Sonic Rotating Line Type A
Motion is a central concern in the work of Haegue Yang, both formally through the way her sculpture welcomes interaction and symbolically as it represents the movement of people across borders. Growing up in South Korea, Yang is all too familiar with the arbitrary privilege of those who can move freely through space and those who cannot. In Sonic Rotating Line, Yang invites the viewer to set the work in motion, to reach out and inherently change our experience of its form. This gesture of free will and agency is exhilarating, flying in the face of our well-trained do not touch the art mentality. The impact of the motion is twofold: first, the line erupts into a cacophony of bell sounds, equally sweet and chaotic, overtaking silence with joy. Then, when spun fast enough, the line ceases to be a line at all as it blurs into a whirling circle. As it loses momentum, the bells chime less frequently and the circle becomes a line again.
About the artist
Haegue Yang b. 1971, Seoul, South Korea
Haegue Yang seeks to communicate without language in a primordial and visual way: often complementing her vocabulary of visual abstraction with sensory experiences that include scent, sound, light and tactility. Combining industrial fabrication and folk craftsmanship, Yang explores the affective power of materials in destabilizing the distinction between the modern and pre-modern. Yang’s unique visual language extends across various media (from paper collage to staged theatre pieces and performative sculptures), and materials (Venetian blinds, clothing racks, synthetic straw, bells and graph paper) that are torn, lacquered, woven, lit and hung. Her artistic explorations stem from material-based concerns, accompanied by philosophical, political and emotionally charged readings of historical events and figures. Her ongoing research is empowered by underlying references to art history, literature and political history, through which she re-interprets some of her recurrent themes: migration, postcolonial diasporas, enforced exile and social mobility. As a result, these pieces link various geopolitical contexts and histories in an attempt to understand and comment on our own time. Yang’s translation from the political and historical into the formal and abstract, demonstrates her conviction that historical narratives can be made comprehensible without being linguistically explanatory or didactic.
Haegue Yang lives and works in Berlin and Seoul.