Our previous post on Jung-Yeon Min was one of our most popular last year. We hit her up with some questions. Hit the jump for her answers.
If you had to describe your work to someone who has never experienced it before, what would you say?
I try to introduce an image that does not exist, abstracts that I create, yet present in a real and intimate space. This creates an oddity between two different universes. I remove the limits between the virtual world and the real world, the micro and the macro, the inside and the outside, the 2-dimensional and the 3-dimensional, and the straight lines and the curves, in order to form ideas that do not contain limits.
You moved from South Korea to France to continue your art education. What made you decide to move to Paris? How did living and working in Paris affect your art?
I decided to come to France in order to discover a new artistic universe but also another culture. I was particularly attracted to Paris because there is a sense of past and present conviviality that I find very interesting. Paris is built on a very important past yet is also a very contemporary city.
En étant étrangère a Paris je me mets dans la même situation ambivalente: Je suis Coréenne et je suis Parisienne. Mon identité d origine reste toujours mais en étant depuis longtemps a Paris, il y a un conflit entre les 2 identités. Cette confusion me pousse a trouver mon identité personnelle et cela affecte ma peinture évidemment.
Being a newcomer to Paris, I put myself in ambivalent position; I’m Korean, yet I’m Parisian at the same time. My original identity has stayed the same, but I’ve been in Paris for sometime now, and there’s a conflict between my two identities. This confusion has helped me to find my true identity and obviously, it affects my painting.
Are there any common misconceptions about your art that you’ve encountered?
Yes, the sexuality in my work… a lot of people see sexuality in my work but it’s not my intention.
How is your art received by people back in Korea versus people in France? By people in other countries? How would you describe your cultural mindset?
I have no concrete idea about that and to be honest, I’m not really interested in the reaction of other people. But I think the way people perceive my work is more a matter of personal sensibility than nationality.
Is there a school of thought or philosophy that would help your audience understand your work better?
The philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and the writer, Virginia Woolf. And I’m very fond of history.
Every artist has a personal set of motives that drive them to create their particular art. What is it that inspires you? Do you believe that you have a particular duty as an artist? Maybe to a set of ideas, to the greater world, to personal expression. Basically, what makes you tick?
My true inspiration is daily life. No, I don’t think I have a particular duty as an artist. I create, and I create what I create because I want to.
Many of your paintings have a melting, dripping aesthetic to them. Can you explain how you developed this style and what it means to you?
I use this shape to symbolize an idea, which spreads like liquid through all of my paintings, like a kind of virus, invading the scene. In each painting, the virus is unique and adapts to the different characters and scenes. The liquid form and the intestinal shape allow me to symbolize a flowing idea.
Is there a story or reason behind your use of polar bears?
In Korean mythology, the bear wanted to be human. He prayed to the gods and became a woman. In our time and as a woman, I fantasize about the reverse, to become the bear.
I want to add that although the brown bear is used in mythology, I am using the polar bear. In nature, the polar bear was brown at first and as the continent was isolated, the brown bear adapted to his surroundings to become white. Like humans today, one adapts to society, as I, a Korean, adapted to French society.
Describe your process. How do you come up with your concepts, how long does it take you, what materials do you use, what does your work space look like, what time of day do you like to paint, etc.
It depends on the painting. Ideas are in my head for one week or for one year and then one day I will decide to paint them. Also, some ideas are never realized, never painted. Before I start my painting, I do many drawings to define the exact shapes.
I have my own studio and I prefer working from the beginning of the afternoon and until late in the night, until my husband comes home…
Any exciting things coming up that you’d like to share?
Yes, my next exhibition is the “Salon du dessin contemporain” on the 25th of March in Paris.