A multimedia stream of changing images

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A multimedia stream of changing images

At first sight, the stream of images appearing on a long, wide signboard-like panel is thrilling to watch. The futuristic display of changing images includes letters blinking in coordination and apparently floating in water; a bespectacled man’s face looking left and right, and then forward and backward; reversed images of faces; dolphins swimming in the ocean, and a quiet, peaceful pastoral scene featuring clouds and trees on a grassy hill.
The panel is installed on the exterior of SK Telecom’s headquarters in central Seoul. Inside the building is a large rectangular display panel standing against a glass wall, while two pillars and a wide strip on the ceiling are also covered with screens. The installations are a collaboration between SK Telecom and the Art Center Nabi, and they display the work of five multimedia artists: Hong Sung-chul, Kim Hae-min, Yuk Keun-byung, Han Ke-ryoon and Bae Yun-ho.
“The display panels are unique sculptural art designed to match the building as well as parts of the gallery to demonstrate the visual work of media artists,” said Kim Kang-mo, a curator of the art center. “The purpose of the displays is to unite a changing urban landscape with the building as a new form of public art.”
The images change every 10 minutes. The letters, the work by Mr. Bae, are base images that appear between the works of the four other artists. “As is the nature of multimedia art, the displays were produced through the collaboration of the artists, curators, producers, architects, designers, system integration consultants, broadcasting solution developers and sound designers,” Mr. Kim said.
The panels are made of thousands of light emitting diodes, which can be used to “shape” the display according to the artists’ design. LED panels can shine brightly in the daytime and are often used for large outdoor screens. The images on the outside display panel also run on the indoor panels, although the different shape of each panel influences how the images are seen.
The results of the collaboration are remarkable. The image of the face looking left and right is titled, “Reading a Book,” and is the work of Mr. Han, who described it as a mockery of him reading a book about modern art. Throughout the 10-minute artwork, the artist expresses difficulty in understanding the book. The image movements are displayed with slightly different timing on the different screens.
Another eye-catching piece is an “interactive” work by Mr. Hong. The piece, titled “Perceptual Mirror,” Mr. Hong says, “explores the human desire to identify oneself.” The images of faces with reversed colors, like a photo negative, are designed to react to sound ― the face turns as if it recognizes a voice calling it.
Mr. Hong also installed a camera and a sensor in the lobby so that if a person approaches the sensor, the panel acts like a mirror and shows the blurred image of that person.

by Limb Jae-un
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