SMSM, A School Motto, 2015. Lacquer on glass, wood panel and frame, 520 x 400 mm. Exhibited in Megastudy, curated by Off School and presented at Audio Visual Pavilion, 22 May–28 June 2015.
Composed of Sasa, Park MeeNa, Sulki & Min, SMSM is an applied art collective devoted to health and happiness. When we heard about the theme of the exhibition — education — we immediately thought about the MC Square. First introduced in the early 1990s in Korea, the MC Square is an electronic device that is supposed to help improve concentration. There is a spiritual aspect to the way Koreans take education with such a fervor. The MC Square, which became hugely successful among students thanks to its claim for mental enhancement through the synchronization of light, sound, and brain, seems to have embodied the new-age, technological version of the shamanistic aspiration for learning.
Thinking about the MC Square, we remembered this plastic sheet (to rest writing paper on) that used be distributed as a gift to advertise the system. It was a piece of green paper laminated with transparent plastic, and in the corner, there was a small text that instructed us how to use it: stare at the green field, and it would help improving your concentration. At least, that was how our non-MC-Squared brains remembered it. We wanted to bring this advice to the exhibition as a school — and every school needs a plaque with a motto. Our green plaque was meant to be one that actually helps.