What do these huge 'hand emoji' signs that have appeared in Sheffield stand for?

Imagine - Hun-Joo Koo (a.k.a. Kay 2) - Credit - Jules Lister, 2018 courtesy Site Gallery.
Imagine - Hun-Joo Koo (a.k.a. Kay 2) - Credit - Jules Lister, 2018 courtesy Site Gallery.
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This incredible art installation has appeared on a Sheffield street recently; leaving many people questioning what it stands for.

It's been pretty difficult to miss the new artwork at the Tram Depot on Shoreham Street which appeared last month.

Art installation in Sheffield - Picture: Tim Dennell

Art installation in Sheffield - Picture: Tim Dennell

The installation features seven pictures of hands in the style of emojis, combining this with international sign language to create a 'welcome message' to visitors.

It appears the artwork is part of the Busan/Sheffield cultural exchange project with three international artists showing off their work in the city.

The Busan Exchange brings together three of South Korea's leading artists to produce new works which investigate forgotten or overlooked spaces in the city.

This particular installation on Shoreham Street is the work of Hun-Joo Koo, also known as Kay 2, to signify the emoji as a 'universal language that traverses culture, age and mother tongue'.

Art installation in Sheffield - Picture: Tim Dennell

Art installation in Sheffield - Picture: Tim Dennell

The seven huge signs stand for I-M-A-G-I-N-E or Imagine.

Other pieces of artwork have appeared at Paternoster Row, by artist Hyeong-Seob Cho, and Grinders Hill, by artist Subin Heo.

Cho has used materials off the street and scaffolding to produce a platform to invite the public to step up and look at the city from 'a new vantage point'.

Heo's artwork, entitled Cloud Lamp and House in a Wall, is designed to 'make us look twice with a whimsical light installation on Grinders Hill'.

Art installation in Sheffield - Picture: Tim Dennell

Art installation in Sheffield - Picture: Tim Dennell

The site is regularly tagged with grafiti and the narrow ginnel on a steep hill is 'another often overlooked and underwhelming site'.

The cloud lamp 'merges natural imagery with electrical light playfully lighting up a narrow alley that might feel dark and threatening at night'.