Hanmaro Kang

“My signs and languages are repeating and duplicating themselves as they float around inside me as symbols.” I have been obsessed with signs for a long time.

Display windows in cities, full of numerous signs, have always been fascinating to me. As I open the door to my childhood memory, I see display windows of a toy store that used to catch my eyes on my way to and from school. The original anxiety and obsession of a child magically disappeared into the order and the repetition of signs. Since then, display windows have been a space of consolation, a door to my memories and a window to the world outside; the signs, images and letters on display windows have been my toys.

Display windows which have been a means of communication between the past and the present are now turning into a messenger between the virtual world and the real one. Display windows are windows that are always open and metaphoric. Signs and letters are redisplayed and recreated. Original signs in display windows are being deconstructed and then rearranged and recombined into new signs and letters that go beyond time and space. The newly born signs and letters in my display windows, therefore, present new interpretation and narratives outside of fixed order and meanings.

Civilized code and signs exist at the center of display windows. Marcel Mauss, an anthropologist referred to a new civilization created by the encounter of different cultures as the “gift.” I have always thought that such encounters of civilizations are fascinating. Within the display windows of modern times, I create new time and space, combining signs and letters and freely crossing the border between the real and virtual worlds. The newly created landscape and reality lead to extended meanings and senses.