|▲ Artist Jo Do-yeon|
Humans drew images before inventing letters. Images were tools of communication, expressions of feelings and religious praying. The objects drawn on the stone walls of the Cave of Altamira is one of the earliest arts humans created on earth.
The history of art has evolved alongside the history of humans. The advancement of the civilization, however, rather turned art from majority of people and became an exclusive property of a few who are artists and those who have keen interest.
A board member of the Korean Fin Arts Association and the principal of Sannaedeul Art Academy, Jo Do-yeon emphasizes importance of making art as property of all.
Jo evaluates himself as no-talent in art but second to none when it comes to love of art. Among seven members of the art club at his elementary school, he felt that he was least talented. Finding Jo frustrated, his art teacher gave him a Japanese drawing book to him alone with which Jo practiced day and night.
"I remember watching the sun rising without myself knowing after overnight practice. It was beautiful to watch that the sun was reddening the plaster cast I was drawing" said Jo.
Jo started to make a strong presence in the art world when he held his first solo exhibition at Insa-dong, Seoul. Materials he used and genres he applied were variety to avoid mannerism. He pursued general feelings of appreciators rather than profundity of artistic expressions, the reason humanity, love, warmness and peace of nature are commonly found throughout his works.
This of his style and approach was received a bold challenge as abstract then dominated the art world. Despite some harsh criticisms, he pushed forward walking his way to be who he is today: he was the one who led the Insa-dong Street Art Festival 2019 and was credited for exposing art to ordinary people from a few.
Roles of art
Jo thinks that art should play its role of delivering hope and warming spirit to people especially in this time of virus attack, environmental crisis and economic slowdown.
He points out the importance of artists being financially independent and of laying bridges between art and ordinary people.
He argues that copyright of all designed products in the future should be shared by 60 to 40 between designers and fine art industry if we are to lead the art and design industries in the world. For the same reason, a design should be an expression of uniqueness of culture to be global.
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