1.K - Art
Poppy, 32cm(H)x30cm(L), Korean watercolour and ink on Hanji(soonji)
For a long time, my practice has focused on building my own creative activities by combining ideas between Korean and Western art. My main interests include capturing the beautiful aspects of nature and celebrating the beauty of human life, a poetic expression that embodies its figurative strands.
In the process of studying Korean art, I became interested in traditional Korean art materials, especially Korean paper, Hanji. Hanji is a Korean paper with strong and tough characteristics. Paper is a fragile property, but Hanji has been used in various areas beyond the function of paper. Exploring various uses of Hanji in paintings in the past, I became interested in how to introduce this paper, which has the characteristic of being as strong as fabric in contemporary art, especially in printmaking, as a new material.
When I studied the process of making Korean paper, the mulberry fibre became the main property. It was found to be a unique aspect that distinguished it from Japanese and Chinese papers. The quality of the paper is determined by the proportion of the dak content. Hanji, made of 100 percent dak fibre, has tough and strong properties. It reflects the national spirit of Korea, which had to be strong in the country's history.
Among the Hanji used in paintings, I explored unique paper with different dak quantity such as Soonji, three-layer Jangji, and Dak Samji. I explored the different responses when they practiced with Western printing techniques. In the case of Korean paper, the paper is thinner than Western paper, so in the case of socketed paper, the paper is peeled off, but it also makes the aesthetic sense stand out. I began to break the traditional combinations in the process of matching materials. This is because combinations and results by tradition were not considered successful because attempts at a new combination of materials resulted in unexpected images that could be viewed as new aesthetic aspects by the emphasis on incomplete aesthetic aspects.
hard ground etching on Hanji(soonji)on the paper
Poppy and butterfly, 17cm(H)x12cm(L), hard ground etching,chine colle on Hanji(daksamjiji)
Poppy and obang beauty 17cm(H)x12cm(L), hard ground etching, chine colle on Hanji(daksamjiji)
Poppy and butterfly, 17cm(H)x12cm(L), hard ground etching,chine colle on Hanji(daksamjiji)
aquatint etching etching on Hanji(soonji)on the paperz
6th October, presentation feedback
•Korean paper clearly important; research into how different papers are made •Bring that research into the concept for the work, so that paper becomes more than only a surface - it seems to be important to you because you have mentioned it so often •Korean paper very different to Japanese - represents something of the spirit of Korea •Think about letting an image evolve slowly and over time - perhaps even 6-8 months like some of Helen Frankenthaler's prints •Try starting with a complete image and using time to help you resolve and simplify it.
As I got feedback from the presentation, I explored the papers, tearing and pasting. Then, I collected "dak" fibre (paper mulberry) and l matched with the metal plate. The reason why I chose a metal plate is because of its strong property that is to contrary property of the paper. Paper is a very fragile, but Korean traditional mulberry paper is very strong, and it has been preserved for more than a thousand years.
How different Korean papers are made?
It is made of the inner bark of mulberry, and the fibre that is called dak has unique properties for the paper. By matching fragile paper fibres with metal, it reflects the properties of weak but strong Hanji. This is because it was believed that the message could be highlighted by substituting the relative properties of matter. I expressed this image of "fragile but strong". This is a metaphor for the relationship between Hanji and me, as I am a British-Korean artist, I believe that Hanji is my root, containing Korean sprit.
Dak, 17cm(H)x12cm(L),soft ground etching on paper
Dak, 17cm(H)x12cm(L),on zinc plate
Dak, 17cm(H)x12cm(L),soft ground etching on daksamji
3. Fragility and Strength
I started observing nature on the way to college. As I am inspired by "fragility and strength" above, I explored the contrasting aspects of the beauty of nature. I captured dead leaves that had been stomped on and torn on the asphalt. I represented butterflies with Hanji which was inspired by 19th-century Korean folk paintings which consisted of flower and butterfly paintings. This is because I wanted to convey a message of hope in life by representing butterflies above dying leaves.
