Can art make us listen more when it comes to LGBT+ rights?

Seoul-born, New York-based artist Hyojin Yoo extends this idea into the realm of politics in a recent collaboration with Nupur Mathur entitled Sound Circles: Taiwan.

The piece draws on the 2017 constitutional court ruling in Taiwan that allowed same-sex couples to marry. However, in 2018, facing resistance from conservative religious groups, the Taiwanese government allowed for a set of referendums to let citizens decide how best to address the issue.

This art project looks to "both understand and bring attention to the democratic process and how it affects the LGBT+ community in anticipation of the referendum," says Yoo.

The artists created two hand-woven sound embedded circular textile artworks, each containing a speaker that plats interviews with individuals living in Taipei and a collection of ambient recordings.

The interviews delineate people’s “personal experiences, memories, and thoughts on Taiwanese identity and democracy within the context of LGBT+ rights; and the way the viewer must lean in to hear them creates internees one on one relationship with each artwork and as such, each interviewee. "The work stresses on intimacy and care with which to listen to disparate voices that come together to form a democratic society," says Yoo.

Yoo is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher, and designer whose work explores how gender and identity are constructed in contemporary social structures and technological and cultural landscapes inspired through her personal experiences.


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