Defamiliarizing Hangeul

DAEKI & JUN Studio

Installation in National Hangeul Mueseum, Seoul, KoreaFourteen Scarves (size each: 47 x 47 inches)Hero ImageInstallation in 019 Ghent, BelgiumA flag (size: 295 x 295 inches)
Video: Defamiliarizing HangeulInstallation in National Hangeul Mueseum, Seoul, Korea

Hangeul has experienced great changes since its invention. One example is yamin jeongeum, which has emerged online through the Internet. By utilizing the formative similarity of phonemes that occurs during the process of syllabic grouping, yamin jeongeum is expanding the realm of Hangeul beyond its function of conveying meaning and into a form of adornment and art. The advent of this innovative form of technology known as the Internet heralded new transformations. In digital environments, the visual characteristics of the characters are based on pixels, and therefore the information presented may be inaccurately transformed on the screen depending on the thickness of the strokes and the direction of the font. The artists discovered that this phenomenon results in the Hangeul form appearing similar to that of yamin jeongeum. This study begins with the question, “Why did King Sejong create Hangeul in this way?” The artist duo aimed to defamiliarize Hangeul under the concept that a writing system is not transmitted to the next generation unchanged, but rather evolves through the process of “creation > development > extinction” and the phenomena that have emerged through the encounter of Hangeul and digital media. This study aimed to bring out the mathematical principles and regularities of Hangeul through its cyclical order and variable form. A Hangeul structure comprised of two primary characters (‘ㄱ’, ‘ㅇ’) - rather than the one of the existing standards comprised of eight primary characters (five consonants and three vowels) - was created based on the formative similarity between phonemes. The stroke divisions and the differing lengths of the characters demonstrate how Hangeul is not a static writing system but rather undergoes constant creation and extinction.

Art Director & Designer
Daeki Shim
Art Director & Designer
Hyojun Shim
Assistant Designer(intern)
Ahreum Lee
Assistant Designer(intern)
Jaeun Lee
Installation photography(019 Ghent)
Michiel De Cleene
Installation photography(National Hangeul Museum)
Unreal Studio
Host & Client
National Hangeul Museum
Exhibition Partner
019 Ghent & Valentijn Goethals
Project link