterized figure that looks like a common running icon on the exit and entrance signs in cities are drawn using thin EL (Electroluminescent) sheets. This electronic drawing is installed where two sides of walls and a celling meet. Depending on the location of the visitor, it will look distorted or right. When it is dark, the running girl icon is reflected all around, running toward all directions.
A MOMEMENT 순간 150 x 155 x 250 cm, white birch wood, mdf, motors, micro-controller, electronics
How long does a moment appear to you? ‘A Moment’ is a kinetic display using a POV(Persistence of Vision) display and it swings like a pendulum while displaying an ephemeral message.