Space of Floating Signs of Symbol
Looking for the Passage of Forgotten Soul
The current circumstances of Korea are barren in many ways to produce a good artist. The policy to support artists has not reasonably been established and nor have art administrators been trained professionally. The reality is that curators, including me, mat not be qualified enough and art culture itself floats away without the price settlement system or estimation organization for art works, while art culture increasingly gets merchandized by the art value of money exchange. It is doubtful whether since art collectors come from the limited class not only the proper progress of art culture but the self-generated position to examine the true nature of aesthetic consciousness of current period can be obtained in the long perspective. So it is urgently required to cultivate and support young artists. It may not be exaggerated that the creative energy and future course or our art culture depend upon the activity of young artists. During this summer season Gallery Bing is planning to open special exhibitions for three young artists. They have been selected because of not only their unique formative consciousness and creative postures but the urgent need for affection and support for young artists. Hyang-sook Yun majored in Oriental Painting in Hong-Ik University, but has been working as an installation artist with what is called installation works. Three years ago, the writer referred to her, in the criticism for her 2nd solo exhibition, as “An artist the transcending eye open toward eternity”. The starting point for her criticism may be found in “What can be left through her activity, not what she works for. ” We often remember Marcel Duchamp’s phrase, “the artistic meaning transformation of Object“. When artist displays creative activity in a different way from painting. For Yun object becomes an important element of creative motivation. It doesn’t, however, remain “discovered” or “reinterpreted” object. She pursues the incantative meaning or carves some signs, as if to communicate with souls, in doors, wooden pillar, soil, or twigs from the shattered house. She baptizes the old rest room of our souls with the old message which she has drawn up from fountain of prayer. she often forcecoming the message comes nearer to me like a voice of Karil Gibran toward our sleeping soul. Yun already presented us with a work which contains small pictures of Indian color on the wall as if she tried to deliver the pieces of contemplation which provided meaning with life. The works to be shown in the Exhibition have a little different context from the ones in “Room of Meditation,” in 1991, which created the contemplative mood of Cobalt blue and castle-like towering forms of suffering monks. The installation work, named “Room in the Prayer,” with incantative implication, are full of signs and symbols in wooden poles danling in the air, which look like calling out souls. At a glance they inspire the mysterious atmosphere of scared room, not assuming the reminiscent meanings or Korean colors which can be found in the castle of history. Since they assume the universal image, the narcisstic and self-righteous outlook on the world can be avoided. What Yun tries to show is, like a little gesture of trying to be one with nature, that she doesn’t attempt to paint or mark something on purpose. But she just reveals what has been the original image in her mind. So Yun’s works remain in the ambiguous zone which may not be referred to as painting or sculpture. There are in “Room in Prayer”, a variety of existing forms which may be found in the ordinary life. It is from the disassembled house that the archetypes of all objects such as doors from of ghost house, sculptures like totem poles or doors connected like a folding screen are originated. They assume the forms of co-being which they can be made up for each other without being fixed themselves to a plane or solid. The artist paints on wood with oil in white, blue and brown, and put on it small soil cubics. They are compared to pieces of meaningful ceremony like prey devoted to god after the host of ceremony chants the spell. Like the gesture of psychist who tries to gather the resonance of souls in nature, She displays the symbolic activity transformed in color and pattern. Through the unrenewable but intense message the eternity of her works could be achieved if art work are looked upon as the invisible equipment which may ultimately renew human spirit and soul. Therefore Yun might be considered as a teacher of soul rather than just an installation artist who makes us reflect the meaning of life. She depicts out the fundamental meaning of life with her unique language as if every day to write down the new pages of prophetia book. Why does a bird fly over the sky? Yun has kept the secret attic in which she pilled up the old contemplation for the meaning of being, the warmth of life in the feather of bird flying over our world. Now we are invited to the open house of her secret room.
Written by Dong-Kwang Chang (Art Theorist, Curator of Gallery Bing) June 1994.
(Translated by Hye-Sook Kwon)