CultureReview
Enlightening Voyage Through the DarkThe exhibition “Dialogue in the Dark,”
Jang Mi-song  |  treeletter@yonsei.ac.kr
폰트키우기 폰트줄이기 프린트하기 메일보내기 신고하기
승인 2007.08.30  16:06:08
트위터 페이스북 구글 카카오스토리


CAN YOU imagine a world without lights? All you see is darkness. “I can’t see anything!” The frightful voice starts ringing in the hall. She can hear, feel, taste, and smell, however, whether she opens her eyes or not she only sees black space. Seized with unfamiliar darkness, she wants to go out. However, as the time goes by she gradually feels comfortable in the darkness as she naturally learns to use her other senses. The exhibition “Dialogue in the Darkness” is being held in Korea. Through this exhibition, once forgotten senses will wake up and you will start to explore a whole new life.

As the senses wake up you can experience the exhibition “Dialogue in the Dark” in a whole new way. The door of the exhibition hall is wide open for your entry. When the red traffic light turns green you go inside the dark hall. Your friendly guide awaits you and your new adventure begins. Though, the guide directs you, you are like a blind person and the cane in your hands are now your eyes. The “tick tick tick” sound of the cane reflects your nervousness as you walk through different places. Like your ordinary life, you walk on a park, shop at the market place, live in the smoky city, drink in the cafe. Through this adventure the senses you have except for sight will become highly sensitive in order to discover the new surroundings.

First, the sensation of hearing becomes heightened. Entering the exhibition hall, you will be primarily captured by the “chirp chirp chirp” cheerful singing of the bird. Along with the birds singing, the sound of water can also be heard. The sound of water falling from the waterfall is refreshing. While listening to the beautiful sound of nature, you can take a break from the real world in this hidden forest just for you.

Second is the sense of touch. If you reach your hands toward the darkness, you can feel the soft leaves and the hard trunk of the trees. Walk a little to touch the trees and you can step on the rough grass of the park. Moving along, you will feel the changes of the floor to hard wood deck, concrete bricks and so on. Especially the touch of the icy cold water dripping from the waterfall is very different from the past ones you felt. At first the touch is very soft and smooth but later it turns rough and cold. The difference of rough, soft, hard, and gentle could be felt more clearly in the dark.

   

poster form "Dialogue in the Dark"

Next, your nose is awakened with the smell of various kinds of sweet fruits. At a market inside the exhibition hall, you can smell lemons, pineapples, apples and more. The fragrance of coffee is unforgettable. Its Bitter sweet odor and exotically attractive scent will put your mind at ease in the dark. Moving away from the sweet exotic captivation at the market, you arrive at the smoky city. “What’s this smell?” will pop out from your mouth because of the bad smell of exhaust gas. Even the bad smell in the dark leaves a strong print in your memory which makes it unforgettable.
Fourth, the sensation of taste awaits you. Followed by the voice “Welcome to the Dark Cafe!” where your new discovery of taste begins when you order your drink. Order a grape soda or a carbonated drink, then your tongue will get shocked by its taste. The sweet and refreshing taste of your drink will change your unpleasant mood from the smoky city.

Through experiencing the exhibition you will gain sweet memories that will last forever. However, getting out of the exhibition hall you might think “what’s so new?” It may sound weird to hear that this exhibition is a new adventure because it only follows a daily life routine. However, through experiencing blind life in “Dialogue in the Dark” you can discover the uniqueness of the exhibition. First, the tour of the exhibition is guided by the blind. The blind who are used to the dark leads the audience. Audiences have conversations with the guide constantly and become highly dependent on the guide. This is like changing roles. The blind who were in the corner of isolation and have difficulty living a normal life becomes confident hero who can help ordinary people in the exhibition. Second, the exhibition limits the number of people. Going as a group of eight to ten is reasonable number for each guide to take care of. Third, making a team-mate inside the group is a wonderful mechanism in the dark. The team-mates take care of each other in the dark. Being on the same team, people who aren’t close or familiar can get closer through natural physical contact and gain trust toward each other during the blackout.

   
   
 

Apart from the positive aspect that the exhibition “Dialogue in the Dark” has brought, however, the exhibition has limits and insufficiencies. In order to improve this exhibition the space of the exhibition hall has to be enlarged. Luckily, Kim Yoon-jin, Public Relations & Marketing Management from the Dialogue museum said “the exhibition ‘Dialogue in the Dark’ will be held in a bigger place in the future. We are planning to construct an exhibition set outside of the building like a drama set.”  From Kim’s comment, we can look forward to the next exhibition.

“Dialogue in the Dark” gives your hidden senses a chance to show off in the dark. Also the special effects of the exhibition makes audience more entertained in the dark. The true aspect of people can be revealed staying in the dark. The darkness of the exhibition lets people discover a true sincere voice inside their heart. In darkness people tend to help and rely on each other unconditionally. Through this experience their prejudice toward other people who are different from them could change. Their true eyes are opened in the dark and people begin to see with out bias. This is your one hour journey with the dark. The heart-to-heart talk with the dark will bring up your true self resting in deep dark layer.


Box 1
Guide Song Young-hee (M)
Q: How was it to face the total darkness as a blind person?
I am not an achromatopsia(complete blind) so to face the total darkness like an exhibition hall was not familiar to me. However, I am used to applying other senses than sight, so the strange feeling when I first confronted complete darkness did not last long.

Q: What significance does this exhibition hold for you?
The purpose of this exhibition “Dialogue in the Dark” is not experiencing blindness. However, it effectively offers average audience to understand the blind. Therefore I was able to form a consensus with the audience on the inconvenience that the life of the blind have. I could bring out the difficulties deep inside my heart in the exhibition naturally.


 

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