Linguistic Relativity : the structure of a language effects its speakers' world view or cognition
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Language frequently reflects our cultural priorities and sometimes the negative space around the words can reveal more about us than the words themselves. Words like "komorebi", a Japanese word that describes the sunlight that passes through the leaves of a tree, makes me wonder if the lack of an English equivalent shows a cultural unimportance of appreciating the stillness of life. Untranslatable words, like komorebi, cause me to question the ability to accurately communicate in this globally connected world and reiterates the importance of understanding the different realities our languages represent. I create a visual realm that begins where language ends. By combining fabric, found objects, photography, and glass I construct altered familiar objects that are both serious and humorous to highlight our intellectual preferences and visually express how language effects our perception of reality.
Language and communication are a basic structure of all cultures and although it allows us to express our thoughts and ideas it can be limiting cross-culturally as well as inter culturally. As the opportunity to communicate with more and more people expands our ability and desire to truly communicate are diminishing. Our language plays a large part in shaping our thoughts. This ideology is largely based on the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which states that the way we view the world is intrinsically linked to our language. As language unites groups of people through a common thread it also separates us from others; as Edward Sapir said “No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality". No matter how thorough our speech is, art has the ability to express what our words cannot.