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Color Notation


I am able to listen to music through not only my ears but also my whole body.

The ticking of the two clocks in my room generates the beat of delicately inharmonious rhythms at night. I get in the rhythm unconsciously, lying to sleep. I feel rhythms in the movements of a needle when sewing, and hear chords while seeing varied color paints blending together. Really mystic, these experiences provided me with an opportunity to have a particular concern with the relations between music and art. Since then, I have collected a variety of materials on music, art, and science, bringing up my own imagination of “invisible music”.

My concern with disability and study of Korean painting played a significant role in forming my art world. Based on Oriental aesthetics, I grow my sensibility to be in accord with naturalness, despite the use of electricity and computers cold and logic in their nature.

Through my friendship with the handicapped, I come to know a state of synesthesia, a condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces the visualization of a color. I want to produce paintings blind and hearing-impaired persons are able to feel.

As does music, what I pursue through my work is to stimulate viewers’ sensibilities and provide them with warmhearted experience, sharing happiness. I concretized my idea to visualize music through the two exhibitions.

Color Concert (Gallery Gaia, 2004)

The theme of my first solo exhibition was to play music through art. I feel colors and sounds, analyzing them scientifically. The 12 colors mean the 12 scales from do to si. Applying the compositional principle of music, in which musical scales generate melodies and chords, I try to make fascinating music something to be seen and heard.

The color effect of my painting is maximized by the use of lighting, and viewers may feel its sound. With the help of sensors, they may recall colors simultaneously, when hearing input sounds. My work is finally completed by us. Our sounds resonating in a same space form a fantastic music. This is the place where color turns into music. The reason why I use lighting frequently is because color and sound share light and their frequency is convertible and in inverse proportion.

Color Notation (Sun Contemporary Gallery, 2007)

Braille music was a great shock for me. The musical scores I feel by my hands look so beautiful, breaking away my fixed idea that only ordinary scores exist in the world. Eventually, what makes us imagine music is not the staff and score symbols but musical commitments. A musical score relies on many principles. While seeing a score, we imagine music, and thus we say musicians read music.

I intend to create a musical score with colors. (Color Notation is a musical score made of colors.) I transform 12 sounds into 12 colors. (do-red, do#-scarlet, re-orange, mi-yellow, fa-yellowish green, sol-blue ---) A square, divided into small squares, means a note, and its scale is in proportion to the length of a tone. I also make various kinds of notes, length, rhythm, and rest look visible. (I created a manual for Color Notation, based on this principle.)

I work on changing real musical scores from familiar children’s songs to Mozart’s to color scores. I imagine viewers strolling between color musical scores placed on the floor, referring to it as Musical Score Garden.

Color Organ-I also make a musical instrument to play Color Notation. If passing a card through a piano key-like card hole, it plays three notes of music. In this work, our daily act of passing a traffic card transforms into an artistic act. If many viewers pass the cards through card holes simultaneously, we may hear a spontaneously made music.


1.Convert color to sound













2. the square means a measure of the score.

3. Divide the square in half.

The top means right hand, the bottom means left hand.

4. It can read flow of time from left to right.

5. Harmony can be read vertically.

6. A length of tone is proportional to the area of a rectangle.

7. White is represented by a rest.



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