Solo Show Title: Unfamiliar Behavior by Hye Yeon Nam
Work Title: Hooray (interactive installation and video)
Location: Telfair Museum, Savannah, GA
Jan 30 - April 28, 2013
In the Telfair Museum, Hooray is installed on the wall with a video. There are two bright light sources to make participants’ shadows for interacting with Hooray. In Hooray, 208 human figures in double rows are initially standing up. When participants approach Hooray, the figures individually bow. To accomplish this effect, when the participants’ shadows block light sensors, motors are activated that cause the figures to bow. In my video, I bow and try to keep smiling for 10 minutes while gradually getting tired of bowing.
Hooray represents a hierarchical power relationship in society. When participants get closer to Hooray, their shadows seem like overwhelming small-scaled human figures. Small-scaled human figures bow showing their obedience to the participants. I think our society’s so called democracy is not really a democracy. An individual’s money, power, and reputation are still organized in a hierarchy. We do not live any more in a society, which is set up as a relationship of servant and master, such as a caste or a slavery system. However, the current system is sometimes subtly misguiding people through mass media, policy, or laws because they opt to represent people who have power and influence. At the same time, in my video, an Asian Woman bows and keeps smiling for 10 minutes. The video specifically represents Asian culture, which expects woman to be sweet and be submissive. Hooray represents a general concept of a hierarchical society with the video showing a specific example of Asian culture as two works in a set.
I would like to see the audiences’ reactions that occur when they encounter hierarchies of different societies and cultures. I assume that they may feel uncomfortable, curious, or indifferent. My greatest hope is for my audience to become aware of our society’s issues and have a chance to think about it while they appreciate and enjoy the artwork.