Unseen Picture

Invisible things are often stronger than visible things. The precious things sustaining and enhancing our lives are mostly invisible, such as air to breathe and love to express emotions. There is an idiom ‘외유내강-an iron hand in a velvet glove’, and contrary to this, ‘내유외강- a soft heart under a stern exterior.’ The world drives people to desire power, and people are easily criticized for their appearances. Seeing inner strength requires time, effort, and mindfulness. It is a process of finding a treasure in a shabby box.

 We walk the path of life with only some puzzle pieces of an invisible picture. As we keep walking the path with faith and endurance, we make our invisible picture gradually visible. Each puzzle piece we collect in the process has a different shape, and seems to be unable to do anything. However, we might see some parts of the invisible picture in them.

 My work intends to bring that careful view and soft heart to seeing the invisible picture. I work using paper and materials that have some natural sense, giving the feeling of having been touched or felt before. Abandoned materials also catch my eyes. I find something valuable and meaningful in them, and when I create something with those materials, they are even stronger for me. Seeing what had no life become alive is like our everyday has the possibility to move towards an intended direction.

 I like having delicacy and carefulness in my work because they require the viewer’s greater care and sensitivity in encountering or seeing my artworks. They are necessary to see and feel invisible things. The limited and careful movements of my hands in the video, for instance, are intended to suggest my attitude towards our pursuing life as delicate creatures. “Hands are almost living beings,” Henri Focillon writes in his essay “In Praise of the Hands”: “The hand means action: it grasps, it creates, at times it would seem even think” (Alma Ruiz and Henri Focillon. Poetics of the Handmade 25).

 Unlike our environment that considers our visible, physical benefits more important, invisible precious existents are around our lives, still. This process of finding unseen picture is our lives. We are losing our eyes to see the inner strength. The real treasure will come through continuing this path. 

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