The Story of Thousands of Stars
poem by Suk Bum Hong
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Sun Young Kang, 2005-2009.
Edition of 10 + 2 AP.
1Two books: 4.5 x 2.25"; 52 pages. Hand drawing. Computer-manipulated and inkjet printed photograph. Handmade paper for text block. Boards covered in Korean Warahani paper with inkjet printed image. Case bound with optic binding.
Sun Young Kang: ""The name Man-Byul, meaning 'thousands of stars' in Korean, was created by combining the first and last syllables of Man-Nam (meeting) and Yee-Byul (farewell) respectively. Man-Byul is the story of our life, combining both the happiness and joy of 'meeting' with the inevitable sorrow of 'farewell'...."
Sun Young Kang in "To someone who is reading these words about the Story of Thousands of Stars": "The words in this book written in Korean form a poem or a short statement written by my old friend. This friend has been studying astronomy and his favorite part of his study was looking up the stars. But before being in science, he wanted to be a writer....He used to write many poems.... [some] of them were about star[s] to talk about love. I think he meant more romantic love...but when I read [The Story of Thousands of Stars] I understood it as human connectivity and the nature of human life, so I asked his permission to use the words for my book....
"Korean has syllables like English but [they] can be separated and still readable. And each syllable doesn't always have meaning like Chinese but it is still readable and understandable when separated in order....I actually used this trait of Korean and separated all the syllables and repositioned them to use each syllable as an image. So each syllable is a Star in this book. Then I connected each with the pencil line to provide the original order and also to make a constellation. So, if you are a Korean speaker and if you read each syllable in the order, you can read and understand.... But if you just look quickly without knowing the meaning, it is more like images than word.
"Each page normally has one phrase of one short sentence.
"Conceptually, each star is connected to each other and they make their own story just like we human beings are all invisibly connected and create our stories through this life. There are so many stories in the sky like many pages of the book and all the pages become the whole sky, the circular shape of the book. So, I wanted each volume to form the circular shape like sky when you open the book. (I don't know the actual shape of the sky but it is circular in my mind. Also, circular shape is the perfect shape for me because it never begins and never ends.)
"Each of the two volumes can be separated as meeting and farewell respectively, but they are originally together and become another circle again. I believe that our life is composed with two ideas, which are meeting and farewell, birth and death, happiness and sadness and etc."