Taehee Kim

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Butterfly Dream

2008-2013


Charcoal drawings of butterflies are animated to gather in a silhouette generated by the viewer's own silhouette, suggesting a transformation into another form: from something you recognize into something new. As the viewer stands still, the silhouette hardens as butterflies gather within it, each fluttering butterfly settling on part of the viewer's projected outline. Once the viewer leaves the piece, the butterflies scatter and the silhouette fades away. The viewer hears imagined sounds from butterflies that have been rendered in terms of the positions of each butterfly in virtual 3D space. The charcoal texture and butterfly sound are unrealistic and would suppose a second world, such as a dream.

This work is based on ''The Butterfly Dream,'' by Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi. In this passage, he relates his experience of confused subjectivity, when he struggled between the real world of being of Zhuangzi, and the experience of being a butterfly in a dream. The dream was so realistic and beautiful that he had difficulty accepting it as only a dream.

mixed media: Processing, charcoal on paper (10''x15''), computer vision. dimensions variable.