My work visually explores the duality of humankind logic, which serves as a practical tool, yet which is inevitably flawed. The basic building block of my visual approach is the grid, which I consider to be a visualization of logic. I challenge the normal view of a grid — ordered, structured, balanced — seeing it rather as a fluid organism. I create systematic rules in constructing my drawings, paintings, and installations, and I incorporate layering to emphasize the inherent logic and illogic behind the process of following the rules. I convey the fragility of logical systems and urban systematic constructions.
soomdo gallery, seoul, KR, october 11-31, 2016

UNDER CONSTRUCTION is a painting realized in a space and an installation with paintings as its parts. The individual paintings in the installation are blueprints, and the installation is a realization of the blueprints in space. It is a low-tech interactive installation. Here, the viewer can walk inside and outside while experiencing the paintings. 

The project addresses the contemporary experience of living constantly in urban grids. As the grid is a practical tool that has efficiently shaped contemporary society in physical and symbolic ways, grid systems appear logical and connected. However, when molded to fit the world around us, they are not. Unlike de-individualized identical segments of the grid, the individuals living within the system appear mostly alienated from each other as each retains their own identity.

In this exhibit, the artwork takes the white cube of the gallery as a segment of the urban grid of the city. Simultaneously, it minimizes the macroscopic view of the city's infrastructure, giving the viewer a chance to observe the entirety of this system from an outside perspective and an inside perspective at the same time.

On entering the installation, the viewer is invited to experience three conditions:

1) that the individual paintings and segments of the installation are autonomous entities in themselves, and simultaneously exist as part of and reflective of the installation as a whole;
2) that by entering the installation, the viewer also retains his/her individual nature while becoming part of the installation as a whole; and
3) that because of the nature of the individual segments, being reflective of the installation as a whole, the viewer is metaphorically entering each segment simultaneously, illustrating that the first two conditions are experienced in multiple layers at once. 

In this way, the imperfection of the grid is exposed. One can contemplate one’s individual alienation in the face of the seemingly connected collectivity of the grid and the tension between what is logical and what is not.

OPEN-ENDED is a low-tech interactive installation, embracing geometric-abstract paintings as the infrastructure of wholeness of the artwork.  This installation, as a bigger entity, also emulates the spacial relationships within the embedded paintings as blueprints, creating “through the looking-glass” experiences for the spectator between the installation and the paintings.  The viewers can walk in, on, and around the installation while seeing the paintings as well as being within the paintings.  OPEN-ENDED is a painting realized in a space.  The project specifically addresses the contemporary experience of living simultaneously in segmentation of the ethereal structure of urban grids.  It magnifies the microscopic view of the city’s infrastructure inside out on the surface.  It discloses the vulnerability of the grids - that is - the skeleton of our civilization.

When naked, the grid system reveals its imperfection.  Though appearing concrete, the system is in the contradictory status: in-between logicality and illogicality, in-between individuality and collectivity, in-between rigidity and flexibility, and in-between alienation and connection.  The work plays with elements that parallel with these ideas, for example, between frame and non-frame, and between permanence and impermanence.  Paintings, by nature, has confines of the frame while installation is extricated and transferred directly to the wall.  Painting also lives long while installations are usually slated for destruction.  With these tensions uncovered, OPEN-ENDED portrays the isolated, immobilized, thus alienated existence of contemporary society.  

In the process of creation, this artwork takes the white cube of the gallery as a segment of urban grids.  The piece will consist of one big painting that would dominate one wall as the beginning of the installation.  By applying a logical system to the practice of paintings, I will create paintings with self imposed rules on grids.  For the rest of the segment, I will place partitions, pedestals, and card boards to construct and deconstruct the given space.  Also, there will be smaller paintings of the same series placed according to the rhythm of the whole.  Paintings will be independent and complete, yet will mingle into the installation.  I will use nails, tapes, and threads, playing between connections and disconnections, between continuation and discontinuation, and between rigidity and flexibility.  The creating process in the space will be resonating with the paintings as blueprints and responding to the broad context of architectural settings with maximum flexibility.  The work will use black and white colors in playing with negative and positive spaces.  This will enable the artwork to emit the “through the looking-glass” air between painting and installation, blurring illusion and reality, creating the open-ended loop within the artwork.

