The body, showing instant, brilliant harmony within endless possibilities, bears a likeness to the kaleidoscope – full of small gems, forever changing, shifting, reflecting and projecting. As if looking into a kaleidoscope, I gaze and contemplate the possibilities of the contemporary person’s complex essence and its constant state of flux by spontaneously placing their fragments on my surface and opening up a dialogue between the elements.
The painting series Perpetual Interchange interrogates how the link between one being’s body and mind may be expanded to other beings by experimenting with the spontaneous combination of fragments. I attempt to capture the forever-shifting person’s essence onto the surface through a momentary glimpse. The unbound fluctuation of the essence generates diverse fragments bearing the endless possibility of combinations. Each fragment contains experience and emotions, shifting between situations, forming temporary images and then disappearing.
One of my main inspirations in expressing these subjects is the Junsinsajo theory of traditional Eastern Asian painting, the portrayal of the essence of the sitter through figurative means. I have experimented with various methods of linking my gaze, the physical presence of the sitter and the birth of an empty being in the virtual world.
In my eyes, the traditional Korean technique of finishing a portrait with the pupils of the eyes limits expression of the fluctuating essence of the sitter. It is important for me to give this being its life force by using pixel-shaped pupils in the beginning. Beginning the journey by piecing fragments together leads to a finished whole. The reversed process of setting the pupils and then spontaneously linking fragments to each other with different methods, creating a dialogue between these elements in the process, gives me a glimpse of the birth of life inside the surface of my paintings.
Nowadays, we identify being alive with being part of the social network. The awkwardly joined body in my works embodies the unique pathway of a being’s social links and hotspots. I call the pathway the ‘acupuncture meridian link’. The acupuncture points and paths are where the body’s life energy gathers and cycles. The acupuncture meridian link is a crucial element of living in the now – the need for perpetual interchange between beings in virtual space in order to be relevant and alive, not to dissolve into nothingness. The acupuncture meridian link is present in my paintings as a connection between the being and the world.
In the paintings, entirely different perspectives eventually dissolve over time and float around in small pixels. The contrasting perspectives seem to be an infinite expanse of parallels that will never touch, but when guided through the acupuncture meridian link, they momentarily collide and create new combinations. I contemplate the essence of enlarging towards new possibilities by watching the vibrant fragments holding their original form, yet shifting constantly and interchanging with the fragments of other beings.