It is somehow difficult to talk about myself, about my own works. I often feel rather uncomfortable doing that, as it is hard to decide how much to hide and how much to reveal. It is more difficult, as I do not work very consciously. It just happens. I let it go on in its own pace as it takes turns on its own, often goes for a longer route and comes back again all of a sudden. So, discussing all the steps, elaborately, and in a definite way - is not easy. In short, I follow my intuition as an artist and a person.
My intuition led me to India and India led me to meet painting again. I had to face the basic because of the unique atmosphere of the place where I stayed and studied. The small town in Indian country side made me to accept the basic of life and art and even fancy materials for art were not that easy to get. My eyes were trapped in drawing and painting naturally. I started to remember how much I had loved to draw in my infancy. The moment I move my hand, fingers on paper and the movement I make were the things I used to love the most. I started to fall in love with my ex again.
Me and my works, together grow up in the course of life as a process. This process involves multidimensional and even contradictory layers of understanding life, remembering facts and wishful-thinking which are hard to extract from each other. This process is almost like a treasure-hunt game where you find small, minute particles picked up from different layers of memory and crafted carefully to design a world where imagery evolves, gets lost and resurfaces. Perhaps it keeps on mixing everything up - whatever I look at, go through or see around. I see my art as a deep psychological game that I constantly play with myself, set hurdles on my own way, I win or lose - I keep it a secret.
Outwardly, as a person I cannot interact with people very well and generally do not talk much. The reason for that can be I talk too much to myself, and I do that all the time. Even in my works, I could not resist to add up endless details, small fun elements, remarks and comments. Being extremely talkative while I work has been almost a bad habit. But recently I see there is a change when I feel like being minimal in expression, as silent as I can be. It can be a part of the game when the pattern of the narrative changes according to life. At times it becomes more allegorical, rich and literal, and sometimes again, nakedly autobiographical. Perhaps, both art and life are about growing up with and looking back at expanded vision and collected experiences.
Primarily, story-telling obsesses me in whichever format. Narratives are something I connect very easily with. To play with words, images, images with dual meanings, interplay between them and mixing up multiple layers of visual story lines excite me endlessly. In fact, ‘excitement’ is the word to explain everything in short about myself. The works crafted in an intimate way is what I feel the most comfortable at. Perhaps they match with my personality. And I like to explore them sitting in my silent, private zone where hardly anyone is welcome.
It is, however, amazing to discover how the same usual things look different as the perspective changes. It is like your mind travelling far and wide, making extensive trips inside and finding out details, moments, feelings that are long forgotten. I was surprised to discover how small, negligible and unimportant facts live inside us without our knowledge. Chapters we think we have closed long back, issues we have completed to deal with - hide themselves somewhere deep inside our mind and continue to breathe. All that they do, they peep out once in a while to remind us that, as life expands, friends go away, distant people come close, and relationships change. With them it is easier to sustain when things go wrong. With them it is easier to walk even though parts of us are left behind at different junctures. And by doing that, we grow up even faster than we understand that we have!
Some of my recent works are thus, a sort of reminiscence or looking back. It is not a regular affair, but at times your mind detaches itself and climbs up a high point to get a neutral view - and maybe this is one time when it is happening with me. It is like continuing and assessing once again whatever is left halfway in the due course. Life, no matter how simple or even dull, never stops to amaze me and my recent time in India it told me, journey never ends.
The beings in my works are struggling, crying, screaming for help and the harsh touches of line, color with the emotions of the beings represented can be often seen. The secrets hidden for a long time in my locked room came forward. How this change took place of my calm stories that I used to do in my early twenties? It happened with the changes of my environment and feelings by the changes. A mystic feeling forced me to change the pattern of ‘talking’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ to talk. Even now, something keeps talking to me to change and evolve more and more. I want to see where I may reach instead of imposing any set rules on myself. So, let it happen.
By virtue of the change in my environment (Pusan to Seoul, Seoul city to Tong-do Temple in a huge mountain, deep forest to grey city, Korea to Japan, Japan to Korea, Korea to India, India to Spain, Spain to India, India to Korea) and in the state of my mind, I have learned how to move away from storytelling to let viewers bring something of their own to the work. I try to show some images of fragments getting into specifics of the people or myself and avoid too much of details to make viewers fixed to the specifics. The images which can relate to everyone’s personal experiences or imaginations are my invitation to my world. I make scenes half-empty in story and meaning through my private stories. Now I can interact with people through my work. I invite people to my personal story and people bring their own stories to my party.
Instead of the jugglery of multiple layers of narration, a curled up line, a drop or dab of color, insignificant tit-bits are drawing up maximum part of my attention for whatever reasons I have not tried to detect. I sit back to look at them for endless hours, so that I may read whatever they are trying to tell me instead of search for meaning. I get sense of not only what I paint but also sense of how I paint, draw and build. The sense, sensation, sensibility, emotion and feeling of the being in the scene or the one who is doing show their own story in the touches and the movements of dots, lines and colors, they whisper, “how much I am sad, angry, and frustrated.” The emotion shows itself through me working.
My works are coming out directly from the images in my mind. The images themselves evolve and make new arrangements according to their own demand. If ‘the concept of my art now’ is about knowing and discovering oneself - these works are showing me, my inside. As I have said before, they are ‘my’ story. The story is almost private like personal diaries, everyone’s diary.
I am walking on the road with various environments around. At this stop of life, I feel like being very personal. At another stop, I might dance with a huge group of people. One day I might feel comfortable to be secretive (once I had in my past), or another day I might want to shout out loud in the public. I would see things, hear things, get things and meet things. I might get changed with the various encounters. I am expecting the future, what would happen to me and to the world. It excites me. The excitement leads my work constantly. The excitement keeps my life constantly.