Artists


 

My work is an improvisation in liminality: between dream and concretized, ancient and contemporary, Korea and the West, ephemeral and eternal, the uncensored and codified. Each character, pattern and energy reflects states of consciousness that are revealed in the creative act, a form of both improvisation and organization wherein the uncensored is working in concert with momentary, yet specific compositional organizations. It is my intention that the work will be a place of meeting between memory, dream and fantasy, and concretized into meaningful visual terms.

I am Korean and have spent time reflecting upon my own sense of the contemporary in relation to my ancestry. I do not follow or practice any particular spiritual, religious or philosophic tradition, however, I am aware that my country has strong roots in Buddhism and in the last few centuries has come to see the influence of Christianity. Korea was a country of communities that acknowledged the concept of ancestor worship and placed particular significance on their relationship with nature. Korean folk art was one of the first manifestations of Korea’s spiritual traditions that centralized nature’s elements and energy. Folk art was replete with imagery based on the symbolic function of art in relation to a greater sense and significance of nature. Essentially symbolic, it was through high chroma and elaboration that this art reflected a form of relationship to the context of nature. In so doing, it became a form of cultural structure. I was born into a Korea divided historically by war and currently by ideology. Thus, the cultural landscape was affected by the plurality of both socio-political and socio-spiritual conditions. My vision is one that places great emphasis upon the historic, and indigenous sensibilities exemplified by pre-Christian folkloric, pictorial language. In many ways I feel that I am the inheritor of that conflict.

Equally, as I live in the present, I am aware of the current reality. Issues of identity and intuition refer to prehistoric localized community, as well as the universal disposition of an ever-changing global network. These are part of my working reality. Having moved to the U.S. I have been given a new perspective as to the nature of what constitutes the personal and the cultural, and how my art may function within their contexts. As a practitioner, I utilize symbolic forms with reference to a more ancient art that I have come to know using that imagery to generate my own visions. I see these as a form of “Mandalic” art and as such the work is conceivable as a psychic means of literalizing that which is otherwise invisible. To give form to that imaginative condition of being wherein the human and the cosmic interact.

Technical complexities are utilized to enable the viewer to enter into a matrix of experiences. What is perceived as personal transcends the universal through contemplation. Invention and ornamentation are all utilized to create what I describe as not a god, but dietic beings both psyche and spiritual. My work is an abstracted rendition and depiction of these dieties. It is my hope that these images and the series of works presented will become emblematic of states of optimism.

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