In Korean philosophy “Being with the mountain at your back looking at the river” means that you have found the best place for a perfect home. For me, the mountain at my back means that I have my roots there, and the water symbolizes the foreign and the curiosity about it.
In my artistic thinking I am surrounded and influenced by many experiences and the encounters I have. The two cultures, in which I live, play an important role. The Asian “philosophy of togetherness” and the “European philosophy of loneliness” sometimes tear apart my senses. These are two different speeds, which are difficult to tame. But I draw a lot of strength, energy and inspiration out of this for the art that squeezes out of me.
After studying traditional Caligraphy in Korea from 1996 to 2000, I wanted to develop artistically beyond the boundaries of my culture. So I moved to Germany to study and explore Western painting and to further develop myself as an artist. From 2001 to 2003 I studied at the UDK Berlin and was a master student of Georg Baselitz.
In European painting, I was particularly fascinated by early Romanticism, Romanticism and Neo-Romanticism. For example, Caspar David Friedrich’s pictorial inventions and aesthetics, but also Baselitz’s paintings fascinated me from the beginning and served as a starting point for my research.
Baselitz told me one day, “You must never forget where you come from.” This sentence triggered a process of both content and formal approach in my art and research.
So I increasingly started to explore cultural topics, as well as artistic ones. So I combined the line painting from Caligraphy with painting techniques and motifs from the West, and I found a way of creating my art through a special and unique technique of collaging rice paper.
In terms of content, I am interested in the different approaches to the same themes from Western and Eastern culture as well as philosophy, which together with the questions of the social coexistence of people, their environments, the increasing technologization and globalization form the Sujet of my work.
In the work series “Strange in your own home” I focus on the dimension of aesthetics and a neo-romantic emotional perspective. This refers to both the content and the symbolism as well as the painting approach of the works.
“Water” and “Sky” have always been elements that have accompanied my paintings, as they represent a fundamental basis for me to unite the charges of symbols and philosophies from different cultural perspectives within one painting. I can also produce different positions in the painterly elaboration of these elements. Similarly, I also play with spatial design and spatial perspectives, which are fundamentally different in Eastern and Western painting, but which I combine here.
The trees in this series of works together with the water and the sky complete the life worlds in which we move. Through the different painterly design and the means of reflection, inversion and the use of different perspectives, I create different emotions, effects and access for the viewer. Sky, water and earth express here simultaneously both the “finding” and the “search”.
The swans are for me a symbol of the individual and society. They are together, but at the same time equally lonely, have mystique and romanticism given to them. They move together, but also for themselves. Distance and closeness are here in a perpetual tension.
The emotions and feelings of people and social perception are constantly meandering and transforming – just as reality and our being are in a constant development and acceleration. I express this through the various painting techniques in this series of works.
At the center of all these considerations, however, is for me the emotional and aesthetic impact in this work series, which I would like to describe as radical-romantic or radical-neo-romantic. The exaggeration and vivid color choices of the otherwise very soothing, romantic pictorial motifs highlight the tension between “seeking” and “finding.” The mysticism, symbolism and familiarity of the motifs in turn force the viewer into the romantic-melancholic world of the work series. Seen in this way, a romantic assault on the viewer takes place here, who is supposed to feel strange in his own home.