madeleine flynn and tim humphrey

wave gate: a shrine passage busan sea art festival 2021

Wave Gate: A Shrine Passage (2021)

Vuth Lyno, Madeleine Flynn, and Tim Humphrey

Site-specific sculpture and soundscape

Stainless steel, metal, wood, 357x318x70cm

5-channel sound system, 18’55”

Exhibition view, Sea Art Festival 2021, Busan

Photos: Jo Yong Kwon

Digital rendering of sculpture: Loeung Sakona

Archival song recording: Professor Kyung-Su Park

Commissioned by Busan Biennale Organizing Committee, 2021

The project is inspired by the Grandma Shrine and the Grandpa Shrine in Ilgwang, Gijang, Busan. While the Grandma protects the haenyeo, the fishermen, and marine life, the Grandpa looks over the entire village protecting everyone. The inter-relation of various beings – non-humans and humans – tied together through the practice of spirituality by the local community is at the heart of this project.

The life-size mirror shrine sculpture is an extension of the Grandma and Grandpa Shrines, a gateway, and a holding for reflection of our coexistence: natural lives, built environment, humans, and spirits. While people cannot usually enter the Grandma and Grandpa Shrines due to their sacredness, they can “enter” the mirror shrine through the reflection. Thus, the mirror shrine reflects an image of the bay and the interacting audience, making possible a visual synthesis of all the various non-human and human beings.

Connecting the Grandma and Grandpa Shrines and the mirror shrine along a passageway is a soundscape that calls up a passage of tides. It is another gateway that is invisible yet audible. It creates a space for the audience to sit within or move in between, spending time within the zones of the shrines, to consider the site, the relation between the body of land, water and air, and between the humans who were and are. The soundscape comes and goes, blends, and converses with the existing atmosphere.

Together, the sculpture and the soundscape invite the audience into a sensorial and meditative chorus to feel and reflect on our past, present, and future coexistence between the visible and the invisible.