• Yoo Seungho, echowords01, Installation View, ONE AND J. Gallery

    Yoo Seungho, echowords01, Installation View, ONE AND J. Gallery

  • Yoo Seungho, echowords04, Installation View, ONE AND J. Gallery

    Yoo Seungho, echowords04, Installation View, ONE AND J. Gallery

  • Yoo Seungho, echowords15, Installation View, ONE AND J. Gallery

    Yoo Seungho, echowords15, Installation View, ONE AND J. Gallery

  • Yoo Seungho, echowords18, Installation View, ONE AND J. Gallery

    Yoo Seungho, echowords18, Installation View, ONE AND J. Gallery

  • Yoo Seungho, echowords24, Installation View, ONE AND J. Gallery

    Yoo Seungho, echowords24, Installation View, ONE AND J. Gallery

Yoo Seungho’s works utilize individual letters and words using ink on Korean paper to create distinct and inventive works. The artist uses the repetition of small words or a series of characters to create a larger image. Sometimes the artist uses words with “heavy” connotations but after the words are increased and become an image they feel lighter. Moreover, we are not able to catch the meaning of these “heavy” words when we see the whole image at first but as our eyes come up close to examine the detailed image, the viewer may be able to catch the meaning of these words and again feel their meaning.
The artist writes words, usually onomatopoeic words, on Korean paper or canvas. The image of peaks which rise toward the sky like a rocket blasting off with a loud “shoooo” is filled with the Korean word that spells out the sound “Shoooo”. The writing of the words “Joo Roo Roook” in Korean follows the fluid sound of falling rain. The willow leaf that falls is made up of the characters for the sounds “Woo Soo Soo Soo” describing the sound of the falling leaves. Another example is the drawing of a small boy urinating made up of the words spelling out the sound “Sheeee” which is the sound Koreans use to mimic this action. In countless repetition of the writing and drawing works by use of onomatopoeic words, these works are his mutterings or his impression about landscape painting, masterpiece painting, or other images.His artworks shown at ONE AND J. Gallery for his solo show titled “echowords” include images of old Korean and Chinese landscape paintings and images of murals found in ancient tombs. The artist recreated the images through the painstaking and time consuming process of applying the individual characters onto the canvas in direct contrast to the methods used by the creators of the source works.
“There are three parts to my work: characters/letters; dots and drawing. My recent works are letter works with strong emphasis on form, but actually, I work a lot making works that have stronger elements of drawing rather than emphasis on form. That is to say, I regard the drawing side as a very important factor of my work. The drawing element of my work helps to develop my ideas and concepts. ‘echowords’ can be interpreted as ‘onomatopoeia’ or ‘mimicry’. Working with letters, I pay great attention to the relationship between the words seen and the image seen and, through the relationship between the two, the words imitate the image and the image imitates the words creating a sense of interaction between the two.”
Yoo Seungho has participated in Mori Museum’s “The Elegance of Silence” group exhibition and most recently in the 5th Asia-Pacific Triennial in Queensland.
Text excerpted from ONE AND J. catalogue essay by Kim Hee Kyung

Yoo Seungho (b. 1973) creates unique work composed of thousands of words to complete the image. His recent works use Chinese landscape paintings as their source and are composed of words such as “Yaho” (the Korean sound for the yodel) or “Shooo” the sound of a rocket blasting into space. His use of sounds with images and subject matter exude humor and wit. Seungho participated in the “Elegance of Silence” exhibit at the Mori Museum of Art and most recently participated in the 5th Asia-Pacific Triennial as well as the Officina Asia exhibit in Bologna in 2004. The artist lives and works in Seoul, Korea.