Artist's Statement

Living is a series of unending questions. The ‘question on existence’ sought in the relationship of nature and human is the essential inquiry as a living person. In other words, the first thing before learning the phenomenon is to find out the position of the existence to form it. Existence is discovered first in the relationship between what is shown and what is to be looked at. The relative concept of two existences has the universe with each as the center, and it becomes more and more similar as they become closer. 

The space in and out of the existence has come into the place of the existence, and accordingly, the recognition of the space is a natural process. The ambiguity in light beyond the boundary of the surface melts the transparent existence into the space, and the space in and out with overlapping would display the existence to unlimitedly  expand it and this is to lead us to the existence of blue color in the abyss.

I had the youth in a place where it was surrounded by the sea, and thereafter, the sea has taken its place in my vast heart as an empty space as well as longing for the sea. That is the same feeling with the falling into the deep abyss and it becomes one space. Longing for the sea has been systemized through the under the sea diving experience, and the existences felt under the volume of the water surface have come more sentimentally with the density and pressure of the sea water. 

My work started from looking into the existence and actual space with respect to the relationship of nature and human. That is installed by having the organic images of the organisms in abyss for removing the ideal space of the scenario presumed on the basis of the feeling from traveling and also that is organized for the space crossed and transparent unity for the mutually different beings are the attempts to meet the existence floating around by submerging the exhibition space deep into the sea and leading the people appreciating into the space. It approaches to the reality of the existence by having the organic natural existence in the contemplation of the type that is hanging on the transcendental space, and the wrapping of the two existences in transparency and addition of the human existence in the production of structure. 

Existence obtains the secret infinity in visual transparency with the appearance of the transcendental space from it. At last, we expect to bring the wisdom and insight to correctly see the phenomenon with the reality of transcendental space with the unyieldingly enlarged existence.

 

My work is informed by an over-arching narrative which has sprung from my personal knowledge and experience in the fields of geography, anthropology and ecology. These three fields have so far been explored through my travels to diverse places around the globe, through a variety of landscapes. 

 Discovery (2011~present)is a series of research and architectural projects that connects two lakes in Africa based on the narrative between truth and fictions. In this project, I presents observation tower connecting the lakes, I invites the viewers to encounter with the image of the water from an analog style of optical illusion.

 

 I construct a story first, then build it and express it visually. This is the way I mainly work. When encountering a space, I pursue to create a unified installation space rather than reciting various individual forms of arts like sculpture, installation or drawings in a designated space. Implicative individual art works attract viewers to contemplate them and to stroll around the space. The process of unifying individual works as a whole is crucial to induce viewers to think in an emotional sense. It is similar to the structure of an Opera that is built by scenes and acts that contain short stories. Through this same process, the whole story’s structure is built. Then I adjust detailed elements. 

I map out the outline of a story from an inspired incident, and then I put pieces of thoughts, experiences and feelings together. Literacy qualities such as the us age of foreshadowing and clues are reflected as emotional senses in the process of visualization. The reason why the stories have a connection to reality is because my stories are from traveling. Traveling gives endless inspirations. What I saw, felt, thought stimulates my sense of creativity. These rare worldly experiences offer unique sensations which cannot be experienced in everyday life. The reality inspires imagination as much as fictional stories do. Unaccustomed environment is another interesting place that has distinctive climate and exotic geological location. Boundary created by politics and languages is not important to me. The process of making a big picture by gathering clues from fragmentary incidents is like creating a fictional world. Even solidfacts could turn out to be an attractive fiction when they are newly combined. It is like one foot in reality and the other foot in the fictional creation.

 

In 2010, I participated in the Artist Residence Program at ‘Instituto Sacatar’, Brazil. My accommodation was situated next to the seaside, which made me often think of ‘water’. I have created stories based on water before but I guess it was because I was brought up in the city called Busan in South Korea. One day, I was talking to a friend on the phone, glancing at the Atlantic Ocean near my accommodation, coincidently, he was talking to me on the seashore in New York. It occurred to me that the water I was glancing at is connected to the water, my friend was standing by. The water was coexisting in front of my friend and I although we were physically apart in different countries. This made me realize the water on the earth is connected and lakes are geographical features that are precisely isolated from this gigantic circulation. Later on,I had an opportunity to see two gigantic ‘Lake Malawi’ and ‘Lake Tanganyika’, in central Africa. These distant lakes which are 200km apart from each other were connected before earthquakes and volcanic actions took place. The project ‘Discovery’is a premise of fictional project to reconnect those two lakes.   

To make the two lakes meet could be brought about by two solutions. First solution is on the concept of ‘gazing’, in other words, to make fish to see each other. Installing a buoy shaped observatory platform above the water surface could allow fish to swim up to observe separated habitat. The second method involves a ‘physical encounter’, installing an underground tunnel between two separated lakes. The sculptural structure, installed in my show, is designed to float on the water in theory. The interior of the structure is empty in order to be buoyant and the see-through glass on top of the structure could be filled with water so that fish could travel through the route. Installing an underground tunnel to reconnect separated water is also possible. I have been studying and researching meticulously how power drives both sides of water to flow. The possibility to make this project happen is driven from my imagination based on reality.

 

The reason why I have been researching with the subject ‘water’ is because I was brought up in the city called ‘Busan’ (a city located in south end of Korea). Perhaps the familiar landscape brings me comfort whenever I get near water. I am attracted to water, hard to define precisely, that gives me emotional comfort. Brazil, the country I participated in an ‘International Artist Residency Program’was also rich in water. That environment brought me endless inspirations. Also the previously mentioned telephone call with a friend was an unforgettable incident that has brought me unique feelings. I had this odd feeling as if I was with supernatural beings.

 

I am not an extreme environmentalist. More correctly, I believe in the earth’s natural purification process. For instance, although human causes harm to the environment, the earth maintains itself adequately through its ability to heal itself. This belief is from my worldly experiences rather than a theoretically proved scientific opinion. When I visited Kaikora in New Zealand, I was deeply touched by the inhabitant people who had a high respect and love for nature. I learned that they developed this respect through their experiences with nature, not through education. Do you think you can possibly theorize nature or the environment? To give you an example, when it comes to the wind, we can feel it without seeing it. My belief in natural purification substitutes my thoughts of recognizing nature. Nature cannot be understood, it must be experienced. To understand nature, physical senses stand higher ground than the intellectuality. I want my works to awaken observers’ senses instead of raising theoretical and aesthetic arguments.

© 2023 by KIJIN PARK's PHOTOGRAPHY. created with Wix.com
 

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