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Magnet tile / installation

Exhibited at National Hangeul Museum

Steel, magnet

53 X 78 X 3 (mm)

In modern times, great effort was made to experiment with and research Hangeul and expand its usage. Word spacing and horizontal writing were among those experiments, although they are common practice today. Inspired by such endeavors, we crafted this work by extracting parts from an editorial in inaugural issue of 'Doknip sinmun (Newspaper of Korea independence)', the nation's first newspaper that used only Hangeul and was at the forefront of adopting word spacing. We regard Hangeul and tiles, first introduced to Korea in the modern era and architectural in nature, to be similar in that they are finished through a combination of elements according to certain rules. Based in this idea, the project ALPHABET is a result of experimentation to find a new form through integration of Hangeul and tiles.

Adapting the 'Cheon-Ji-In' Hangeul keypad system, which enables all vowels to be typed on a mobile phone by combining three basic vowels (ㅣ, ㅡ, ㆍ ; pronounced Cheon, Ji and In, and meaning the sky, the earth and humans, respectively), we made nine types of tiles including a spacing sign. The words extracted from the historical newspaper, completed with Korean alphabet tiles, are transformed in to certain pattern. The vowels are expressed buy combining the three basic vowel tiles, while the consonants are made by placing the consonant tiles (ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ, ㅇ, ㅈ) in normal or inverted positions, or repeating them.

Unlike tiles on walls or floors, these ALPHABET tiles come with magnets so that they can be freely combined or arranged like Hangeul.

Product photograph by Jandee Kim

Exhibition photograph by Younjae Kim 

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