London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Gallery: Joo Yeon Park’s Library of the Unword

As described in the exhibition notice, Joo Yeon Park’s Library of the Unword and its central piece Twenty Times a Thousand (2019) is inspired by Beckett’s poem Echo’s Bones. According to the artist,

Echo in Beckett’s poem Echo’s Bones (1935) refers to the nymph in Ovid’s Metamorphoses who is punished by Juno so that she is able to speak only by repeating the words of others. When Echo falls in love with Narcissus, she calls to him in his own words, but he rejects her. She hides in a cave, and her sadness slowly destroys her body, turning her bones to stone and leaving only her voice – a disembodied voice that continues to speak by appropriating and repeating the words of others in a space that is neither life nor death.

Twenty Times a Thousand consists of one hundred panels of Korean manuscript paper – of the sort used to practice writing Chinese characters – the square grids being inscribed with blank circles representing the “unword” of the exhibition’s title or Echo’s disembodied voice. Here is a few installation shots of the exhibition at the National Poetry Library, taken on 14 February.

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