Names of Water by Donghwan Kam

A beautiful example where Nina bell F. lives on: Donghwan Kam’s project Names of Water crystallized into a vinyl album. Read the artist text provided by the artist and publishing label Het Generiek below:

DK (Donghwan Kam) has been collecting names of water since 2019. He first started collecting water names because of his experience of not knowing which bottled water to buy when visiting different supermarkets. The flavors of different names of water were subtly different, and at the same time not so much different. Ansuya Blom, DK’s advisor during his time at Rijksakademie, encouraged and supported him in exploring these sensory experiences of the Same and Different. In 2022, during his residency at Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, he gave the names of water to Seokyung Kim and asked her to visualize them. She created a poster with the names of the water, using the monochrome offset printing method at Drukkerij Raddraaier SSP in Amsterdam.

DK was subsequently invited to participate in our Nina bell F. House Museum at the 2022 Singapore Biennale, Natasha, co-curated by Binna Choi, director of Casco Art Institute. For the exhibition, DK handed the names of the water to Lang Lee and asked her to sing the fragmented names of the water as if they were flowing together. Lang Lee recorded the names of the waters in chanting and chirping, then layered the different tracks together into a single track to create an 11-minute, 47-second sound piece. The poster and sound piece were installed next to a pair of water dispensers throughout the exhibition period. Visitors were able to drink the water with two different names. This record was made possible with the generous support of Arts Council Korea and published in collaboration with Derek Hartfield and Het Generiek. Sound mastering was done by De Bong and Bert Scholten. The typeface used in this album cover is sorela which is created by tracing artist Marian Zazeela’s handwriting. It was made by Seokyung Kim in 2019.

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