A number is a generic term that has natural number, integers, rational number, real number and complex numbers as categories. The purpose of numbers seems to be derived from counting numbers of livestock and property when the idea of private possession emerged in primitive societies. Numbers have influenced people’s lives heavily as they are considered rational, fair and absolute, thus used for important calculations and data records. But number can be interpreted as very dependent on each other, in that it can never be always larger or smaller. It is difficult for one number to have meaning independently, and the concept of one being larger or smaller than the other only can be logically valid if there are other numbers prevalent. This would mean that numbers equally have its value, although they look different on the surface.
Number repeats the process of birth and death. This is why I believe the word “Countless” should be ambiguous. Numbers exist because of need of mankind to calculate and count, and would not have meaning with quantitative value if people did not seek utility of numeric symbols. This makes the fundamental concept of numbers to reflect human needs to count things and to use them in everyday lives. Through this series, I would like to question and express the true purpose of numbers, and the meaninglessness of standardizing them according to our need.
Counting Game 1: Count, 2017, Mixed media(Video installation, stainless steel table)
People in our current society seem to be care about many different types of measurement. We can easily see this fascination with measurement in cooking. There are many measurement tools for cooking. If no specific tools had been invented, would we not be able to cook well? People have begun to unconsciously rely on measurement in many aspects of our lives. To question the issue of over reliance on measurement in our lives, this project questioned itself by showing metaphorical meanings by getting rid of colors from ingredients on a mixed media sculpture installation. It would give audience the idea of how something might taste without relying on a recipe or measurement.
Counting Game 2: Number, 2017, Mixed media (polystyrene foam, wooden chair)
How did we count objects before defining the concept of numbers? Nowadays, we can easily see products that are defined how many people can use them. However, numbers are meaningless when we go back to nature.
If there is a large stone, it can be used for many different purposes by a variety of people. In nature, there is no absolute meaning of a number, it’s always changeable. Therefore, this mixed media work can be seen as thus, and actually make the audience question what the real meaning of numbers are in our society.
Counting Game 3: Unit, 2017, Mixed media & Installation(lettering on glass)
People often say ‘Let’s get a cup of coffee,’ to their friends, colleagues, or even acquaintances. This saying does not necessarily mean that they are going to actually have a cup of coffee. In this context, having a cup of coffee might just mean, ‘Let’s spend some time together.’ Therefore, the concept of a cup would be different to different individuals in various situations. This project is inspired by finding the subjective point of view toward measurement units and asking people to refine the meaning of ‘a cup’.