I stepped into a pile of soot on a beach in a rural area in Korea. Probably I didn’t have any words and started crying very hard. The part that I remember is not the physical pain or the emotions I felt, but an image of a palm tree as my mother and father rushed towards me in a slow motion appearing from the background. I can almost taste the atmosphere around when I recall this memory. I can’t be certain whether or not the tree was truly there though. I replayed this image in my head many a times that the image I see is most likely a complete reconstruction of the event. This does not change the fact that it 'happened' because I have witnesses who were there and played respective roles in that juncture of time and space. From the stories I’ve been told, the vacation ended early with my hospitalization which part I do not recall. For a reason mysterious to me, this memory of sometime still, sometimes swaying palm tree is one of the core threads that holds the fabric of my being.
I was born into an 11th floor apartment in a 13 story building. A lady with sunshade hat, with wrinkle creases around her eyes, would come with a box full of baby chicks in front of my elementary school. During the end of spring or early summer, I would buy a couple of yellow chicks from this lady. The chicks almost always grew up to be chickens, and I must have raised around 7-9 chickens during my childhood inside our family's 11th floor apartment. When the chicks started growing feathers, they peck on the sands when I took them out for a walk. It felt gritty when I massaged their gizzard pouches. I remember the pink towel with which I rolled all my three musketeers (one time I had three chicks at once) like a bouquet and they fell asleep, pibibibibibi...
During one summer, I brought home some frog eggs in a bucket from one of the family picnics into mountain springs or countryside streams. To my horror, I found out pigeons ate all the tadpoles (and they were beginning to develop legs too) when the bucket was out on the balcony for sunlight. Some more vivid childhood memories... smell of cold air seeping through the slim gap between the closed sliding doors next to my bed. Air stream gently rocked the opaque glass panels, playing a deep rumbling lullaby as I fell asleep.
In some of the public gardens in between the apartment buildings in the compound, there were sloppy structures that were built to house electricity meters and gas tanks. Naturally, this structure became our favorite playground, sometimes a spaceship, sometimes a castle. During the winter, the slope became an icy slide and a source of many bloody knees for me and my sister.
As seasons came and went, one of my favorite activities was to make clay vessels. I became a sorceress in the ancient Egypt with deep emerald eyes, or a bronze skinned resident in a cave during the Stone Age. Red and yellow autumn leaves became hands of fire flames and I would look for right kind of flat stones to make stove top where I can cook flower pancake meals.
In School of Visual Arts, NY, I entered into a world of burgundy canvas undercoat and met Rumi. Quantum physics and Reiki informs me that all my life, past, and future, is born in this point of timeless now.
I use digital space as a continuum of traditional studio practice that is based on individual and emotional expressions. In the virtual lab, ingredients of physical textures/marks and illusional/illuminating pixelations alchemise on a screen canvas. As with traditional abstract paintings, the subject and object of my work links to a kind of simulation of life, a way to articulate truth that has been told over and over. The visual space is a vessel and a message itself. Through my work, I become a living carrier of history and a consciousness being part of the practice that supports journey into the internal universe.