Digestive Disturbances–Untangling the Unsolved (2021)
Suhyun Kim BFA Degree Project (Fall 2020)
Duration: 12 weeks

Completed for Fall 2020 Degree Project under the guidance of James Goggin at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Click to see the whole book︎︎︎ Digestive Disturbances—Untangling the Unsolved

<Digestive Disturbances–Untangling the Unsolved> is an exhibition that was held at Space Ccae, located in Jongro-Gu, Seoul, South Korea from January 8th to 15th of 2021. This was a collaborative exhibition with Hyuncho Lee, product design student at Central Saint Martins in London.

The first stage of the exhibition begins with exploring the ‘unsolved’ stories of six different people. Conversational candid interviews were conducted, incorporating a new non-Christian version of the Quaker’s Questions. Stage 01 establishes a multi-sensory space composed of various interactive elements. The main wall of the space is filled with motion graphics about people’s stories. Animations are projected on the wall while transparent pendulum mobiles are displayed.

The Mobile Table is the 3D representation of unsolved emotions and memories from the past. Our ego constantly form and develop through the events and memories that we experience every second and moment of our lives. Various sizes of shaped objects hanging on the mobile shows small and big past events that have shaped us. The mobile is placed in a fixed position but swings along even with smallest external movements- this embodies the Unsolved we keep in ourselves that disturbs and disrupts us due to “mental indigestion”. The legs of the Mobile Table represent our body that holds up all the Unsolved that establish who we are today. We live with the standards set by the world, by hiding our truest self in various forms and shapes that fit the “norm”. The thinner white legs, expressing insincere features we pretend to be, surround the shiny silver leg that represents the one and only genuine self.–Hyuncho Lee

On top of the looping motion graphics, the sound of people's voices from the interviews are being played from the CD. Their voices are overlapped and create confusion. Even though the Compact Disc might be considered slightly outdated as a format, they remain valuable as a tangible form that represents sound, providing exhibition visitors with an accessible and tangible companion to the audio interviews which they can freely pick up and take a closer look at. The main visuals for the CD covers are developed based on the motion graphics of six different stories of the people.

Metacognition of the Unsolved and Capsule Endoscopy, is the process of finding and realizing the Unsolved that is left in our unconsciousness. I wanted to design an object that provides a chance to look into our “indigested” selves, and heals the part of us that needs attention. This Self Reflecting Mirror is the most intuitive object that can look into ourselves; it is in the shape of an oval, inspired by capsule endoscopy that goes into our body and takes a deep look inside through a small camera. You can look closer into yourself by observing your reflection mirrored in different colours through the multicoloured acrylic models attached on the mirror. The shelf in the middle is inspired from the graph of gut microbiota, redesigned in a playful way. Look into the mirror. Look into yourself, and diagnose what is holding you indigested.–Hyuncho Lee

Metacognition, simply, is thinking about one’s thinking. More precisely, it refers to the process of planning, monitoring, and assessing one’s understanding and cognitive performance. In stage 02, the concept of metacognition is used to reveal the unsolved. While stage 01 explores the unsolved stories without any prediction about what the process would eventually produce at the end, stage 02 uses metacognition to digest information that could be essential in untangling people's Unsolved. The subject of people’s tangled and unsolved stories is metaphorically expressed with the imagery of capsule endoscopy and its processes. While revealing complicated internal psychological and mental structures through capsule endoscopy, stage 02 explores multiple layers of the unsolved.

In this stage, visitors will enter a little space to practice mindful contemplation. The space is called 'Minding' and when they enter it, they will first hear the guided sound of the mindfulness meditation. Through listening to the guide, people are encouraged to follow along with the practice. It will lead them to relax, think and reflect on their own ‘unsolved’. Mindful contemplation will enable them to build connections and restore hope, which can prime them to deal with situations that require resilience. Through this practice and spending time to ruminate, they are free to discover what they have been struggling with and ultimately figure out their own ‘unsolved’.

The final degree project presentation was on the 7th of December, 2020 with the guest critics: Nancy Skolos, Cem Eskinazi and Janet Fairbairn. Through this whole exhibition design project, I sincerely hoped that more people could be attentive towards their true selves and be able to share their own Unsolved and feel relieved. This way, I truly believe that self-diagnosis could be possible.

© 2021 Suhyun Kim