brilliant 30: Yoonkyung Park

Dreaming of a communicable painting

brilliant 30: Yoonkyung Park iamge
Yoonkyung Park iamge interview video image
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Yoonkyung Park iamge interview video image

Yoonkyung Park, dreaming of a communicable painting

Yoonkyung Park, dreaming of a communicable painting image

Yoonkyung Park, who graduated from the Department of Painting and the Graduate School at Hongik University, set aside her role as a promising artist, wife and mother of two children and flew to England to pursue further study. What was it that drove her to such a choice, leaving this familiar environment behind despite already having attained the status of an “established” artist?
"I desired," she states, "to explore painting itself in a new place." The proof of her exploration lies in her works; through them, she experiments with the possibilities and expands the domain of painting by elevating such elements as color, line and brush stroke – elements usually considered merely as tools for two dimensional paintings.
As a result, the traditional manner of painting on canvas or paper has altered for her. The use of transparent surfaces like silk, chiffon or a shower curtain reveals the hidden side of the work to its viewers. In Yoonkyung Park’s paintings, the colors and brush strokes chosen by the artist come into view: nothing is hidden. In this way, the works share the artist's action and working process with the viewer.

It has already been half a century since art truly began to consider its viewers who, nevertheless, still find themselves outside of contemporary art.
Yoonkyung Park generates positive communication with her audience by using every day, easily-accessible vocabulary coined on the internet. Cyber culture - the medium that most aptly depicts contemporary society – is embodied in Park’s work in diverse ways in installations and drawings as well as painted works. Texts in geometric patterns are to form a new language which the artist presents as paintings, rugs or stamps so as to mitigate the separation of art and everyday life.
If an artist breathes within and reacts to his or her contemporary moment, art becomes closely linked with life. Yoonkyung Park represents the contemplation of her time in her art works, responding intuitively to social change and its causes.


Yoonkyung Park, Interview image1

I am still experimenting in order to realize a painting that can obtain independent subjectivity in itself, and I struggle ceaselessly in search of methods to extend the project of painting.
- Yoonkyung Park -

Q. Although you produce work in various media, such as installation and drawing, your two dimensional paintings are the works which stand out and dominate your output. What does painting mean to you?

I majored in painting. It was natural for me to arrange the subjects of my work through painting. At first, I questioned myself whether such traditional elements of painting as color, line, brush stroke and canvas should be used merely as tools for the expression of the subjects in a two dimensional painting. Then, I attempted to expand the essence, existence and meaning of “painting” itself by giving principal significance to those elements – rather than treating them as supplementary.

Yoonkyung Park, Interview image2

Q. It is peculiar that you utilize transparent materials as chiffon and silk instead of traditional materials as the canvas for your painting works, for instance in the painting “AAAGHHJLO”. Is there any connection between this transparent property and the kind of paintings you pursue?

My choice of transparent material aims to share both the action and the process of painting with my beholders. I let them see the complete, final images, but also the production process that is usually hidden. I do this by exposing the overlapped colors and the traces of time on the reverse side of the canvas. Viewers have always been passive in exhibition rooms, but they are crucial for my works. Also, the exhibition spaces where people are brought into contact with my works are therefore significant. For me, the final step in my work is not the moment when it is hung inside the gallery space, but the moment when viewers recognize its process.

Yoonkyung Park, Interview image3

Q. The audience is a crucial element in your art, as you have stated. If so, what do you think of the meaning and role of the audience in contemporary art?

I'm deeply interested in internet culture. In the past, those who owned information were the men in power. The present day is, however, an era of information democracy in which all members of society distribute and share information equally through the internet. I am inspired by this fact; I believe that it must be reflected in how an artist looks at his or her contemporary period. I therefore feel a responsibility to present my understanding of contemporary culture through my art in some way. Contemporary art, for me, is a space where artists, artworks and spectators share equal rights and authority. I think an art space could become a democratic space with which all can be associated. The period is already gone when an artist was seen as a mythical being, separate from society. I wish to suggest an art which is communicable with the audience and to regard them as a part of my art - beyond the traditional context of painting. I aim to do this by opening all aspects of my works to them.


    Yoonkyung Park_ Acrylic, painting marker on chiffon_193.9 x 130.3cm_2014

    Yoonkyung Park_ Acrylic, painting marker on chiffon_193.9 x 130.3cm_2014 image
  • Being Invented

    Yoonkyung Park_Chiffon, Painting Maker, Acrylic on Parallelogram Shaped Canvas_95x140cm_2014

    Yoonkyung Park_Painting_Maker,_Acrylic_on_Parallelogram_Shaped_Canvas_95x140cm_

    Yoonkyung Park_Acrylic, Painting Marker on Chiffon_2014

    Yoonkyung Park_Acrylic,_painting_marker_on_chiffon_2014
  • Three infinities

    Yoonkyung Park_Acrylic, Painting Marker on Silk_162.2x112.1cm_2014

    Yoonkyung Park_Acrylic,_painting_marker_on_silk_162.2x112.1cm_2014
  • Nara Malssami Duenggugae Dalla

    Yoonkyung Park_Acrylic, Painting Marker on Chiffon_120x180cm_2013

    Yoonkyung Park_acrylic,_painting_marker_on_chiffon,_120X180cm,_2pcs_installation,_2013
  • Nara Malssami Duenggugae Dalla

    Yoonkyung Park_Acrylic, Painting Marker on Chiffon_120x180cm_2013

    Yoonkyung Park_acrylic,_painting_marker_on_chiffon,_120X180cm,_2pcs_installation,_2013
Yoonkyung Park, Interview image4

Q. What is the significance of written text as the main element in your art works?

It was not surprising that my communication with foreign friends was difficult when studying abroad. But both of us made more effort to understand each other, though our languages were different. In order to fill the gap that language cannot, attempts were made to understand the other by observing his or her gestures and signs. In this respect, communication can be possible not merely through language, but also through one's attitude. On the contrary, we witness many examples of people failing to communicate with each other, even though they use the same language. In Korea, communication is not always successful even when using Hangeul (the Korean alphabet) which was created by King Sejong to allow communication beyond class distinctions. I have come to believe that communication and conversation are not a matter of language or written words.

Q. What is the seed of your imagination?

The most truthful art work might be what contains personal experience. For me, interest in the society in which my children will live in has become the subject of my art. This is after I realized i had no choice but to communicate through the internet, when I was concerned about art during my study abroad, and after becoming a mother. It seems inevitable for an artist that everyday life and experience are expressed in one's works.

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