Home is where the art is.
COVID-19, which took the world as an unexpected sudden storm in 2020, is still hovering around us in various mutations and forms of regulation. Our patience begins to run out of limited gages after years of tension and the bondage of control and freedom. Sometimes this type of life of wearing a mask, washing hands thoroughly with disinfectant, getting vaccinated, isolating, and maintaining distance between people is accepted as a form of the new normal, and gradually you start to adapt.
Whenever I read related articles or community posts, I find that people now complain about newly changed life patterns and styles of life after two years and enter three years. Due to restrictions and distance between people, only essential meetings and human relationships are left, so we experience a detox of social life. In the meantime, looking back on the past, we reflect on the fact that there were a lot of unnecessary meetings and social relationships. In a nutshell, we are leaving only minimal relationships and important gatherings, becoming a social minimalist, and organizing things one by one. Then, calmly stay at home, read a book, watch a movie, listen to music, and drink coffee. Exercise, work, education, and meetings all take place at home.
The concept of the house is no longer a physical and architectural space but a shelter and healing space responsible for health and safety and rests the weary mind. For this reason, the value of homes and private rooms is increasing worldwide as we spend at home all day long, the purpose and definition of the house change.
People who stay all day in these homes are increasing their demands for decorating their homes and changing the wall and spaces to fit their lifestyle. Now, painting is not just for interior decoration, but also it transforms into a medium that comforts people's hearts and delivers healing energy with various colors and themes in the space where most people are staying.
In the past, there was a strong perception that painting was an adjunct to a form of culture enjoyed, purchased, and engaged only by a special class or people involved. Even when I was doing an exhibition, I sometimes found that visitors were getting a little nervous as they entered the gallery. Sometimes they ask, "Do I have to pay? When I see a painting, do I have to buy it by all means?" Every time I was asked such a question, I was depressed.
I hope that all humanity can comfortably appreciate and rejoice in painting without any stress, be healed, comforted, and strengthened through art, understand the lives and values of others, and get an identity. Even though paintings have not even a virus, it's a pity how long paintings should be confined to museums or art galleries and should be quarantined in a word.
The process of painting is like a mechanism of healing the inside. The painting was completed by drawing human wishes, hopes, feelings, philosophies. Because painting and life are inseparable from each other, people use the colors, codes, and perspectives that come out of the paintings to give them the effect of indirectly experiencing the world of another. Therefore, in the era of Corona, painting can be a valuable tool for self-healing with psychological colors that will calm and strengthen the consciousness and the unconscious for my family and me.
Actually, among the posts I read with interest recently, there was an article about a group of painters working on a project under the theme of necumix for personal space of the Bible concept. ("The theme is "Four Cubits," relating to the biblical concept of personal space.")
Rami Ogeri, founder and chief curator of the Jerusalem Biennale, acknowledges that the opening of its fifth Biennale has faced unique challenges, including budget and travel constraints. Nevertheless, he has gathered around 300 artists, mainly from Israel, but from the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium, Turkey, Greece, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, and Argentina.
The theme is "four cubits," related to the biblical concept of personal space. "This year's Jerusalem Biennale is very different from previous biennials, where we gathered in museums, galleries, and other public places to share art experiences," said Ozeri. "This year, we ask the question whether art is part of our private realm. Do you have meaningful artwork on your living room, bedroom, or kitchen walls? So how do we go one step further and share this art with family, friends, or strangers?".
Ozeri shares that his children have a monthly rotating exhibition of their artwork in his own home.
In my case, I also share a workspace with my child, who likes to paste his drawings here and there like me. Looking at her pure and fancy paintings, I feel like I am healed by itself.
He concludes by introducing the works of the painters.
In that spirit, if the corona lockdowns left you climbing the walls, now is a good time to refresh them with a painting. Even when life is not picture-perfect, it can incorporate a thing of beauty. As the Post's Barry Davis put it, "Home is where the art is."
I agree with his opinion. Home is where art is. It is a space where you can touch and experience art up close and approach the world of pure action that art gives you without any restrictions. If you can heal your body and mind tired from Corona by hanging a picture that fits your code in this space, you will somewhat mature yourself and look into the future together in a healed state through inner healing.
And we will have to keep pace with the changes in the post-corona era by checking the positive points of the social atmosphere that has changed in the post-corona period and making use of the good points. In that sense, the house will become an essential window and universal channel through which art and human beings become one.
Why Art Matters, Even in Poverty and Cold.
