Jae Pil Eun

Jae Pil. Eun Sound in the Dark, 2023.

Year granted: 2022 Website: rwc1122@ubgznvy.pbz Part of Prospects

Jae Pil Eun (1991) uses sound as his main material. In South-Korea, Eun’s grandmother taught him how to play the drums used in shaman rituals for invoking the spirits. The rhythms and pitches of the drums are thought to conjure up invisible forces associated with various natural elements. In this way, people were able to share their hopes and fears, and learned how to respect nature. As a result of colonialism and rapid economic growth, these traditions were repressed or nearly forgotten. To Eun, however, they still exist. He sees them as ways to enhance our relationship with nature and the environment, and brings traditional practices back to life. They are at the heart of his work, which consists of performances and sound installations.  

Eun’s installation Sound in the Dark (2023) is based on a performance about the relationship between body and prosthesis. The sounds resonating inside and underneath the ceramic shapes the artist made especially for this work, evoke associations with an iron heart beating in a chest — a vibrating sound, both uneasy and warmly recognizable. Eun wants to make that sound tangible: “Feeling the sound of iron friction and the vibration of the skin from the machine heart. Imagining a new body organ, a sensation that transcends the stigma and ugliness of disease. When our hearts resonate, the heartbeat glows. Loneliness together, fear overcoming”

Text: Esther Darley

Translation from Dutch to English: Marie Louise Schoondergang