There is a Korean musical group called BTS that I like. I’ve been a fan of theirs for almost two years now and I have often thought about the fact that I will never really know what they are really saying (unless I learn Korean) Because they speak Korean the majority of the time, their songs and speeches and vlogs are translated into English by someone else, usually a fan, and since language is often open to interpretation there are many variations in the translations depending on who is translating them. There are also puns and references to things I don’t understand because they are based around the language and culture. I wanted to channel this feeling of confusion and a loss of understanding into my website. I have taken fragments of English from many of their songs over the years and tried to make them fade into the background while the large Korean text is very bold and overpowering. Not only is the English hard to make out but they are only short snippets of longer songs, while the rest of the context is missing and unknown oftentimes making the hidden pieces of English confusing and contradictory.
There is also the sound component. I layered seven of their more recent songs on top of one another to create a complicated mess of sounds. If you know the songs you can sometimes follow along but it’s usually not long until you lose the rhythm and dive into the middle of one of the other songs. I wanted senses to be constantly flip flopping back and forth between the sights and the sounds as the viewer scrolls their way down the page.
Shannon Topham 2019