Min Su Oh ◦ -서귀포칠십리 ◦ 15x600cm ◦ 한지에 수묵 ◦ 2015

What does art mean to our life? What do artists want to show and convey through art? Every time when we have a chance to look at art pieces, we try to understand the artworks and the artists with many questions and thoughts. Art is the most basic and essential fundamental desire for expression of human beings. Artists vent their desires for expression outwards in a form of creative activity. In that sense, artists’ creative activities can be defined as an artistic expression of the extrinsic influences after they are internalized and transformed in the consciousness of the artist, and by using the artist’s own subjective and figurative language. We awaken our sensory and mental instincts through a special experience in which we meet and accept artworks. We also experience a reality manifested in the artworks. Art makes it possible for us to experience various realities and the work of senses. I believe that the true meaning of art is having empathy for the countless emotions and stories embodied through artworks.

Kim Su yeon regenerates memories and the past moments that are captured in photographs by adding inner feelings. Kim returns to the point of time when the photograph was taken to rediscover the forgotten feelings of the moment. She accepts the complex feelings from both the past and the present time. As she reinterprets them, memories are regenerated like broken pieces. She puts them together, one by one, to make a complete piece of memory. The scenery and characters in the photographs are the medium that connects the present and the past. The emergence of photography in the 19thcentury brought a great deal of changes in fine art. It paved the way for fine art to move out of its traditional role of object reproduction, and pay attention to the subjective attitudes of artists focusing on the very personal and inner thoughts of artists. Evidently, the photography has taken a significant role for fine art to develop into a variety of forms. Kim regenerates memories by tapping into photo graphy. She puts the broken pieces together like a puzzle. The memory of the past moment and the emotions from the present moment work complexly creating a new piece of memory. She expresses the moment that a new piece of memory is created with her own individual style.

The first impression of Park Ju ae’s paintings is dark and gloomy. It will turn into a completely different one if we take time and look at them slowly, reading the titles with empathy for the mind and thoughts of the artist. Black is the main color. It is the color of meokdol, the black volcanic stones of Jeju. As a person who was born and raised on Jeju, it is the most comfortable and natural color to her. She puts her feelings and thoughts in the color of black based on her composed and careful observation. The old dilapidated house, the scenery and scent of a dark night, and the endless anxieties seem to belong to Park’s personal experience or feelings. But, in fact, they are the stories about us. Park lets us have a deep thought about our own lives by telling her own experience and showing the changes of feelings through in her paintings.

Oh Min su portrays Jeju’s nature. He left Jeju after graduation from high school and lived in the city for more than ten years. But he always longed for his birthplace Jeju and nature around the island. The reunion with the scenery of Jeju must have made his heart race. With a pounding heart and passion, he began to portray Jeju. He does not just draw natural scenery. The mountains and the sea around Jeju are rediscovered and recreated in his landscape paintings. His interpretation goes beyond an actual portrayal of the mountains and the sea. He portrays a space where nature and human beings are blended together. His landscapes make us want to stop over with peace of mind. If one wants to see and feel the beauty of nature along with vivid seasonal changes, Jeju cannot be left out. Life on Jeju is feeling the marvelous phenomena of nature through spring flowers, windy and rainy days, and the snow. Oh, Min-Su composedly portrays Jeju by adding a modern touch to the traditional ink-and-wash painting.

Oh Sang youl paints daily life of contemporary people on canvas. He highlights one particular person or a group of people among a number of groups in a similar look. The titles of his paintings, such as, “What should I eat for dinner today?” or “Was everything good today at work?” kindly describe the situational highlights. We may find another kind of interest from his paintings if we look at them after reading the titles. They show his unique sense of humor. Day-by-day life is taken for granted. However, a scrupulous look into the day-to-day happenings will tell us that it is in fact a very sound space that enables us to manage our living stably. We pass by countless time and face with happenings everyday thinking ordinarily. But our life is sustained by each and every moment of the seemingly mundane happenings. His paintings portray various moments of everyday life. They seem to belong to someone else but in fact, they are also who I was yesterday and who I am today.

Hong Hyun-mi is a curator at Jeju Museum of Art.

Min Su Oh

The thirst for nature called me back to Jeju where I spent my childhood. Growing up with the sea, trees, and mountains, I did not know how precious they were to me. Living in the city surrounded by grey concrete buildings, I was so thirsty for nature. I decided to come back to Jeju. Despite the childhood memories, the sce- nic views of Jeju are always fresh and intriguing. I went out to look around the places that I recall in my memo- ries. I felt that the present and the past cross over. The scenic views around the places gave me peace of mind. I capture them into my canvas, and they are the reasons for me to stay here on Jeju. In that way, the scenery in Sansuhwa landscape paintings has become a space where I stay and visit for sightseeing.

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