Contemporary Design

The moment before the music begins by Nahyun Kim

This is an instrument which is Jangdok-shaped, a traditional Korean jar that is buried in the soil to ripen Kimchi. The reason why the food made in Jangdok is delicious is that until just before it comes out to the world, they adapted to the environment in the soil and prepared to become delectable. When we play this instrument, the moment we have to focus is not the moment when the sound comes out, but the moment when we adapt to this space, focusing solely on the instrument and all thoughts disappear. Wait for silence and concentration in your mind like the soil does.
five ceramic pots

If we can feel the moment before we make a sound, we will not simply make a sound, we will be immersed in the atmosphere, our every movement, and the sound. It is important to focus on sound, but the memory and movements are also principal.

five ceramic pots

This instrument can make sounds by hitting potteries with wooden sticks, by turning the sticks on their side, or scratching them up and down. The act of hitting with a wooden stick or scratching or turning the sides with a stick is what I did to make these potteries. In order to make the walls solid, I tapped countless times with my hands and turned a throwing wheel to make their shapes. I also made the walls thinner by moving my hands up and down on a throwing wheel. By making a sound with these movements, we can reminisce about the memories between the potteries and I, and talk to each other.

Through this work, I wanted to share the silent moment just before the music begins, the memory of the instrument from when it was the soil, the reminiscences of the scene I was creating, and the moment of silence that will make sound.

close-up of three ceramic pots

Medium: Clay, Wood, Sound

Photographs: Anne Kinnunen

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