Setting Places




I don’t remember how long I’ve been standing here, looking at windows, windows covered in buildings. Maybe a few hours, or a few months… maybe longer.

There are many windows. There are different people in every window. A couple far away standing still, a man smoking at a café, a grandma setting places at a table, a cat looking at a bird, a curtain closing, my reflection.


A window.

A little girl is still crying in her room,

(I assume the room is the little girl’s, but maybe it is not.)

Her little fist is clenched around something I cannot see clearly, some fibres perhaps a few hairs from a doll that is not anymore in her hand. Another little boy is sitting down in the corner of the room, staring at the girl.


A window.

A girl who seems just out of high school is wandering in a room. It is an open, empty space with only one window that is wide and very narrow, a horizontal gash in a wall that lets in a bit of light in a thin flat plane. The space is not designed to be used as a residence but for a business or an office. The girl seems to be looking for a space.

(But for what?)

She seems a little too young to look for a space for business, alone. Too young to be alone.



Sometimes you see empty windows.


A window,

A window,

and another window.



Only a few are there in the dark, here, there, there, there, and there. You can see better in the dark. The days pass and pass and the light comes on at night. Night after night of stories pass across the faces of buildings. The windows are alive at night while the buildings sleep.



There is someone in a window.

It was a little room, and there was a girl and boy, both with red puffy eyes, staring at each other. They are getting harder to see, I’m not sure they live there anymore.


Another window.

It is a larger room. A girl is painting in this room, a large painting that is covering one entire wall. I remember seeing her there for the last couple of days, every night. She is not there during the daytime, but she comes back late and starts painting again every night.

The room light is off – I can’t see the girl!

(Maybe I dozed out briefly…)



I am still standing and looking at windows.


People are coming out from the buildings.



A window.

A girl is sleeping in a dim room. A room that is full of ‘stuff’ – it is not clear what these things are for. The bed is roughly built with cheap veneered panels on top of chairs at the corners – no mattress. Fake plastic vine leaves are winding around the chair legs. There are torn foam cushions and leather pieces in the corner of the room – they must have been a couch for someone at some point. Wood panels everywhere. Piles of books – not quite piled,  almost falling. Books and loose paper everywhere.

(She is waking up!)

The girl is acting very strange. She is looking for something. Something… that is quite fast… she turns on the light.

Fast black specks.


(The room is above a cheap pizza place and below a fast noodle place. I’ve been to the noodle place once. It is not bad but not that good either.)

Going back to the girl, a room in between two ‘not_so_good’ food places is not a good idea.

She goes out. She goes out of the building.

(I am looking at the empty room – those cockroaches may be still there though… I am looking at the room more carefully. The room is full of paintings, drawings, and sculptural objects. I see parts of the couch are sewn back into one of the paintings.

She is back!)


The girl is setting up something. And lighting a match… is that…?




A small pile of small bodies, the hundreds that are sacrificed so that I may paint here, your ashes protect this space and warn away my demons, the brush dips from water to charcoal – draws out the line that traces around a lost doll, a pony, giant smiling rats that eat people, a girl, a friend, a window, a space, a brother, a road between an old field and concrete walls that lead up and up away from my world, windows, windows looking down on us, eyes I paint but cannot see, he is out there waiting, for the soft touch of my brush.



About Suk Kyoung Choi

artist / researcher

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