[The Neighborhood Artists] The place where he grows seed, takes care of herbs, and meets the universe
Ansung_Jungyeob Jung’s Studio
The artist defines her own studio as ‘a place to linger and hang around’. The easygoing attitude of lingering and hanging around can be criticized for being lazy. But the laid-back time is the root of imagination and creativity for artist Jungyeob Jung. The easygoing attitude she mentioned would definitely mean spiritual retreat. In fact, the rural life is physically busier than the one in the urban life even if she is spiritually relaxed. The artist’s house has a tiny vegetable garden and a lawn but it requires a lot of care during the course of the four seasons. Nevertheless, experiencing all four seasons taking care of her garden is as worthy and decent daily routine as taking care of the universe for the artist who dreamed of fully experiencing all four seasons.
Vegetables and the universe
Her dream of leading a decent daily life in rural area is deeply connected to her grain-related work in her early days. She is absorbed in drawing gathering and pouring grains like red bean, soy bean and mung bean. And the grain series became her masterpiece in deed. But she is recently making a new attempt to show grain’s energy as the seed of life. She began to describe the life loop of sprouting, blooming and bearing fruit under the cosmic backdrop of zoomed-in vegetables and bugs. This is her new work. She emphasizes that her studio is located in ‘a village on earth’. Here is a village of the universe because the earth is a village of the universe. She tries not to forget that all little things in this studio and this village are the living creatures with the energy that supports the universe. Yes. Her seeds now started to sprout and radiate their energy in her Ansung studio.
The History of My Studio
In fact, since 1980s, artist Jungyeob Jung has lived two lives intensely, one as a woman and one as an artist. She never doubted that drawing is her way at all. This is why? Even though she did not make enough to live on, she kept drawing steadily while moving her studio 15 times for about 30 years. Moving her studio is just because of her personal issues, not because of any special reasons like inspiring creativity. As a result, however, frequent changes in environment have a substantial impact on her way of thinking and bring changes in her way to create a work.
A series of drawing, <The History of My Studio>, is a record of her moving path from her first studio to her recent one in 2015 on an annual basis. Every move for a year was described in one tracing paper. The tracing paper is a smart tool to imply that an artist’s private space does not remain as a closed realm but is closely related with the public domain as a part of the Korean modern history or modern art history. Her first studio under censorship by police officers, her studio having become a hideout to discuss social issues, numerous experiences to move her studio due to the soaring monthly rent......all these stories are about an artist to endure a chaotic Korean history, which is dramatic. Now artists’ studios are defined as a place where artists interact with the outside and create a language of life, not a utopia where they simply create formative language.
September 12th, Saturday afternoon, her studio as a space of intense life opened to the public. It was not an easy decision to open the door of her private space with signs of everyday life that show taste and interest of an artist. Certain solitude and some time alone would be essential for the artist who deals with grandiose topic like life and the universe by describing the most little things. But she opens her hearts to her interest in relationships. The energy generated by people relationships is not only a special source of creativity but also connected to her topic. The relationship is more significant topic for her because any living things cannot live alone in the universe and the world or the universe is a place which we, you and I, are making. The tension and openness forming in relationships enable her to think about various ways of communication and open the possibilities to have a new perspective on vegetables and bugs in her canvas.
Walking courses and thinking notes
Jungyeob Jung made a decision to share her own daily life and her arts in her studio that a space where there is a vague boundary between life and arts. The everyday life she would like to share is to walking the course she takes daily. Even the same road, the same sky and same farmland can look different depending on an artist’s mental status, but the time to share other people’s point of view leads to an abundance of emotions. The emotions are saved to use as a material to create a work by experiencing word cards series that is one of her main work processes. To reveal the full universe with words, that is symbols of language. At the moment, participants could have experienced the expanded universe. Through this event, her word cards newly named as ‘thinking notes’. And Jungyeob Jung would like to remember September 12th as it is.
‘Nidana, good luck just allowed without efforts’
Participants had some time to share their idea that occurred to them while spending a half day in her studio. I expect the emotional trace of participants will nourish the artist’s drawing of the universe. I believe that the time to listen to others’ view and idea in an artist’s mysterious studio which is her own space entirely and also a place to share with others definitely would offer someone comforts and warmth even if someone else can think it meaningless.
Written by Nari Kim (Creative Director/Art Critic)
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