Hacking Han-geul was presented at SFPC:The First Class at Eyebeam Art and Technology Center. Han-geul is the script used for Korean written language. Unlike most scripts across the world that have evolved over time, Han-geul was actually commissioned by the ruler of Korea around 600 hundred years ago. It is a phonetic alphabet and so easy to learn that most people can learn to read it in a day. I made a book during my undergraduate school about Han-geul for my thesis.
For this project, I wanted to use the Korean written language system like a code, and wanted the viewer to assign their own sound to each of the 26 symbols. It is almost like the viewers are making their own spoken language.
The first part of the project was data collection. I worked on an app to collect the sounds. I created a quick instruction pages and ask people make a sound that the symbol might portray. It was challenging to engage the viewer to interact with my app, but after a few tweaks through practice runs it seemed to work better.
The second part of the project was the visualization. I used the audios and videos of sound people made as material to create my interactive art piece. The first was the video of SFPC students reading the quote from the introduction to the declaration of Han-geul called “Hun-min-jung-eum” using their own sound. The second was the app that averaged the sound for the single symbol. The viewer can choose the symbol that they want to listen to and when the symbol is pressed, 21 videos of different people’s mouths in a grid format are played simultaneously on the screen.
I learned a lot about putting out a project and I hope to expand this project in the future.
Book about Han-geul
7.87″ x 12.72″ Book
Designed at Washington University in St. Louis
I researched, illustrated, wrote, and designed a book about Korean alphabet as my final student project. Korean alphabet was, unlike other alphabet, invented by a King approximately 600 years ago, and known as one of the most scientific languages. It has a very graphic shape, and anyone can learn how to read it in a day. This book inform non-Korean audiences about how it was invented, how to read it, and how it affected literacy in Korea. The calligraphy reflects the traditional writing form of Korea, and graphic illustrations help to communicate the information.