Younger generations and people from other cultures often don’t understand traditional Korean ‘Gugak’ music. By making the music more visual, I aim to increase its appeal.

In order to succeed the tradition, I had to think of a new generation and persuade not only Koreans but also people from other cultures. Thus, rather than maintaining a difficult traditional music system, I decided to utilize new media and visual elements as much as possible for a common understanding of all nations. While residing in the Netherlands, I was mentored by Joost Grootens, Simon Davies, Gert Staal, Bart Guldemond, Koehorst in ‘t Veld to look for a design that freshens the tradition itself but finds a way not to break it.

Sinawi is an oral music genre within Gugak; the notes are never written down. By creating a music score that visually reflects the nature of the different sounds, from plain notes to trembling tones, listeners gain extra insight into what they are hearing. Being able to see the notes and rhythms in a custom music score helps make the music more accessible. As an extra visual aid, a 3D model of the handkerchief used by traditional dancers flutters in response to the music. (Depending on the movement score, 3d model mimics the traditional dancer's Salpuri dance. Collaborated with AINNOZ for machine manufacturing.) In addition, I visualized the theory of how traditional musicians can play improvisationally through the video they played. In the Video, the performers played concisely and uncomplicatedly to make listeners as easy to understand as possible.

As a result, The graphics score system, video performers, and mechanical dancer work simultaneously with Korean traditional improvisation 'Sinawi' and hold a concert in a new type. The elements of the traditional concert (In the form of dancers, performers, and scores) are retained, but the new type of modern concert is created.

These three visualizations interact and play at the same time.

3D Model; Acrylic, Cloth, Arduino, 4 Ventilators
/420xHeight of ceiling mm
Collaborated with the AINNOZ

Based on Noh Hei-kyung's Salpuri ( and the sound source of video(6:35) I shot myself, I created a movement score by tracing the movements of the ‘cheon’ that was moving along the rhythm over time. The height of the ‘cheon’ was divided into low, lower middle, middle, upper middle and high, which were annotated as 0, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75 and 1.0, respectively. In addition, rotational and stopping sections were also annotated separately. All of these movements of the ‘cheon’ represent the three main elements of the Salpuri such as connecting (pulling up), soothing (staying) and releasing (descending and relaxing), and a cycle of these three elements is repeated and produces improvisational movements. Mr. Changduk Choi, a designated apprentice of the Important Intangible Cultural Property No. 97 Salpuri Dance, described the meaning of the movements of the ‘cheon’ in Salpuri as follow.

'Dropping the towel on the hand means the pain of parting or the life of misfortune, and when it is picked up again, it becomes a world of a joy with good luck and reunion.'
Changduk Choi, 1995

Process of dyeing cloth