Devin(Bokyoung) Jo, Leftover Island, 2020
This artwork expresses an island of discrepancies in social and cultural codes, limitations of understanding that cannot reach the destination, and remnants of words left inside me with failure to overcome language barriers.
As a Korean international graduate student, I have experienced a different learning environment in America from my mother country, a new academic platform, sometimes lacking and missing references, and communication with people who are sometimes out of line. Over time, I have adapted to many things in a new environment and have been able to accommodate myself. However, during that time, there were still thoughts, words, and voice that I have not cleared or vomited not escape from within me, as if the room could not be ventilated thoroughly by opening the window.
The work is a new island, or landfill, built up of remnants of leftover words, thoughts, and questions that could never be revealed:
Words I could not say, words I had to say, words I could not come up with,
words that I could not understand in English, words that I regretted late,
words that I could not say even if my mouth were twisted and ripped,
words I did not know what to say, and words I had to say, and lastly,
words that I could not get tamed into my mouth and tongue.
This work builds meaning and assembles with scrap paper left behind after using stickers and meaningless scribbling pieces that were inadvertently drawn as a habit when the conversation was not understood.