© Yiyun Kang    since 2008

Short film on CASTING 
produced by V&A, supported by Samsung

Kang’s interest in the Cast Courts stems precisely from the fact that the objects in this collection are copies rather than originals. The copy versus original ontology is particularly relevant for Kang because the notion of originality does not strictly exist in the digital realm. However, projection mapping is a medium that challenges this ontology in so far as-despite its digital nature-it exists only when incorporated into a physical environment.

Slide show, Photo © Yiyun Kang

As seen in the photographic and video documentations, three projections intervened in the Cast Court gallery without physically altering the existing casts inside the gallery by rearranging or removing them. Figure 7.13 shows that the installation can be approached from diverse locations—from the entrance, from inside the gallery, and from on the bridge located on the first floor.

The resulting animation was a dynamic structural investigation of each cast. This structural sequence also reflected the creative intention of CASTING, which was to ‘cast the casts’ through my projection. To ‘cast’, by definition, is to ‘shape metal or other materials by pouring it into a mould while molten’. I cast the casts through the projected light and shaped them by superimposing structural moving-images onto them. The use of the NURBS programme in the virtual 3D environment thus played a crucial role in ‘shaping’ and ‘casting’ the casts.

Slide show, Photo © Yiyun Kang

In the artist’s words:
‘The atmosphere in the Cast Courts is already somewhat surreal. I have attempted to build on this atmosphere without producing physical objects. The layer of ephemeral lights creates a spatiotemporal experience in which the real casts meet the virtual in a unique symbiosis’. 

Kang wanted digital projection mapped onto the casts would provide a virtual portal that invites the audience to another dimension; mixed reality environment. This membrane of artificial light transformed the existing casts in a perceptually different way. In so doing, this installation would offer a thought-provoking experience to the audience.

“CASTING  is a projection mapping (new territory for the Museum) specifically designed for the V&A’s collections, engaging the audience by its strong immersive qualities despite using complex digital techniques and logistics”.

V&A curator Dr. Rosalie Kim, who led the acquisition process, 2016

Slide show, Photo © Yiyun Kang

CASTING neither produced physical objects nor altered the existing casts and gallery space. It superimposed moving-images onto the surfaces through a projected beam of light. However, in so doing, it added ephemeral depth and created a fourth spatial dimension that is inter-related with the temporal. It rendered the moving images as a composition of sculptural and architectural movement. CASTING thereby generated an ever-shifting flow between surface and depth through its temporal-spatial narrative.

Slide show, Photo © Yiyun Kang