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Kelvin Kyung Kun Park
“When Tigers used to Smoke” is a series of videos that examine the threshold between nature and civilization. The series consists of digitally processed video images of wild animals shot in the local zoo conveying loneliness and alienation.
“I consider text to be digital, while gestures are analogue. What happens when you combine digital and analogue? Communication among mammals including human beings is indirect and always relies on a pre-learned and common signifier. Most animals rely on sound, bodily gestures and motion to communicate with each other.”
The footage of the tiger shot in the local zoo is superimposed by graphics of a waveform monitor to create a simultaneous vision of impression and information. Video monitors can be deceiving and often work against you to make wrong color adjustments because our vision is subjective, even for a trained professional. Waveform monitor is used by video professionals to accurately determine color and light information and make adjustments to the video footage. Synchronicity and incongruity between video and its own information are accentuated creating an image that both pulls and repels at the same time.
“Civilization was intended to protect people from nature. However civilization sometimes oppresses us by robbing our own innate animal instincts. I feel empathy towards certain animals, not because I think they are like human beings, but because I feel like an animal myself. Commercial images of animals work within the frame of anthropomorphism to humanize animals, but I am more interested in animalizing human beings.”