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Sujin Lee: This is a story for small children. a true-life love story

  • Location:
    AC Institute, 547 W. 27th St. #210, New York, New York, 10001, US

January 31 – February 13, 2013
Opening Event: Thursday, January 31, 6-8pm

This event is free and open to the public.

I work with text, video and performance, exploring the way in which different cultural and linguistic systems affect the actions of language. My experience of moving to the U.S. from Korea and learning English as an adult has shaped my artistic work—I am fascinated by the physical act of speaking. In my work I translate spoken words into text and vice versa, and explore the resulting disjunctures that uncover basic imperfections of language. I am interested in the elements that spoken words hold – accents, durations, emotions, hesitations, and mistakes – as well as how to present those elements in different written forms. I often use dubbing and subtitles, juxtaposing spoken and written words to explore the notion of “perfect” speech, the relationship between sound and image, and the ownership of language.

This is a story for small children. a true-life love story has three main elements: English text, Korean voice-over and images. The written text is from the example sentences in English dictionaries and grammar books. I always find those examples fascinating as they display random, surprising and poetic qualities. Their fragmentary aspects also refer to the possibilities of varied narrative context. Subtitles typically function as a translation of the spoken (original) text in films. However, the English text in this piece is the original and the spoken text (voice-over) is a translation. There are two kinds of translation: a translation from one language to another and from written text to spoken text. The B&W images were created as responses to both the English and Korean text. The three elements had equal weights in terms of creating rhythms in editing process.
–Sujin Lee


Sujin Lee has exhibited at the Bronx Museum of the Art, Aljira: Contemporary Art Center, ArtStays International Contemporary Art Festival 9, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, The Soap Factory, The 3rd Off and Free International Film Festival, and NURTUREart. Lee has been awarded residencies from the Sidney Kahn Summer Institute at The Kitchen, Millay Colony of the Arts, Blue Mountain Center and I-Park. She is currently an A.I.R. Gallery fellow and is participating in the Artist-in-Residence program at Newark Museum in January-February, 2013.