top of page

Encounter with a Complete yet Unfamiliar World


Kim Noam


Painting contains the process of bridging the gap between the invisible and visible dimensions. This concerns not only matters of form, but also matters of mind and ideas. Materials and expressions, the prevailing political and economic situation of the time, science and technology, religion and ideology, and others are deeply connected with the whole society in which the artist lives. Apart from the formal characteristics of their work, artists live in a multidimensional world such as implicitness and multi-layeredness, openness and extensibility, dynamism and homeostasis. Changes in painting reflect changes in the consciousness and society of the times, but at the same time, they also foreshadow or reproduce a new spirit. From the lower dimension to the higher dimension. From one perspective to multiple perspectives.


Whether as an artist or a spectator, the most important thing is to discover one's true self through painting. Not all artists become masters, but their time flows in the direction of constructing their own independent world, joining the art world or the sea called art. The world exists regardless of human actions. It is a complete system in its own right. However, we cannot fully recognize it due to the limitations of our cognition. In a way, it can be said that every artist, upon setting on their path, is completed without realizing it. This is because the moment a person's creative act is perceived, it already exists completely as a world. Growing as an artist means repetition of the process of realizing the already complete state. If one completely penetrates it, one can say that one has at last achieved one's own world. Mysteriously, through painting constructed as an independent world, we encounter a world that is both complete and calm, yet intense and unfamiliar at the same time.

The difficulties that the artists go through are not only due to the difficulties of the painting itself, but also come from the topic the artist is holding on to, and the difficulty of the topic. Broad and deep level of culture and knowledge do not teach how a brush stroke should be applied. The artist gravitates towards increasingly difficult problems. The struggles and conflicts with the difficult problems occupying the mind are embodied in materials, lines and planes, colors and brush strokes. The problem of figuration is a reality artists confront but it also serves as a kind of escape. One can just let it go, but it just doesn't work like that, so it remains a challenge and a dilemma. No one teaches artists. The artist must be strong willed and draw with only his or her own eyes, hands, emotions, and hard labor. Therefore, the image achieved by an artist is marvelous.


There is no safe way to understand an artist's world. One just fumbles around like a blind man who cannot see. In fact, it is advancing from the path from the realm of ignorance to that of knowledge. An interpretation or ideal language that perfectly matches the work is impossible. A painting inevitably embraces the world outside the work, its relationships and meanings. Politics, economy, history and society intervene in an artist's image, regardless of the artist's will or the will of the audience appreciating the artist's work. 

Six years have passed since the Chongkundang Yesuljisang award began. It is a time for artists to complete their own world. Some artists have accepted their fate, and others have gained recognition in the art world. But for the artists, it was the same time spent creating as before. Time passes very quickly and people's minds and expressions also change. Creative outputs and exhibitions that do not produce any immediate results or construct something meaningful seem like meaningless and futile effort. Preoccupying oneself deeply in painting has nothing to do with the practical desire. However, the time of daily life and the time of art flow differently, and the gap is also huge. Considering an instance of how a work made a few decades or hundreds years ago can be evaluated after a long time, it cannot be simply dismissed as a waste of effort. This is because it deals with the problem of existence beyond recognition and understanding.

The 4th Chongkundang Yesuljisang

bottom of page