Artistic Work as Existence

Koh, Won-seok (Curator, Gallery Space)

Im, Sun-yi has her own distinct personality as an artist. This doesn't refer to personal basis as her speech or air. Rather, her personality means that she is connected with existent life and reveals an association with several emotion from her experience through her works in-depth. Various strands in her works show a true side of obscure expectation and confusion, disorderly trail and error and repetitive uncertainty of daily life, not visualization of organized conceptual frame clearly and exquisitely.

This is a critical key to understand her works with consistency from the beginning of her career until now. When Im was at university, she connected and arranged pipeline placed on an indoor wall with other pipes nearby, and built a kind of transformed scape at Art Factory Project, in 2000. Certain objects seemed probable within real scape are transformed and inverted intentionally, and they become another scape with resemblance to the original certainly. Once she said, almost viewers passed her works by without knowing whether those are artistic work or not. This anecdote means that she has controlled intervention of other elements to visualize her intention.

She held her first solo exhibition at Do Art Gallery in 2003. The exhibition was different from other young artists' scanty solo exhibitions with repetitive, replicated ideas. Harmonizing with cement floor of the hall, the cactuses made of cement led the exhibition's air. She made the objects be placed on the space without any stimulation, and created a new scape joined with the objects naturally. The objects themselves include artificiality, even negative feeling, nevertheless they has something intense which makes us believe that they have been in the original scape harmoniously. The ability of observation everything with attribute of material in daily life we pass by and of domination over ambience in the hall by minimum scale speaks for her special artistic gift.

She has continued a series work with intervention to the scape since then. Thinking that most of scenes in daily life are romanticized intentionally, she found distorted, stereotyped scape from the TV monitor broadcasted the national anthem. She felt doubt that the result of violent act that natural scape considered beautiful thing normally is processed a sort of utopian background and familiar thing come from the experienced actually makes us accept the processed scape as a true scape missing a certain criteria and viewpoint.

However, her stance about intervention to this distortion is not clear. She is keeping the distant from both extremes, denial and scepticism, and agreement and assimilation. What she pays attention is a cognitive situation making them romanticize, not a criticism according to result for this tendency. This means that she has focused on the issue about cognition and viewpoint looking at the scape, rather than the scape as a result of continued act.

Recent series work titled Trifocal Sight can be understood according to same context as well. Mt. Inwang is centrally located in Seoul, so it is a typical example of familiar scape with everyone. Although, few people in Seoul have a chance to experience the mountain, and it remains an existence in idea. By accident, Im watched for the form of the mountain and made up her mind to reinterpret it considered a nominal mountain. After taking off a certain form of frame by scaling the contour map of Mt. Inwang, she acquires the mass of delicate form by cutting the contour line. And then negative scape from the rest of the space burrowed down beneath the form is found. She tries to achieve multi-dimensional materialization of the object by using the subject matter, contour which is analyzed and embodied by system of symbolism, as a medium with materiality.

She said, she has paid attention to existent things as an unmatched image with scape of the world existent things unnaturally. Although the cement cactus is not unpleasant to the eye, it is pretended to be a living green cactus and is quitely parasitic on the scape with breakable dry condition. Needlework on the floral pattered wallpaper or boring the holes into floor paper is the same with that. She confesses that she found herself doing something alone out of the trendy movement in fellow group as entering school more late than people of the same age.

As I mentioned above, she focuses on the issue of contemplative view about circumstance, not her own response to the situation. Perhaps, the view she expresses is a kind of illusion. It is not clear that she tries to conceal herself or reveal by the illusion. And also, this doesn't need to specific definition. This obscurity is an important element forming her real existence. According to an absolute law, the world is not un changeable as it is. The world is relatively changeable according to a subject's eye. Now, the attention is paid to her who realizes the objects, not to the objects materialized by her. At last, we can meet her own world embodied by her life as an artist's life.

There are no predictable circumstances with firmed, exquisite rule and criteria. Living things always feel anxiety, repeat wandering, and stand on the incompatible extreme point with restlessness. Based on the interview with her, I guess she would aim for an artist with confirmed, organized view as an ideal model. If my guess is right, I would talk to her that she who has continued the artistic work doesn't need to assign herself a strict task. Because something undistinguished can become a certain phenomenon in her life finally, and, from a wilder point of view, a part of her works as it is. To live as an artist is to perform his/her vocation.