|▲ Sculptor Yoon Soon-won|
Sculpture distances itself from painting with three dimensional executions of objects by using wood, stone and metal, etc. There are many ways for sculptors to carve an object and relief is one of the most commonly used methods.
What is a relief? It is a method of moulding, carving, or stamping in which the design stands out from the surface, to a greater (high relief) or lesser (low relief) extent (Oxford Dictionary).
What makes sculptor Yoon Soon-won unique from fellow sculptors is that he distances himself from these traditional relief method but executes instead his own methods, colors and philosophies in order to create a new world of his own.
Yoon is a board member of the Korea Fine Arts Association and a member of the Dongbang Arts Research Center and the Hangaram Calligraphy Society. He has held 18 times of solo exhibitions and participated in about 300 art fairs and exhibitions home and abroad.
Yoon points out ‘third dimension’ as the biggest characteristic of his works. He explains this third dimension as of things contrasting themselves.
“One must empty in order to make a relief. What it means is that a carver needs to carve off repeatedly the lines of an object to create contrast between light and shadow and this process can be interpreted as an ‘expression of double-sidedness’. In other words, a light without a shadow cannot exist and they are simultaneous and integrated from which the carver realizes his intension by emptying. It can compare to a concept that valleys are needed to form mountains.”
Yoon uses Korean papers and repeatedly draws jars. He fell in love with Korean paper during his years of calligraphy and literary painting. It was from 2008 that he started to use dak-paper to make relief works. He values highly of the texture of Korean paper on which he creates three dimensional patterns. Yoon says that people can see the delicate texture of Korean paper if they pay attention.
Jars, on the other hand, are closely related to non-duality, one of the key topics of the Zen sect; it is a means to recognize things that if a thing is not two it is not one as well yet it is one and two at the same time. Yoon developed his version of this non-duality during his years of making jars; he says he understood that the outer world we see with our eyes exists in order to be one with the inner world of our mind, and the all images of the outer world in our inner mind are nothing but illusion.
Many of his <Non-Duality> series are dominated by tranquil colors. Naturally, delicate and grace ambience as well as the beauty of blankness are prevalent throughout his works. Yoon ascribes this quality of works to the fact that one might deepens his understanding of life by emptying because filling gets bigger by emptying.
Yoon pursues endless repetition to emotionally prove by accommodating outer world to inner world. Ostensibly, it obviously seems royal to forms, diagrams and symbols but it hides full of willful signs which attract the eyes of the viewers. The signs, at first place, are like doors for ego to find oneself from the bind of reality as well as to see the traces of the finding; on the second place, they are an endless process and a changing desire which arouse meditation standing in a corner of our life.
When asked about his expectations from viewers, he answers that the artist has made an error called ‘forced appreciation’ if he is expecting viewers to feel something from his works because not all viewers imagine the same image by watching purple color. However, it is necessary that the artist has his own intention and philosophy. As for himself, he is trying to rather empty his desire and intention in order to communicate with viewers in pure terms.
When asked whom he respects the most, Yoon answers late monk Bopjong famous for non-possession and the master colorist Mark Rothko whom Steve Jobs liked dearly.
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