Hope,12cm(H)x30cm(L),photo etching on daksamji
stomped and torn leaves A living tree
4. The things that exist and the things that don't exist
I began to observe nature continuously. I came up with another contrast idea like fragility and strength: 'things that exist and those that do not exist'. I was inspired by the actual trees and the shadows of the tree. Shadows are a reflection of what currently exists; the shadow itself is something that is not real, but it reflects what is real. We can know from the shadows that there are trees. I believe that the world reflects the eternal world like a shadow, as I found in the 17th century philosopher John Dunne's poetry.
Thing that does exist, 12cm(H)x30cm(L) , photolithography on daksamji Thing that does not exist, 12cm(H)x30cm(L) , photolithography on daksamji
Shadow A tree
5. States and Variations
“In printmaking, I think it would be perfectly reasonable never to destroy the images on the plates and stones, and always to have them available for use in new works, new combinations”. Jasper Johns, 1978
After a lecture on 16th Oct, I studied the variations of the image of a torn leaf. Then explored materials, composition and technology, and connected it for a series work. The work of 1st leaf and 2nd state shows the technology used to make the prints. This indicates that this is the first series I have completed using this process and tells you that it is the second version of the image (state). My series of work has led audiences to let them read art equally and carefully to identify the unique characteristics of individual but related prints that may initially look the same.
Two plates etching
The image of 1st leaf, was not clearly printed. Brian Hodgson said that it is a ghost leaf because it did not print the image of the leaf clearly. The paper was peeled off and I felt that the first print was unsuccessful because the clear image I intended was not reflected. Since then, the amount of water in Hanji was appropriately adjusted, and printing was reattempted to obtain clearer image results. I surveyed my classmates on which image was everyone's favourite, and the 1st leaf was the most popular with more than half (4/6) votes. This was chosen as a failed image to me, but a successful image to others.
Why did I choose a torn leaf?
This is because, although it was stepped on and broken and its shape was not complete, it felt beautiful in nature itself.
What is beauty?
Through this process, I have learnt that the definition of beauty will vary for everyone. I believe that it is a subjective choice by experience that cannot be objective.
1st leaf, 30cm(H)x24cm(L),etching, soft ground on three layer Hanji
2nd state, photoetching and aquatint on three layer Hanji
Torn leaf, spit-bite, two plates etching on three layer Hanji
A torn leaf, photography
Initial research - drawings - rubbing - image makings - splatters
Drawings on daksamji,
Drawings on toned tan papers
Rubbings of a tree on Hwasunji
Drawings on toned tan papers Splatters on Mugwort paper
"In all things that live there are certain irregularities and deficiencies which are not only signs of life, but sources of beauty. No human face is exactly the same in its lines on each side, no leaf perfect in its lobes, no branch in its symmetry." John Ruskin
10th November presentation feedback
•the images were all very clear; say what it is about artists and writers that you are interested in - what do they represent for you and why are you referencing them, bring this aspect into focus more. Beauty, nature and materiality are your 3 themes - set this out at the beginning so that you can then group the artists and writers by theme.
I explored the ecological aesthetics of torn leaves and the composition with three leaves by observing falling leaves. Then, I engraved the three leaves on the lithography plate.
After that, I printed the image by turning it clockwise to represent the movement of the falling leaves. Leaves that disappear as the seasons change are finite. However, the leaves disappear and go back to the dirt, but in the new season, the trees give birth to new life. I represented a finite human life in figurative strands with leaves.
What is life?
Human life is finite like a fragile leaf.
What is eternity?
The Trinity is a perfect being. This is because the Father, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit are each independent beings but also a complete union. Also, they are eternal as they became the Alpha and Omega.
I embodied the cycle of nature as an image by combining nature's attributes that disappear over time with the eternal and unchanging attributes of God.
