Climate change and our lives
Germany is my second hometown. I've been for 8 years and then even though it is not a long period to call hometown. However I spent all time my 30s there. Maybe that's why, my attachment was added with active 30s, and I was able to consider Germany my hometown for those years. Karlsruhe, a small and beautifully well designed city in southwestern Germany, gave a lot of vitality and motive to strangers who were always tired of life. And it is also the country that gave me an excellent opportunity to continue drawing like recent. I still miss Germany and love Karlsruhe, where I lived in. That's why I'm often more interested in news about the country. I wish Germany and Karlsruhe to be so picturesque and peaceful as always and forever.
But today, I have not seen good news, but sad news that breaks my heart. In Western Europe, water bombs are hitting the world record heavy rains in 100 years, killing dozens of people. Germany was no exception.
After the deadly heatwave in the US and Canada, where temperatures rose above 49.6C two weeks ago, the deluge in central Europe has raised fears that human-caused climate disruption is making extreme weather even worse than predicted. (source by Guardian news)
As feared, the earth is getting hotter and extreme weather are commonly occurring all over the world. With a lot of worries, everyone is concerned, careful and is trying to somehow delay this tragedy to close our door. But it is still unsatisfactory. This is not a problem that can be solved by changing only individual habits, but a structural systemic problem that requires changing social policies and regulations.
I depicted a deep concern about the environment, especially since my older sister is an environmental activist in Korea. As the environment deteriorates to the extreme, my older sister has to work non-stop without taking a vacation. I try to be careful and eco-friendly, but I have personal limitations. When I have to buy a toy for my child, a birthday present, or something like this, I feel secret guilt. Trying to avoid buying as much as possible, I struggle to live as my father taught me to think three times before buying. But I know that this is not a fundamental solution.
In the past, I had an exhibition on the subject of nature at the Pump House in Lauterbourg, France. Among the paintings on display, the picture called "Weeping Trees", "Burning trees" expresses nature suffering from global warming.
In particular, "Weeping Tree" reflects the worries and fears I felt about environmental destruction at the time. First, I draw mountains in the background layer by layer, then fill the brush with paint and lots of water and touched it in the middle of the canvas. Then, raise the canvas at a right angle, lay it down again, and repeat. This will cause the paint from above to naturally fall to the floor due to gravity. It is as if the canvas is crying. The sky expressed the pouring rain.
Someone told me this while this painting was on display. "You can see Noah's ark behind the picture." I first found out then. I can see a ship that looks like Noah's layered ship on the right screen if you look closely. It was nice to find an exciting point, thanks to him. This painting was sold during the exhibition. I want to talk about it like this, even now, because it was sold without time to tell the story behind it. and say thank the art lover.
And the "Burning trees" below expresses the trees that is burning due to an extreme climate. I'm not particularly eager to draw with intentions or beliefs. I am afraid that it will remain like a communist propaganda poster, and it is also because I wouldn't say that are artificially fixed in nature. But my concerns at the time made me paint something intentional. The trees are burned badly and the whole world is filled with red flames. But there are trees that stand tall among them. It is the irresistible strength of nature itself.
This painting was returned to me by an old woman who runs a studio, who was interested in purchasing it, but was unable to sell it. Currently hanging in her husband's school office.
These are the little things that I can do professionally, and other than that, there are other things such as using fewer disposable items, separating recyclables well, and protecting and loving the environment around me. Most of all, I am determined that we and our descendants should work harder to sustain life and coexist on this precious and beautiful planet for a long time.
In particular, in terms of environmental movement, artists make works by recycling waste plastic around them under the name of Junk Art and Eco Art Project, and deliver a message about nature conservation to the public. I will reorganize this content later and post it.
As an artist, I want to live by thinking about what I can do in solidarity with society and what I can personally practice first.
This issue cannot be overemphasized. If we always keep this in mind and live as a part of nature, one day the world will gradually change. And I hope that bad news like this will gradually diminish. It is hoped that the European region suffering from flood damage will be stabilized quickly so that many people can start again with hope.
Myungja Anna Koh