Crushed or Unfolded

Carbon drawings on paper. Dimensions variable. 4th edition, produced for the exhibition.


Jeamin Cha and I have never met. I only knew her work by chance through a photograph that another artist took of the 2022 Singapore Biennale, and immediately I fell in love with it. The edition of the work in Singapore was in the form of a mural, which she painted by herself on a wall on the fifth floor of Tanjong Pagar Distripark. I decided to write an email to her, and though the email came from a total stranger, she replied within a few days.

She told me in our first call: In the heat and pools of sweat, working on that mural was to her a consolation.

One of the most crucial qualities of this artwork is that it cannot be bought or owned. After this exhibition, the work will be discarded. That means each edition is a unique one. The edition in this show is made for this show only. And since she could not be in Saigon physically, she had to mail the work to Vietnam

Description from White Noise Exhibition Brochure, 2023, p. 12.


Unlike other works, Crushed or Unfolded is a work that begins with the story of my mother who had a mental illness without a diagnosis. In particular, it originated from the experience of recording a point where my mother’s symptoms were similar to Alzheimer’s disease but has another pattern. Also, finding clues to help diagnose the symptoms of dementia patients in each country – especially the cases of people whose letters suddenly got bigger or smaller or patients who had difficulty drawing watches were collected – through the Internet became the process of this work as a path to approach the illness. Drawing a clock is also a method of testing cognitive abilities used in nursing homes or institutions that conduct simple dementia tests (at least in Korea). This mural work presents clock drawings by dementia patients found on the Internet that are copied with carbon paper on an empty wall, consisting of faint lines that show the strength of the grip. This is a choice to keep the patients’ drawings anonymous, they cannot be sold as work, and they are temporarily presented in the exhibition hall and erased. This is also an attempt to visualize a path to understanding my mother’s illness.

Original statement by the artist from White Noise Exhibition Brochure, 2023, p. 11.