Each individual has their own framework of perspective based on personal experience. No matter how much you try to overcome that framework, it’s difficult to break away from it without being thrown into a new experience that destroys the entire frame. Innovation and the future, thus, always emerge as unfamiliar.
A Chance Encounter, The TV Beyond TV
In the fall of last year, I had such an experience that broke down my framework by chance. I introduced OLED Wallpaper TV to Kim, the head of a design company in our IR meeting room. I thought it would help us a lot if we could enhance the value of our OLED TVs through a designer’s point of view.
Although OLED Wallpaper TV is a television, it’s an extremely thin sheet of glass. I explained that since it doesn’t look like a TV, it can function as a fish tank where tropical fish swim around, a frame for family portraits, a gallery of masterpiece artworks, or even a luxurious interior item. I highlighted how this wallpaper TV disintegrates the existing framework, as “the TV beyond TV”.
After listening to my description, Kim shortly remarked, “In other words, Wallpaper TV can express the color black in Oriental art.” When I first heard this, I couldn’t even fathom what she meant. Are there multiple colors of black? What’s the difference between Oriental and Western art?
I had to find out. The words “the color black in Oriental art” continued to resonate in my head. Out of curiosity, I made an inquiry to Kim Seung Heui at Seoul National University.
“In Western oil paintings, thick paint is placed on top of the white canvas. But in Oriental art, India ink is absorbed through layers of paper, which become one with the color black. As paper and black become one, the depth of black is far more profound in Oriental art. This is difficult to present on display panels.”
I realized something while listening to her explanation. The white canvas of western paintings reminded me of LCD backlights, and the deep black shade of Oriental paintings where paper and black are one and the same resembled self-illuminating OLED.
The Value of OLED to an Artist
Suddenly, I had an impulse to test if Wallpaper TV could reproduce the complete blackness in Oriental paintings. It wasn’t an easy task. It was difficult to find an artist who would embody the 1000-year paper-based tradition of Oriental art on display, and even if we could find one, we weren’t sure if we could afford the art.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Coincidentally, Professor Kim was preparing her solo exhibition. As a small gesture of gratitude for her advice, we requested Kim at the design company to digitalize some of her notable artworks and projected them on Wallpaper TV.
Once we projected the art on it, something amazing happened.
Wallpaper TV not only reproduced the deep black of Oriental art but even the most delicate details of hanji fiber. Professor Kim was also astounded. She boldly decided to display Wallpaper TVs next to her works of art, treating them as equal exhibits. It involved a huge risk as an artist because the TV might steal her limelight. The Wallpaper TV in our IR meeting room was thus rented out and became a piece of artwork.
Then, something even more interesting happened. When artists saw this TV that doesn’t look like one, they started asking if they could create art with that strange black paper.
The OLED Wallpaper TVs on display at the time had no catchphrase to promote them. It was thus named “the Black Paper”. That idea came from Kim. To artists, it must have seemed like a new kind of paper to show deeper colors than a technological device or a TV.
Thereafter, we collaborated with three artists to combine OLED and art. The name of the project was “The Black Paper”, taken from the moniker it earned during the exhibition. The project ended in January as a complete success.
In addition to Professor Kim Seung Heui, the other two artists were internationally renowned Professor Lee Yong Deuk in sculpture and Professor Han Jung Yong in ceramics, famous for his Moon Pot series. They only allowed the use of images, but later donated the resulting artwork of collaboration. Using “The Black Paper”, they discovered how to pioneer new inroads in each of their respective areas.
In exchange, they only requested that we create better displays to inspire artists and continue to invite more people to share and have access to culture and arts.
OLED Meets Art
The three artists discovered whole new values of OLED, different from the traditional approaches that commented on the quality of resolution or contrast. Instead, they found the value as an object that embodies artwork and in its creative application for pioneering new territories through the collaboration of fine arts and technology. What did these artists think of OLED during the collaborative project? How did it differ from the eyes of industry insiders as manufacturers? The following responses are their answers.
See a Whole New World Outside the Box
The three masters discovered these unique values of OLED TV. We anticipate even more of such unfamiliar yet exciting views from different frameworks in the time to come.