I thought about some of the most unique, influential and milestone moments in my artistic career. I was able to get an idea from the passage below in Art & Fear, the reference, and create a visual essay-style carrier scene that visually shows the carrier. The following passage appears in Art & Fear:
“Making art without an audience, but most art has no customer, and in making it you reveal truths you probably never expected. Through contact with what you love, you have exposed yourself to the world.”
In other words, there was a time when I made art without an audience. That was for a few years after I moved to Germany. Meanwhile, I was struggling with homesickness, unfamiliarity, and the dark and gloomy climate of Germany. At that time, I drew pictures to try to overcome this gloom. Below is the first drawing I drew. Maybe I wanted to break through the dark world and dream of a bright future.
At that time, I think my father's death, the meaninglessness of life, and the weight of living in an unfamiliar foreign country were what led me to draw pictures like this. I developed this and did a lot of drawings at the time. And these works become references and have the opportunity to be exhibited at the Poly Gallery. Since then, I have been participating in many exhibitions and various activities without stopping.
My artistic Portfolio
And as he says in Art & Fear, ‘To a large extent, being an artist consists of learning to accept yourself, which makes your work unique by personalizing it and following your own voice.’ In other words, I acquired this process through various paths. Firstly, it is a perfect environment for artists nearby. Karlsruhe, where I lived for eight years, was a cultural and artistic city with a historic art museum called Kunsthalle, an exhibition and educational space for modern visual art called ZKM, and numerous large and small galleries. I acquired my artistic sense and skills through the abundant events, educational opportunities, and attractions here.
Second. There were artists called Joachim Hirling, Andreas Helmling, and Bettina Aman, the director of the Poly Gallery where I made my debut. I was able to learn about their lives, philosophy, and artistic spirit. In particular, Joachim Hirling is my mentor and encouraged me by writing a recommendation letter when I was applying to graduate school. I believe that mentors develop and deepen my artistic world.
Third. These are various community participation opportunities given when taking on the challenge. This gave me a vision that art was not just limited to the studio, but could bring communities and the world together. For example, the most impressive community activity is the memory of performing poetry, music, and performances with Korean musicians and teacher under the theme of ‘Korean Night’ at an exhibition before coming to the United States. Another memory is when I first came to the United States and held an exhibition at the Stony Brook Innovation Center with Korean children in the local community. These various socially engaging exhibitions helped me discover the possibilities of how to connect with the community through the tool of art.
Below, I have also looked at the paintings I drew through this training and career process and collected paintings that are special to me in my own way.
What I realized after that was that the beginning, current process, and end of my career were all along the same line. This is a meaningful discovery I made while writing this process portfolio. I have tried to capture the invisible energy of objects through my art world. And I discovered that this work coincided with humans' small wish to know the way of the world. My early work and my current work after enlightenment have the following consistency.
The beginning of an energy has no choice but to face the extremely natural fate of falling asleep in death after an endless struggle with the homeostasis pursued by Mother Nature. This is neither sad nor happy, it is just a natural truth. In this respect, many similar philosophies and ideologies of the East and the West fit very well with homeostasis. In other words, this huge universe is also an emanation of energy that occurred after breaking a certain state that was originally stable, and this, too, will eventually lose all energy and become 'nothing' over time. It means you can go back. However, this nothingness does not simply disappear; it is another beginning, just as the beginning and the end are on the same line.
I looked back at the drawings I had organized about my life as an artist through a class I had previously taken. It is the will and vision of why I became an artist and what kind of activities I will pursue. This painting depicts the life of an artist who grows as a person while experiencing the comfort and joy of art in a stormy world. In other words, through this opportunity, we discover that the life of an artist is also a visual essay or process folio that cannot be explained through the work itself.
Myungja Anna Koh