|▲ Artist Mihye Park
Everybody needs food, clothing and shelter. Shelter especially is a meaningful place because it is where we sleep, eat, rest and sometimes work. It is a place where we plan our life like a canvas on which an artist draw a picture. The still lingering pandemic has aroused the meaning of a shelter as many people were forced to stay home to keep carrying on their life and work.
Artist Mihye Park throws questions ‘what might be the meaning of the house we live in?’ and ‘how we should better live at our house?’ through her works themed on ‘shelter’ or ‘home’ if you like.
Park has a strong emotional attachment to her childhood. She remembers her family always supportive, respectful and warm from which she still draws power to fight back when life treats her harsh.
The watercolor ‘Shill Hue’ (rest) reflects this sentiment through pastel-like warm colors and tones. She delivers a meaning of a shelter as the place where we all live at the present and have to go back where we came from when the time comes: it is the start and end of our life journey.
“In the ‘Shill Hue’, I wanted to express life of people who have gone through, or still going through, the difficult times of the pandemic. They were hit by unexpected change of life and loss of connections but were fighting back for everyday life like before” says Park.
In the ‘Shill Hue’, shelters talk in whispers in chaos and she delivers the struggle of people finding hope and climbing the mountain of difficulties over together. The third work of the series in particular shows the determination of the people to fight back rather than to run away; the single household standing alone amid the pandemic chaos especially refresh us to see the darkness in life in a different perspective.
The images of u-turn, ban and the queue for vaccination are but a bearing of seeds of hope and happiness which we can see the images of the birds flying far.
“When I first started painting, I was wondering why the works of established artists becoming simple compared to the works of their younger years. Now I understand why because I observe my works also are becoming like them nowadays. And I prefer more spaces to filled up images. This is because I want to leave the imagination to the appreciators.”
In addition to spaces, Park is using traditional Korean paper to make her work unique.
Being an artist aside, she has been teaching art for a long time. One tip she gives to first timers is to do it one by one though it is tedious at first. A building cannot stand without laying the firm foundation. Once the foundation is laid out firmly, the next is to build one’s own tones and styles.
Park has held or engaged in numerous exhibitions including: The Power Korea! Become One With Art!, The Auction Gyeongnam Art Work, The E-QUEL, The G-ART FAIR, and the Insadong Art Supermarket.
“The reason I’m an artist is because it makes me who I am. In other words, it makes me happy. I think art should better be shared by both artists and the people in a way to make their life productive, and I also hope more opportunities are given to people in general” says Park. <PowerKorea>
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