Byoungho Kim: Giving New Form To Sound

Giving New Form To Sound

Text by David Everitt Howe
April 13, 2014
For Byoungho Kim, sound itself is a kind of sculpture. Though it can’t be seen to the naked eye, we’re all familiar with what its form looks like in space: geometric waves. Depending on the sound’s frequency, they get bigger or smaller. Kim finds other ways to make this immaterial medium material, creating sculptures that, while beautiful, are really intended to transmit sound. Made of aluminum or brass the works are magically enhanced using Arduino boards, an open-source electronics prototyping platform, and Piezo acoustic components. Kim mentions that “in the case of three-dimensional works, the structure, contract method and geometric modulation of sounds are planned together. They are an approach to unitized time - unitizing the same frequency into a uniform pattern and playing it.” While Kim’s objects are flawlessly designed and lovely to look at, they’re heard before they’re even seen, making their presence known in gallery spaces not accustomed to works like Kim’s that bleed into other spaces irrespective of walls and borders.

This is not the only way Kim’s sculptures are decidedly untraditional. He considers himself more an engineer than anything else, making blueprints for his work that he passes onto fabricators. In the end, he foregrounds technology and engineering as art forms in and of themselves, creating desire for both using minimalist aesthetics. Kim says “my artwork begins with an assumption that mankind is in continuous pursuit of new desires. All kinds of desires are exaggerated, minimized, and deleted in order to achieve a pre-established goal. And the more these desires gather together, the larger and more complicated the constructed being becomes. Thus, this is the constructed fantasy, a fantasy of desire, and a fantasy of our time.”