Now my area where I live has started to get cold. The temperature will stay below freezing for almost a week. When it's cold as a refrigerator, we are lazy to go outside, and everything goes into slow motion. Hearing the harsh cold wind's sound, we gather in front of the warm fireplace to read a book or spend time.
Three people come to my mind when cold wave days continue. They are the painters Modigliani and Lee Jung-seop, and the musician Mozart. Because these three artists had in common, they had genius talent, but they had to fight hard with poverty. However, they were also artists who struggled to overcome hard times with the Fiangsae by continuing to draw and compose despite poverty and cold. For example, a famous anecdote is that Mozart danced to music with his wife Constanze to create warmth when he was shivering in the cold because they had not enough money to buy firewoods.
The cold is the greatest enemy for a poor artist and obstacles for pursuing art. Frankly speaking, it is tough to make a living only by painting and selling. Online platforms and networks were not as actively developed as in modern Centuries, and technology, material resources, and infrastructures were not abundant. The artist must have been a hard job, poor, sickly, and without any future promises even compared to other professions. As such artists, Modigliani and Lee Jung-seop had very similar life patterns.
Amedeo Clemente Modigliani was an Italian painter and sculptor who worked mainly in France. His painting style is known for portraits and nudes in a modern style characterized by a surreal elongation of faces, necks, and figures.
In particular, he painted mainly female portraits and nudes and did not paint the pupils in the eyes usually. He believed that since the eyes are the windows to the soul, he can't paint pupils until he knows the other person's soul. He was sickly, charming, hard-working but disapproved as a successful artist. When he struggled to exhibit, he had to be stopped by the police, who took issue with the nudity. In 1907, artists conducted various artistic experiments called the Renaissance period of painters in Paris. He suffered difficulties in his painting style not being recognized even in the hometown of artists, where such attempts and experimental spirits had received sufficient popularity and support. Then, after he met Rodin's student, the sculptor Constantin Brancusi, and started sculpting together, creating his art style. But he had to stop the sculpture even though he can expand his art world because he got worse his pulmonary disease from the fine dust.
Afterward, he met Jeanne Hébuterne, a fiancée, gave birth to a child and seemed to be living a happy life. Still, he could not create an average family due to continued poverty, and continuous failures, and chronic illness. Eventually, he contracted tuberculous pleurisy and died lonely at 34 in a nursing hospital in Paris. His wife, too, unable to overcome the feeling of despair and depression of losing him two days after his death, committed suicide by jumping into her body when she was eight months pregnant. He had, in a word, a miserable life. However, his struggle, passion, soul, and talent, along with a rather tragic story, receive the recognition and rewards he desperately wanted to achieve after his death.
Like Modigliani, born into a wealthy Jewish family, Korean artist Lee Jung-seop was born in Pyongyang in 1916 to a landlord and had a happy and abundant childhood. As most rich sons had always done, he went to Japan to study in 1936 to upgrade his artistic talents. During studying abroad, he painted many intense and propaganda paintings on the theme of the bull, which symbolically expresses the most Korean and national spirit of resistance in resisting the oppression and violence of Japan under the colony. And he married Nam-deok Lee, who was Japanese but changed her nationality to Korea and, returned to Korea. However, the Korean War in 1950 destroyed the blueprint for the future he had dreamed of upon returning to Korea instantly. Far from his artistic success and work, he was tossed to and fro by the barrage of war, poverty, and despair. During a brief evacuation to Jeju Island, he lived happily with his wife, Nam-Duk Lee, and two sons.
However, even during the war, he painted hard without putting down his brush. Still, in the end, he had no money to buy painting materials, so he suffered from extreme hardships to the point of painting on the silver foil of a cigarette case. In 1952, his wife and their two sons moved to Japan eventually. Left alone, Lee Jung-seop died of hepatitis in 1956 at the age of 41 at Seodaemun Red Cross Hospital in Seoul. When his friends inquired him regards, they could find that they already have only a corpse and an overdue hospital bill. But, after his death, the spirit of resistance and love, and passion for art that represented his era were recognized through the works he left behind.
In that sense, even looking at Modigliani and Lee Jung-seop, cold, poverty, war, and plague do not seem strong enough to stop the art for the artist. Rather, they overcome this painful time by raising the brush. Realistically, it might have been better to put down the brush and go to look for a regular job. Art makes artists poor, but paradoxically, it is also the driving force that makes them overcome poverty and cold.
