Artist Statement

English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge said the power of art lies in making us contemplate the marvelous masked by familiarity.
My art is inspired by nature, and I pursue inner truth through it. As I work, I deeply contemplate the two aesthetics or attitudes toward art in Oriental painting: gradual cultivation and sudden enlightenment, with the latter emphasizing the artist’s inspiration and pursuit of inner truth.

 Here I present a ‘contemporary art’ work that looks forward by exploring tradition to help ottchil (Korean lacquer), which has long been a part of Korean people’s lives, establish itself as a genre of fine art beyond the category of arts and crafts. The works that draw attention to the sentiments of humanity and nature harmoniously come to completion on the borders between traditional and contemporary, East and West, figurative and abstract, and two-dimensional and three-dimensional, as they incorporate traditional materials such as ottchil, hemp cloth, hanji (Korean traditional mulberry paper), and mother-of-pearl. 

 They explore the endless possibilities of pictorial expression through the reinterpretation of Korean time-honored techniques and ottchil based on Korea’s traditional color schemes of obangsaek (yellow, blue, red, white, and black) and ogansaek (green, light blue, bright red, sulfur yellow, and violet), application of Western painting techniques, and collaborative presentations with organic sculptures. 
My ottchil works start as two-dimensional surfaces and expand into experimental sculptures and installations as I struggle to overcome the strong viscosity of the material.

 Many critics have stated that when traditional art with functional qualities is combined with contemporary art, known for its non-functional quality, ottchil paintings will bloom again as a colorful genre of contemporary art under the label ‘hybrid aesthetics’. As expected, ottchil works are taking new turns, in line with contemporary art trends, as new forms of paintings that jump back and forth between two-dimensional and three-dimensional and challenge the limitations of time and space. 
I hope to share my contemplation continuously on nature by reinterpreting the colors of tradition that flow from dancheong (painting on traditional Korean architecture), saekdong (multi-colored stripes), and jogakbo (patchwork wrapping-cloth) in works.

The space created by these various attempts and experiments makes the invisible visible and echoes the inaudible. This leaves us in deep contemplation and reflection on the invisible world of jeongjungdong (movement in silence) and muwihaeng (action of non-action). I will also continue to explore the interaction between tradition and modernism through various ottchil techniques and experimental materials.