Do you wear glasses? If so, then how do you feel without glasses on? You may have blurry vision and feel great discomfort. But what if you can see nothing even with glasses? It is hard to imagine what it would be like. But in this exhibition named ‘Dialogue in the Dark,’ held in Hangaram Design Museum at Seoul Arts Center, you can experience what it’s like to live in a dark world for an hour.
Before you enter the exhibition, you will be given a walking stick for blind people. Unlike ordinary exhibitions, you cannot see even your hands. So whether you open or close your eyes, you would face total darkness. There is a guide who leads groups of eight or nine visitors. In the wholly different space, we guess where we are by using other four senses – listening, smell, feel, and taste. All you can do is to guess and feel the place you are in.
While you experience various things without seeing, you may feel doubtful of your guide who leads you in the darkness. Is he wearing special infrared glasses in order to guide us? But the answer is no. In fact, all staff members in this exhibition are more or less blind. That’s why strange darkness for ordinary people does not matter for them.
In this exhibition, people visit daily places like a park, cafe or market only without the use of vision. People depend on their sense of sight for 80 percent of their experience, but by using only the rest 20 percent of other senses, everything is completely different. For example, people pass by trees in the park without any feeling. However, by touching the leaves very carefully, you would be given a chance to feel curious and fresh with the very ordinary things. Of course, the darkness can be very scary at first. But soon, you might be able to enjoy the time without eyesight. In addition, if you watch the exhibition with your friend, both of you may feel and imagine of this space very differently. Experiencing space and time without sight is very surprising. It is much more different from just closing your eyes.