Hojun Song is a cutting-edge, tech-obsessed Korean artist breaking boundaries with his passion for telling stories through technology. From building open-source satellites to constructing The Strongest Weapon in the World, the visionary leans on his engineering background to project mediations on society via his tactile installations. It’s clear that Song hopes to instill a sense of empowerment in the world, through the DIY nature and uplifting undertones in each of his works.
The Creators Project: How long have you been making art?
Hojun Song: I’ve been an artist since 2004. I found myself as a media artist in the beginning of my career, but now I do not know which category I’m in. I’m an artist who is interested in making stories using technology.
But you didn’t study art in school, right? What is your background?
I went to engineering school, but I didn’t study hard. Mostly I was on snowboarding trips or traveling. Around graduation time, I wanted to express something, but I had doubts.
Why is that?
Because I’d never really made anything before. But then I found out you can tell stories through technology. So I went to grad school for media art. During my grad school years, I focused on technology more than art, because I wanted to focus on technology and engineering-type expressions. Then I left school and started working on my art.
Lately you’ve been working on a project building satellites. Can you explain that a bit?
My mission was to make a satellite as useless as possible from a scientific perspective. I wanted to make something for myself and explain that satellites are not only for science, but also for the arts… for someone’s dream. Just like how we listen to music and involve cultural activities—they are not really functional. But we value them very much.
The idea of finding beauty in the things we don’t usually associate with being beautiful is a part of a lot of your work. “The Strongest Weapon in the World” comes to mind. What was that project about?
My assumption about the world’s strongest weapon was something that spits out beautiful messages even in the event of a nuclear explosion.
What do you mean?
You know when we were little there was always some kid who kept getting beaten up, but wouldn’t fall and just stuck to his guns? That kid will eventually win over the bigger kids. I wanted to send a message to these nuclear disarmament councils that bombs are not the strongest weapon. My bomb can't be scratched and will spit out messages of righteous words, talking about hopes and dreams.