Art is the kind of expression of the essence of human life. Therefore, it is about co-creating your life with the world and describing your soul how to feel and think your way.
Considering the nature and function of art, it is worth noting that he accepted his life itself as art and fully expressed what he felt and thought in painting. In other words, in the life of an artist, expressions such as success or failure, poverty or wealth, recognition or disregard are meaningless. Because life and art can never be thought of separately, it is like calling a painting that does not contain the artist's life process work and does not attach any value to it. Modigliani and Lee Jung-seop both lived miserable lives, but that is art itself, and they lived and lived in the middle of art, and they live with us forever.
It would be good to draw a picture or appreciate them while remembering their spirit at this time when they are shivering with the cold.
Snowman and Art.
Last week, we made Snowman with our child. In this way, children and snowmen are made in various shapes every winter. Making Snowman, it is challenging to clump together if you use powder snow blown away easily. I am used to making the same mistake as always. Instead, when it warms up in the afternoon after snowing, the snow crystals melt and change into a sticky shape with moisture that is easy to stick together.
Snow becomes most suitable for packing when it approaches its melting point and becomes moist and compact. Making a snowman of powdered snow is difficult since it will not stick to itself, and if the temperature of packing snowdrops, it will form an unusable denser form of powdered snow called the crust. Thus, an excellent time to build a snowman may be the next warm afternoon directly following a snowfall with sufficient snow. Using more compact snow allows constructing a giant snowball by simply rolling it until it grows to the desired size. source by Wikipedia
Snowmen made in this way are born in different shapes depending on the shape and temperature of the snow that fell that year. And the surrounding materials also play a role.
This year, I made a funny snowman like this. I took pictures of the snowmen my child and husband made. Then, seeing the Snowman I made this year, I thought I wanted to make it into a character. I took the picture I took and went to the studio to finish simple work with Photoshop.
It would be good to create a character like this and give it a name for the Snowman of the year. The Snowman disappears, and the photos can be annoying to look at, but the character we gave it a name seems like it will last a long time. This character's name is Snowman Jessica.
Jessica's age is set at 4, she's very curious and is hoping that the first snow will stick to her body and grow bigger.
Now let's get back to painting and art. Among the painters, one of the best painters of snowmen is Thomas Kinkade, who is called a Christmas painter.
Actually, from the point of view of the painting, Snowman is not a good subject for painting. It is because the Snowman itself is like a toy and has an animation-like atmosphere, so the moment you put a snowman in the picture, you have to be prepared that the message and weight of the picture itself will change.
However, the Snowman in Thomas Kinkade's warm painting looks different. Rather, it blended well with the painting and became part of the beautiful painting. Something seems to tell us that the Snowman is no longer a toy or decoration but a part of our lives.
There is a picture of such a snowman from a slightly different perspective. It is an illustration of a snowman drawn in a children's story book.
The Snowman is a wordless children's picture book by British author Raymond Briggs, first published in 1978 by Hamish Hamilton in the United Kingdom, and published by Random House in the United States in November of the same year. (Wikipedia)
The drawing style of Raymond Briggs got rid of strong lines and strokes, and made the picture overall soft and bleary. Maybe that's why the snowman in the picture looks like a friendly uncle in our neighborhood.
The author had drawn this picture book with deep philosophy because he thought that Snowman was not a Christmas exclusive, but learned to die through the process of being made and melted.
Maybe that's why people feel inexpressible sadness and compassion when the snowman they've worked so hard for melts away.
The snowman that everyone loves, regardless of whether it is an adult or a child, draws a picture, makes a doll, makes a movie, makes a book, and the image of the snowman seems to accumulate in our memories one after another.
It is as if the shape of the snowman that is made differs depending on the temperature of the day and the characteristics, material, and shape of the snow crystals. This is the subject of a snowman, so it becomes a trigger for endless imagination.
The Art of Snow
It snowed enough to have to be cleared with a shovel. With a snowfall of 4 to 6 inches, the sub-urban area started to get busy, and we had to remove the snow and secure a driveway. We can hear the rumble of snowplow passing by. It seems that winter has begun in earnest.
Record snow fell in 2016. I took this picture in the morning to feel the depth. Our post box was smashed twice as the snow snow plow car passed by without recognizing the post box, so we had to purchase a new one.
The winter of 2019 was strangely lonely. My husband took a picture of a scene like this.
