In fairytales, it is possible to talk about right and wrong, good and evil and beauty and ugliness with a straight face. The real world, however, is more complicated; the real world cannot be described only in black and white. In my work, I am interested in the moment when two contrasting components coexist and balance each other. I am especially focused on tensions between perfection and imperfection, graphic aspects and painterly aspects, presence and absence and intention and accident.
My cultural background in Korea influences my concern for conflict and balance. I grew up in a very rigid and conservative community. My parents and teachers defined who I was as a person, what I should do (or be) and what I should not do (or not be). They identified a clear line between good and bad, and as a faithful person, I tried my best to stick with the designated borders. As I grew older, these I questioned these assumptions: why do I need sharp outlines? Where do the lines or values come from?
In our everyday life, we possess and depend on certain values that become the criteria through which we place our judgment on the world. We receive values from society, religion, law and other institutional structures; hence, values are not absolute, but relative, changing and transforming according to occasion and location. This fact leads us to realize values are synthetic, man-made. What should we do in this relativistic world, where multiple values co- exist? In my work, I want to embrace this indefinite nature of the world and acknowledge that all existing things are valuable.
My uses of materials reflect my point of view about contradiction and balance. In my paintings, I use a combination of mixed media: interference paint and fluorescent paint, varnish and mica powder to explore texture, surface and color. With these materials, I create luminosity and visual complexity. My paintings are continuously shifting, depending on the amount of light they reflect and the viewer’s viewpoint: their height, angle or distance from the painting.
My work has been built on the essential themes of human meaning: right or wrong, rules or chaos and perfection or imperfection. These opposite values are two sides of the same coin, and they always change depending on where you happen to be standing. Like my work, the world is made of the mingled patterns between polar opposites.