To Find the One Way (다시 만날 때까지)
As in this project, my work begins with a personal experience. To Find the One Way is devoted to my father who has passed away. The structure is an extension of one of my bookworks, which are inspired by the Buddhist idea of the number 108. Rather than using a book structure, I installed each page in a space and extended the number from 108 to 1080.
The making of this piece became a ritual, with the final presentation of an artifact. On each piece are renderings of the character (Dao), which has various meanings, including “path” or “way.” A different historic seal engraver or calligrapher designed each character. Burning incense was used to make the negative space on each page, creating absence, which represents death or loss. When lit, the absence creates a shadow. To me, this shadow had triple significance; it draws attention to the negative space, and the absence the space suggests, and it calls to mind memories of the one who is absent. Every character of emptiness on the paper creates 1080 different ways or paths. Each of the paths connects absence and presence, the past and the now, the loss and the memories, and death and life.
Photo by Yong Ho Bae
2007, Incense burning on Okawara