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Kim Hankyul

Jazz by Jazz

Date: 14.05. – 14.06.20
Location: Atelier Nord, Olaf Ryes plass 2 (entrance Sofienberggata)
Opening hours: Thursday and Friday 15-18, Saturday and Sunday 13-18.


Atelier Nord resumes normal opening hours from Thursday 14th of May with Kim Hankyul’s show Jazz by Jazz. Due to the current pandemic there won’t be an exhibition opening.

We will ensure an appropriate distance between guests and will limit the number of visitors in the gallery at once to four. Please don’t hesitate to contact us on office@ateliernord.no if you have questions!

Kim Hankyul’s kinetic sound installation Jazz by Jazz aims to reproduce the syncopated sound of jazz through mechanical movement. In music, syncopation is defined as several rhythms played simultaneously, interrupting the regular flow of the beat.

Microphones are attached to different parts of several sculptural mechanisms, allowing sound to be amplified throughout the gallery space. Water condenses on a hot plate, causing a hissing sound. A vacum cleaner activates an harmonica which is moved up and down in front of the vacum hose by a motor. A water dispenser drips onto a microphone enveloped in plastic, creating regular, fast-paced percussion. In another part of the installation, rhythmic percussion is created by water droplets hitting two metal bowls, suspended at different heights.

Kim’s mechanized and automated jazz band is based on a what he calls “abstract dysfunction”. Imperfections in each mechanism allow the rhythm of the soundscape to flow in and out of sync at random in real-time, thereby reproducing the unpredictable, syncopated rhythms of live improvised jazz. In conventional thinking, mechanical processes should be as predictable and clockwork-like possible, thereby avoiding “bad” outcomes such as disproportionate wear on certain parts or stoppages in production processes. Instead, Kim’s work focuses on factors such as erroneous movement and sound, loss of systematic control and unpredictability as creative forces rather than indications of failure.

Kim Hankyul is a South Korean artist living and working in Bergen, Norway. Kim’s sound installations typically produce sound through motor movement of wooden materials. By juxtaposing mechanical power and sonic vulnerability, Kim interrogates the repetitiveness of everyday activities. Recently, Kim’s work has been shown at Bergen Kunsthall (2019), Bergen senter for elektronisk kunst (2019), Radio Space: Borealis (2019), Lydgalleriet (2019), Landmark (2019), Galleri Slakt (2019), Doosan Art Center Seoul (2018) and Unofficial Preview Gallery Seoul (2017).

Special thanks to Johan Mattias Arvastsson for technical help and Nordisk Kunstnarsenter Dale for their residency program.

Jazz by Jazz is the result of Atelier Nord’s annual Open Call; the project was selected from a total of 66 applications.


Time and Jazz (2020) is a sound piece made to accompany the installation. As we cannot provide headphones as a precaution due to COVID-19, we ask that visitors listen on their own phone.

Video by Istvan Virag