Q1. How did you start your career?
I loved art, so I applied to an art academy when I was seven. My dream was to become an artist since I was young. After that experience, I made my way to art high school and studied carving and modeling in Chungnam National University. However, while I studied, I felt that art did not work by only liking it. After having studied art more deeply at that time, I continued to do my artwork until now.
Q2. You had an exhibit <Minus Zero> recently. Would you tell us the meaning of the world of zero you wanted to express?
Numbers and calculations are one of my interests in my work. For instance, plus signs, minus signs, and numbers are all symbols I like to utilize. They are symbols of my personal thoughts. The reason why I made a minus zero is that zero is a number you can easily see. It is both the last point and a starting point. It can also be a polar number. By adding a minus to the zero, it evokes a thought. I thought it would be interesting to let the audience think about the subject and let them guess about it. Minus zero was made for imagination and different thinking. I find the mental part of the audience significant. I have one piece of art, ‘Case, which is composed of empty cases. In the back of the wall of the artwork, it is written “If I ( ) make an artwork, the size will be ( ) × ( ) × ( ) = ( ). These boxes contain thoughts and mental entity. It makes you think about the existence and location of the mind.
Q3. What is most worthwhile benefit when creating your artwork?
Although I begin an artwork by myself, thought, experience and curiosity are the beginning of the base of the work and then I get feedback from others. This involvement in the artwork by meeting with people gives me new inspiration and ideas. I find it rewarding when I experience something new, when I work with others or when I provide a new experience to others. I think this is the joy of art.
Q4. What is burdensome during your work?
Practically, it is tiring work. Most people who work in the field of art have a burden. It’s like people having stressful times at school or college. There are financial problems, like the cost of materials. I participate in economic activities to pay for it. It is difficult to keep a balance between doing art and economic activities. As a result, I have a lack of sleep and time so I can’t afford to meet people often. This is also because of my personal studies on the artwork.
Q5. How long have you been in the field of art?
It could be divided into two parts. The time I started when I liked it and the time I began starting art in earnest. After graduating university, I decided to search for an instructor. I joined a group of artists,’The Residency’. It was located in an open place on a ship in Busan. I experienced what the artists did, how they lived and what they did for a living. I had a direct experience of living with them. The experiences that I had with the artists started in 2012 and for two years working with them was a big help. We watch each other’s work, see each other’s exhibits and the communication with each other is a great encouragement.
Q6. When doing your artwork, what kind of material or subject are you interested in? Where do you get your inspiration from?
My artwork is abstract compared to other artists. I create artwork which evokes one’s thoughts. I prefer to come and go inside the space of the mind. The artwork is like a ‘psychological entrance’, it takes a role as a medium. It also leads the audience to the world that the artist has intended to lead them to. The audience is a necessity to the artwork. I think it is significant to perform personal thoughts objectively. But to express an artwork objectively, it takes quite a long time; about three years. And I get inspiration from my experience, experimenting on new events or happenings. It was enjoyable to work with the other artists and spectators. Sometimes, I get an idea for an exhibit from the happenings that I used to experiment with.
Q7. What are your future plans?
I work with a long-term perspective. I had an exhibit in Seoul in 2005. I am preparing for a group exhibit in the J.C.C. Art Center in November. I also have an exhibit in September in a limestone cave in Seojong with English artists. These are my near and far plans. I have not made a decision and the projects are not yet firmed up.
Q8. Last but not least, what would you like to say to students?
I would like to say it as if I’m giving advice to myself. Enjoy the things you like to do and keep up the good work in your position. Keep on trying. And always think about the scope of your studies. Lead yourself in a mature way.
Yu-jin Ahn, CP Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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