For the first exhibition in New York in 2014, I prepared about 20 paintings. Of the 20 paintings, 5 were brought from Germany, and the remaining 15 were painted after moving to the United States in 2013. When I look at the paintings, I can feel the traces of struggling to find meaning in loneliness, mainly at night. I can freely express the objects regardless of light because I have primarily drawn images in dreams or imaginations rather than objects that exist in reality. Post-Impressionist painters would have ran out of the studio with an easel to express objects that change from moment to moment depending on their angle of light. In the early days, I also longed for the angle of light and the mystery and splendor of light, so I tried to draw the reflected light. But one day, I was in a dream and saw a color that did not exist in the world.
As you know, in the dream space, there were no lamp or sun to scatter light. How can color exist without light? And then what does it mean the seeing the object? Is the color I remember unconsciously appear in my dreams? It was the first time I saw those colors that didn't really exist in the world. When I had read the Bible, I found the phrase to describe angels that there is such white color that the white color of the world cannot express. "
"After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. (Mark 9:2-3)"
No matter how much people in the world whiten it, the color white cannot be made so white. There really was such a color. From then on, I got a goal. It's not perfect, but I have a desire to try my best to express it. I will be delighted to tell the world about the colors I saw at that time in my dream and show them that feeling. I know how difficult it is, but I decided to think hard and study hard. Since then, a night without light has been a good subject. And sometimes, emotions and energy that cannot be explained in the sunshine are found at night.
The night is the time when all the splendor of the world shown while the sun was rising is temporarily extinguished. A famous actress told that she received spotlights and praise from people, returned home from work, and opened the door to her house, she saw a dark and empty room, and got easily depressed from the silence and emptiness. The scene with the lights turned off showing the splendor and beauty of life in detail is lonely and empty just looking at it. In the loneliness and silence of the darkness, I expressed the feelings experienced at night by a person who leaves his hometown and ventures to a new place.
In a foreign land, no one knows that we were once the twinkling people of our homeland. No, maybe no one is interested, and I don't know if the answer is correct. But, one day, this fact comes one day with feelings of nostalgia, loneliness, and emptiness after a certain amount of time has passed after leaving home and living with new challenges.
At night, the bustling noises of the world disappear naturally, and only then can you entirely focus on yourself. Ironically, the truth is that the self that is wholly felt without all the trophies or accessories in the world is the true ego. Perhaps the loneliness and emptiness you feel at times like this are the original feelings that are not decorated. That's all right, you don't need too much to decorate it by force. Sometimes you just have to accept it and let those thoughts flow naturally. It's like quietly taking a breather before tomorrow's brilliant morning. Time passes, and everything in the world changes. The darkness and pain that seem to stay in my heart forever will disappear without a trace someday.
In the Bible, Jacob was driven out by his brother Esau and wandered in the wilderness, and he could not find a place to lie down for a while, so he slept on a stone pillow at night. Then he saw the angels ascend and descend on the beautiful stairway to heaven in his dream, and he awoke and set a stone boulder. In fact, there was a stairway to heaven wherever Jacob went without having to mark it with a stone. It just wasn't visible.
One part of this story is the motif of the two pictures above.
I hope that these two paintings will display on the house, giving them such a happy and radiant energy wherever they are and at any time.
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Myungja Anna Koh