I'm also pleased to take pictures of the world after the snow has piled up. Temporarily, the whole world is immersed in white silence. The white color of the eyes emits blue, pink, and purple colors.
We are used to making a snowman with my child on the first snowy day. The snowmen made each year in this way vary significantly in shape and characteristics.
Interestingly, there are eye artists who actually work with these eyes.
He is a British artist and photographer, Simon Beck. Les Arcs, a ski resort in France, and Les Arcs create vast works of art by leaving footprints on the snow on Lake Savoie. Self-proclaimed 'Snow Artist' took pictures of the work he made over two days, 5-9 hours a day, and uploaded it to his Facebook .
He draws with his feet because he has to draw a huge picture in a place like a vast white canvas. They look like geometric scribbles created by drawing simple fractal shapes from a distance. And this is how these temporary works of art are made.
The elaborate installation is the work of a man, Simon Beck, who charts detailed designs with simple math and then walks them through the snow. Beck first started painting eyes in 2004. It began as a kind of exercise. He places a marker on the open part of the eye, plots a series of central points around it, and connects the dots. His tracks and patterns will appear.
In 2010 he launched his Facebook page to share the fruits of his new hobby. His aerial photos of his drawings taken by drones or nearby mountain slopes have drawn much attention online.
When the weather warms up, he spends days in the cold snow trying to paint a picture that will soon disappear. When it's time to enjoy the snow by skiing, building a snowman, or sledding, some create art on it and share its beauty. And the eye art of the beautiful geometric pattern he made is a blessing to those who visit and see it in person, and he remains photographic and conveys a lot of energy for unvisited persons.
Image source by Facebook
Trypophobia and Art
Trypophobia is a symptom of aversion to specific repeated patterns. Although it is known that 16% of the world's population has it, it is not yet listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It is also called cluster phobia.
When people see this type of cluster, they experience symptoms of disgust or fear.
Individually, I am also an artist with Trypophobia. So, unfortunately, I can not paint such the circular dot patterns even in my paintings because I am afraid of myself. While writing this post, it is common to upload a sample photo, for example, but I couldn't upload it because that action causes symptoms.
I can't endure to see small, irregular circles, oddly patterned, clustered, embossed, and full of depth—just seeing such an image for the first time causes goosebumps, the first reaction. And I have a headache and feel nauseous. Lastly, I feel dizzy, and my whole body shakes. Since I have lived with these symptoms for a long time, I know how to subside.
Once I feel the fear, I take a long deep breath. And press firmly on both sides of the forehead with both hands. At the same time, I close my eyes and practice or imagine shaking off the image. Then, repeatedly, I think of an idea that I like and think is beautiful. And when the symptoms are relieved to some extent, drink warm tea to relax. It's very cumbersome, but it's pretty helpful.
But not all archetypes in the world are afraid. For example, I like dotted umbrellas, polka clothes, curtains, and bedding. A regular, predictable pattern like this is fine. It's also okay to look at tangerines or strawberries. There seems to be a specific pattern of fear I feel.
That's why I sometimes suffered when I saw works that dealt with so many holes or circles among other works. Oh! It's a very inconsiderate piece of work. Perhaps the artist was unaware of the existence of trypophobia.
However, there is an artist who overcame this phobia with art. She was born in Japan, and her name is Yayoi Kusama, a contemporary artist. Her works are often found in public buildings or exhibition halls.
She undertook an gloomy childhood under her obsessive and strick mother's control. Consequently, she suffered from delirium, in which all objects in the world appeared as dots.
After studying Japanese painting, Kusama moved to the United States at 27. She has been active in various fields such as pop art, installation art, and performance. Since then, he has created installation works based on his experiences with hallucinations, where walls and ceilings are covered with dots. She wanted to escape from the fear of the countless dots that surrounded her, and in order to overcome it, she drew the countless dots that flowed through the wall in fantasy and made them into her artworks one by one.
Perhaps that's why her works seem to feel the regular screams of numerous dots and the will to overcome them. I find her work strangely not intimidating. No matter how many and irregular the dots are, they do not lead to symptoms.
I think it's because we recombined the patterns that cause fear and are overcoming them. I also close my eyes to get rid of the fear when Trypophobia comes, and I imagine destroying the patterns I saw as if I were playing a galaxy game. The works of people who have healed their own pain and fundamental problems through their works do not cause pain to others. Instead, you will be freed from the fear and pain and be healed together when you see such a work. That is the net function of art.
Myungja Anna Koh
Risk Weather by Girin Instruments