,Falling leaves 36cm(H)x36cm(L),lithography on daksamji
Life, 36cm(H)x36cm(L),lithography on daksamji
A tree of life, 36cm(H)x36cm(L),lithography on daksamji
7. Dancing leaves
For further development, I photographed three sets of three leaves that I collected in Richmond park. I created images with photolithography technique. The reason why I chose photolithography technology is that I wanted to represent more contemporary printing technique with traditional Korean paper. This is because my aim is to introduce Western print ideas to the Korean audience and introduce Korean art tradition to the Western audience through my creative activities. I think the combination of Hanji and ink for photolithography was successful because it became a monochrome expression like Korean traditional ink, muk.
The fragile, finite leaves are a metaphor for human life. The number three is a symbol of the Trinity, the eternal life. I transformed the fallen, unfooted and torn leaves into dancing leaves flying towards the sky. Inspired by William Wandsworth's poetry, Dance with daffodil, it celebrates the beauty of nature and John Dunn's Divine Poems: A Litany praises the beauty of eternal life. This is to celebrate the beauty of human life through the eternal vitality of the circulating nature.
Dancing leaves 1,36cm(H)x36cm(L), photolithograph on soonji
Dancing leaves 2, 36cm(H)x36cm(L), photolithograph on soonji
8. Hanji Craft / Book art
Dancing leaves 3, 36cm(H)x36cm(L), photolithograph on soonji
8. Hanji craft and book art
As I learned how to make six books at the bookmaking workshop on 10th November, I decided to collect images and make them into book format. However, unlike Western paper, Hanji was too thin, so it was not ideal to contain images in the book format that I learned at the workshop. So, I brought some ideas from traditional Korean folding screens. Then, in combination with the book format, it developed into a 3D type of book craft.
Until now, I chose the papers that were used in Korean traditional painting to make the images because I wanted to test the combination of contemporary printing techniques and use them to match contemporary art. This time, I chose a contemporary Korean craft paper to create an image display frame. Among the craft papers, paper with a lot of dak was selected. This is because the higher the content of the dak material, the stronger the paper was..
According to the results of testing the properties of the Hanji, the paper and MDF were combined to create a screen panel of the book format and list the images. The reason why I decided to display images in the book format was to show, with narrative storytelling, the process of development of images. I also used three panels for a book. In the Korean art tradition, it is common to display images using an even number of panels, but I chose an odd number 3. This was because I wanted to break traditional concept and combine contemporary and Western concepts, and the number 3 was also the number that inspired me in this project.
1.Torn leaf 2. Falling leaves 3. Daning leaves
1.Torn leaf 2. Falling leaves 3. Daning leaves
9. Installation art
The images of exhibitions at the National Museum of Korea and the Korean Museum were all exhibited on the wall last summer. There was a difference in the method of exhibition of contemporary art and historical art, but no new concept of exhibition works in the areas of painting and printmaking were found. I chose installation art for the image display method. I brought ideas from the online exhibition, Contemporary art matters. I connected the image books and created in objects. This is because I wanted to present the contemporary concept of Korean art by combining the ideas of the East and the West.
This project, the focus was on the lines and forms of plants and their ecological aesthetics. It also attempted to connect the essential beauty of the lines and forms of plants with the aesthetics of Korean art. Therefore, the image was depicted as simple, and the colour was monotonously expressed. Overall, I don't think it was successful to reflect the uniqueness of Korean art in this work. This is because the combination of Western materials and the concept of Western contemporary art acted as elements that were difficult to portray the unique Korean art traditions. On the other hand, the printing pigments and contemporary printing techniques tested on Korean paper worked successfully. So, as I move on to Unit 2, I am going to focus on a few things.
I would like to focus on the diverse colours of nature. I plan to create an image with text from my poetic inspiration. It may just be an image in which the text is inserted, or the text may be included in the form in the artist book. Also, I will research to make my work environmentally friendly. Research on the issue will involve the effort to integrate materials or processes that make my artwork safe for the environment in order to create my artwork, since I don't want my artwork to have a negative impact on the environment throughout its lifecycle. Therefore, I plan to incorporate natural elements and develop a concept for art work in relation to current environmental problems or topics.