Through the transformation of the steel from a large mass to steel powder, the massiveness and aggressiveness of the steel is removed. The hard steel, this material created and used by the West’s materialist civilization to build large vertical systems and societies, is taken back to a more horizontal state via the grinding. In this way, the artist is taking something that has no space and is creating space. The artist aspires to take that which has no space and no breath and create a space that breathes and interacts with the landscape created allowing the viewer to appreciate the peaceful horizontal space that lies ahead. This space is a place of harmony, peace, contemplation and freedom.
In this work at ONE AND J. Gallery, the artist’s landscape comes from the steel powder calligraphy written on the floor. The image is captured by a camera mounted on the floor and projected onto the screen. The show will also highlight photographic work of the landscape. Each of these works is imbued with “Yeobaek,” loosely translated as the empty breathing space or void, that breathes vitality into the whole work giving the viewer that transcendent experience of art that underlies Asian art, poetry, calligraphy and philosophy. In this way, the work becomes free from any limitations of a physical existence in contrast to the more logical, rational or materialistic tendencies of Western art and philosophy.
The notion of “Poongkyoung” completes the work as it moves to the horizontal. The term “Poongkyoung” is used rather than “Landscape” since it is a less catch-all term. The work strives to posses both “Yeobaek” and “Poongkyung.” In “Poongkyoung,” the reference is to the horizontal place that is the culmination of the grinding. It does possess “Yeobaek” but it also possesses more of this feeling of hope, expectation and the positive. The resulting landscape is a space which is a long distance off from the viewer, the viewer who belongs to the here and now. The viewer experiences the limitations and the sufferings of the here and now whereas in this landscape the viewer can experience this remote space free from the day to day. It is the artist’s hope that this new place will allow the viewer to feel the hope and the escape from the here and now – free of any limitations. From this free mental state, one can feel the cathartic emptiness and reach some transcendent spiritual elevation to reflect on the truth. This is the place the artist wishes to take the viewer where, working together with the viewer’s imagination, a new place of possibility, hope, peace and existence can be reached.