Song Soo Ryun will exhibit in Encounters Open House in May 2015 for the first time.
Song Soo Ryun leads a search for modern expression in Korean painting using traditional materials. Employing native pigments, Korean paper, and traditional techniques such as painting on the back of the paper or applying glue or egg for areas meant to resist colour (bae-chae, baek-bal), Mrs. Song saturates her work with rich pigments chosen to reflect memories of her life in Korea and her travels abroad. Blue, red, and yellow tones spring from Korean clothing, soft reds or greys reflect the faded tones of Buddhist monks’ robes, deep blue corresponds to the night sky in Morocco, and light blue recollects views of the Mediterranean. She creates rhythmic patterns of lines, dots, and scratches in her paintings through automatic action, without preconceived plan, by way of her own natural movements. This follows a period of meditation. She speaks deeply of her insights:
“My drawings always stem from contemplating nature. This is not nature only as is present before my eyes; it is nature that belongs to me and to all humans across the world and has existed throughout time. Nature reveals its essence to me through the collective unconscious that resides within me, reflecting the vision of people of all eras. This internal view is vague and abstract, yet undeniably there. I express that combined sentiment—nature within reach of my gaze and collective memory associated with it—in my drawings.
“In my art, I do not simply portray the world in a realistic manner. As sunlight passes through a prism then breaks into a variety of colours, I usually portray an image that has been refracted through unconscious memory and projected within my inner world. I strive to capture the response that has arisen from observation of an object, not the object itself. Just as a scent can bring to mind memories of a certain moment, so my drawing can awaken the history and universe buried in each of us, helping each person decipher and hold onto a bit of truth. I dream of an existence where a complex, multi-layered truth exists beyond the material world. Through my drawing, I wish to create a realm where various truths can co-exist, freed from visible reality.
“I have entitled my works, ‘Contemplation’, demonstrating my goals and intentions as an artist over the last forty years. This represents my “internal insight” about nature, and the place where traces of lives are mingled with memories of universal existence… Through this insight I hope truth will blossom like a lotus in the pond of history, filling the gaps between fragmented individuals.”
The world of this artist’s work is wide and deep. ‘Wide’ indicates the span of daily life’s sensibility, and ‘deep’ indicates permeation into eternity. These two resonate with each other, which makes us wander through a world of endless freedom.
The artist suggests a philosophical question on the humanity through her work. Implying that a human being is not biological but anthropological, thereby implicating history, culture and the universe.
Song Soo Ryun studied at the College of Arts, Chung-Ang University and at the Graduate School of Arts, Sungshin Women’s University, Korea. She has presented 16 Solo Exhibitions and she won the prize of Culture-Information Minister in the 27th National Art Exhibition. She is a Professor in the College of Arts, Chung-Ang University, Korea.