ONE AND THE SAME 2007
ONE AND THE SAME
You were a mere sign,
Till I named you.
But when I called you by name
You came to me:
You became a flower.
I want someone,
My match in tone and scent,
Would call my name as I called yours.
I will go to that person,
I will be that person’s flower.
We all wish to be something.
You for me, me for you;
To be something meaningful, unforgettable.
Flower by Kim Chun-soo
The act of naming can be referred to as lending meaning to the meaningless. So an act of sorting out something special from unspecified things, then naming it, is a discovery of its meaning, true nature, and value. Like Kim Chun-soo’s poem above, we all wish to become something both unforgettable and meaningful to each other. Call me by my proper name: I will go to you, become your flower.
My work begins by identifying countless beings that often remain anonymous in our age of multimedia. I am interested in photography, that most appropriate of mediums, for making an object perceived appear real, and to capture, represent, and convey an object more directly and concretely than painting and writing. There really are no other mediums able to capture an apple more completely and accurately than photography: it holds a referential function stronger than language.
A name is akin to a photograph in that it refers to a specific object concretely and directly. If a name can be depicted in a photograph, a referential meaning can also be presented as a form for direct conveyance – that is, without intermediation. However, this is unlikely, as a name is just a linguistic sign; it has no substance, and is just a symbol indicating an object. Paradoxically however, we can encapsulate such names. How can we do this? This answer is within different people with the same name.
This ‘same name’ connects each image of a person who shares that name, organized in a semantic network, of portraits arranged horizontally. These remain equivalent, under the same name, and as a series of images they converge into the common past of that same name. In other words, each photograph can show an independent image of each person sharing the same name, so what’s contained in the image is their name as signifier. The photograph thus becomes a means for communication like language, in that it encapsulates and chronicles ideas and feelings, and enables us to talk with each other. When our name is called, we realize that our mere existence becomes unforgettable experience.