Kyunghwa Shon


Artist Statement:

I, as an artist, educator, and student, consider that communication has been the major theme of my artistic journey. I believe communication between beings is a process in which the space that separates beings gets filled through mutual sharing. In this process, each being can experience the new energy from the other, eventually giving birth to a space of creative communication. Discovering such possibility of communication is the objective of my artistic endeavor.

My previous artistic and academic interest in Korea focused on expanding the possibility of communication to those beings often regarded as outsiders in the society. My portfolio includes the outcome of such endeavor. Particularly drawings and paintings from my experience of working in a psychiatric hospital as a volunteer art therapist, through my artwork I tried to create a space for mutual communication with the patients. The project began with the telling of patient’s story mediated through a paper cup telephone.

Furthermore, I was also interested in the places and people that people usually do not like or do not care for; therefore, I focused on some public places, some homeless people in Chicago. After that, I realized that not only so awesome buildings and people compose our city but also abandoned people and places. I got some questions in my mind what the beauty and ugliness are. If changing the two opposite value, what will happen? I made a big installation, a city maze that is composed by some pieces of wood paintings. People really enjoyed watching and crawling to look around them. Ironically, in reality, people hate and consider dirty places; however, through my work, they might see the places without their prejudice and enjoy them. It additionally allows them to see the world with the opposite way of general notion.