What Is Your Name, in the United States. interview installation

iPad, steel, video in loop. Dec 2022

The video installation, “What is your name, in the United States” gathers the video documentation of interview series that I have done with Simranpreet Anand, Sunhong Kim, and Do Young Kim currently living in the United States but having their cultural roots in India and Korea. They talk about their experiences to introduce their names to others in the United States, coping with a “wrong” pronunciation or contradiction of their names. They confess that they have chosen to be a ghost or antagonist, by hiding their identities to comfort humans or teaching their names not to allow humans to approximate their identities at their convenience. In this way, I invite the powerless, unnamed, and unanchored to prove one’s own ability to do a speech. Aristotle said a being who can do speech is a political animal.

A voice of the Other–stating one’s experiences of being a ghost and antagonist–implies one’s subversive potential in the dominant and concrete politics of language, territories, and representation.  For this reason, their faces are blurred and fluctuate. Such visuals indicate their ontology of being the Other, a figure hard to see clearly but having the possibility to be visible if you understand them.

Throughout this practice, I dream of expanding a loose ally with those feeble existences who are inevitably invisible, actively uncomfortable, or diligently repetitive in their places. Bringing their testimonies is a part of the practice to gather weak, invisible forces to dream of deregulating partitions of a human and not-a-human through communal voices.

Photo by Ben Zink

Interviewee: Do Young, Sunhong, Simranpreet

©2022 Okyoung Noh   All rights reserved

Photo by Simranpreet Anand

Comedy in America. performance

video screening and performance. Dec 2022

The pieces of performance “Comedy in America” shows my minimal, failing effort to erase and modify the man-made speech in the United States–the series of comedies where people made racist jokes against “Asian” people. I perform to intervene in a human’s speech repeatedly, diligently, and feebly.

Interrupting or hijacking human speech (either spoken or written statement) is an act that invades the politics of an orderly world. This is represented as a performative interruption in my art, which is poetic but disconcerting, feeble but persistent, quiet but assertive. 

I intervene in racist comedy by reducing the speed of the videos of comedy radically so that it may sound ridiculous, not normal. I try hard, repeatedly, but all of my attempts fail by missing many of the racist sentences to slow down.

Filmed by Ben Zink

Naming Myself (within 4 Weeks). performance

4” 09’ video documentation of the performance. Oct 2022

Photo & Filmed by Ben Zink

©2022 Okyoung Noh   All rights reserved

Learn My Name. participatory installation

plywood, video, monitor. Oct 2022

The two-channel video installation of “Learn My Name” (2022) is designed for the audience to sit on either side of the installation and watch the other side of the video installation. The audience can see a screen of either me teaching others how to pronounce my Korean name or Americans struggling to learn how to pronounce my name. I intend for the audience to experience a flipped power structure as well as the seemingly small struggles and countermeasures that those in the Asian diaspora must face to fight against an identity crisis.

Photo & Filmed by Ben Zink

©2022 Okyoung Noh. All rights reserved.

“Oak”-”Young”-”No”. sound and light installation

programmed led lights, plywood, sound. Oct 2022

Photo & Filmed by Ben Zink

©2022 Okyoung Noh. All rights reserved.