The presence of observers completes the artwork as they become part of the medium and the aesthetic.  I aim to share the authority of the creative process through viewer’s interaction with the piece.  With the being-through experiences, each observer makes their own interpretation of the artwork from different angles, and it may be completely different than other observer’s views.  Also this being-within experience will allow them to see the same paintings with different resonance.  It goes beyond purely psychological activity.  Finally, while the grid might appear muted, the presence of observers will complete the purpose of grids in connecting individuals with diverse identities.  This project lets the audience see, do, and be the artwork. 

graphite, ink, acrylic paints, plain paper, grid paper, push pins, nails, steel wire, and tapes 
dimensions variable 

Finalist for the proposal for an exhibition by No Longer Empty entitled “About Face,” for its participation in the New Museum’s “Festival of Ideas of A New City,”

For “About Face,” I propose an installation, titled “Grid on the Wall.”  This work challenges the norm of a grid, a rigid structure that is a foundation of a city, seeing it rather as a living organism.  On a white wall I start drawing grids randomly in response to the given architecture.  As those random appearances of grids add rhythms to the space, I continue to draw scribbles as if I record the story of the wall in a form of a map or in lines of a newspaper.  I use those scribbles as well as brush strokes with other basic elements of art making (such as tapes, papers, nails, push pins, steel wire, and fishing line) like decomposed writings with no legibility.  As the process becomes improvisational dialogues amongst what happened/is happening/will happen on the surface—that is, layers of papers, cut-out-paper structures, and lines of wire appear to give concrete dimensions of the fluidity of grids.  

My work takes an inspiration from the walls in the subway stations in New York City in my everyday commute.  Tiled in grids and peeled off in layers of paints, the walls are rich with the collective memories and dreams of people passing by; as a result, the walls have become the subconscious of the city.  In my proposed work, I particularly catch up on the emotional essence of New York City.  The city’s emotion settles like dust, unseen from a distance yet known to an individual living in an urban environment.  In my work, I question the relationship between the rational base of a city and the emotional reality of it.  

I also draw my attention to Mondrian’s work, “Broadway Boogie Woogie” (1942-1943), an abstract painting inspired by clear real-world examples: the city grid of Manhattan and boogie woogie music.  Rosaline Krauss asks an important question in her writing, “Grids” (October, Vol. 9 (summer, 1979), pp. 63),  “[In Monderian’s work,] Is what we see in a particular painting merely a section of an implied continuity, or is the painting structured as an autonomous, organic whole?”  My proposed work takes this question as the basis of an installation, suggesting a form that loops between order and chaos.  As the implied continuity of the grids takes off from the rational order of straight lines and goes into the emotional chaos of different elements in art making, grids on the wall become an autonomous whole.
Untitled (pixels) 
Acrylic, graphite, and layers of resin on linen 
Triptych: 36 inch by 114 inch, including three-inch spaces between the panels; three panels, each: 36 inch by 36 inch 

2011 Studio LLC exhibition catalogue, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, NYC 

"Since last year, I have had the urge to leave the comfort zone of my previous paintings. The biggest challenge was to begin anew without a conscious direction or a specific inspiration and to let the work tell me what to do. I began to create an installation on one empty wall in my studio as purposelessly as I could. The steps to completion were dictated by what was available in the moment - an ordinary paper, a piece of tape, or a line. One day I found that the pieces merged together and told me a story. It was about how order and chance interweave the subject matter that is ever present in my work and now spoken in a different way. Each step retained its integrity within the frame of the whole piece. Actually, as an installation, the work did not have a frame. This realization led me to think about an artwork’s frame and to go back to the canvas with its set limitations. Here in a reversed process, I started from the frame and placed the individual shapes and lines yet as randomly as before." 


Epistemic Landscape 
I play an arbitrary game on a layer following an arbitrary logic.  On another layer, I play another game by rules in relation only to the previous layer, and this goes on. As each layer is constructed by logical rules, each portrays human beings’ epistemic landscape in a random time and place. 

If we piece together all the layers, what would that mean?

We build up the present on the past. When the future is built up on the present, to what extent has the past been changed? Sometimes the future drastically changes the past; sometimes the future reflects the past. Yet, more honest description would be the mixture of all the variations. Now imagine all the time-specific scenery is transparent. Then the 21st century is the 13th century is the 200th century is everything is nothing.
To visualize the interaction of all the histories coexisting in a given landscape, I play games on transparent layers. By merging all the layers, my work epitomizes the epistemic landscape of us, standing on so many layers of histories.

Playing games on transparent papers, I question the supremacy assumption of the present, which is a result of the belief in progress since Enlightenment.

Bibliography section article Bibliography Section Catalog Bibliography Section Web Link PDF icon small Sold Dot