WEIRD AND BEAUTIFUL
—Only for the mind which loves, something remains (2008)
Did you ever have conflicting feelings about any object at one time? Beauty and ugliness; the goal of my work is to express and create conflicting feelings at that instant. Life is continuous inconsistency, because everything is forever changing. Nothing stops. We are coming into the world and passing away, growing and fading away and loving and hating. Infinite things emerge and vanish in infinite time. The only fact is that everything changes forever. There is nothing except for life force. Finally, nothing remains but feelings of love.
I hope to express the experience I feel the love and the irony of life. The first time when I felt complications, I didn’t know exactly what it was. However, I knew that there is something. I thought about things that peak my curiosity and awaken my senses. I want to express pure desire before subdividing. It is a basic desire. For instance, sleeping, eating and sexual desires are all instinctive, proving our primal needs as animals. I try to visualize the natural impulses in human beings. For example, some mushrooms create poison for self-defense and self-preservation. Mushrooms which are poisonous are beautiful, have garish and primary colors. We can see death and life in these primary colors. Life always has duality in its existence. For instance, any form of life catching a disease will directly show the effects of the parasite (disease), skin disease is a particularly good example. As the host becomes weak and sick, the parasites become more prosperous.
Speaking with more detail, especially in Korea, my goal is to express certain images which have been authorized as beauty by society, while simultaneously opening the door to other images that have not been viewed as beautiful, part of our society’s narrow comfort zone.
In Korea, we have grown and have accomplished many developments in Confucian recognition and in traditional customs. However, the ways we live change. We become prosperous people, where our influence can change individual ways of thinking. So called “advanced cultures”, particularly American and Japanese cultures empty into Korean culture. Now, here we can be candid about our own desires. In the world at large, these basic desires are free to be expressed. However, it seems that social customs can’t get rid of our old considerations. I believe we have a large gap between the new values and those previously established.
I want to express beauty and ugliness, in other words, affected ornament and wriggled life force all at once. The periods of time I express are moments where the values of beauty change. Past established values of beauty have on increased authority, recognition and perhaps even power. But in the discord between it and reality, we can find new values of beauty with naked desire waiting for vesting new significance.
So I select images that can be opposites to each other, have certain organic patterns and splendid ornamentations with images on subjects such as microorganisms, mold, seafood, skin disease and jewelry. As for technique, I choose traditional painting, as it is possible to get more flatness. I hope the feeling of movement is sensed through the stillness in my painting.
Once the success of expressing my philosophy visually is reached, then how can we arrive safely to pure desires which naively take off customs in paradigms of present and future society? The artist is an idealist. I am also. Consequently, I will dream on. I mean, I dream on new mutations from here on. I hope everyone will happily dream on of their own desire, express with honesty, and come off well in relationships, whether socially and/or individually, from my works.