Implication and visual reestablishment of companionship
3 dimensional black and white collage of the internal human
Conceptual contemporary artist Byun Sun-young
The song of myriad dots and their conversation
Artist Byun Sun-young successfully held an invitational exhibition ‘Met by chance, Destined to accompany’ last May. Her works span from painting and sculpture to molding and pop art and they can be defined as language of a storyteller that starts from unconsciousness to create the borderlessness located in ‘twilight zone’. The language is to make ‘distortion’ as a means for ‘beautiful exaggeration’ instead of ugliness and deterioration and is to shed new light on things already existing. In this respect, Byun combines 3 dimensional sculptures and 2 dimensional paintings in pursuit of a whole work of art. Apart from her series work ‘Companion’, she depicts the world we live in where ‘Met by chance, Destined to accompany’ is constantly made. Byun never stops reflecting on herself in order not to fall into arrogance and habit but finds unconstrained expression through new thinking and materials. A dot for Byun is the beginning of all things and she uses it to create her own language by finding unique forms of the dot. Byun found inspiration in the musical notes of her daughter’s hymnbook. But instead of drawing or pressing the heads, she cut the heads and the tails of the notes and rearranged them in black and white. She also distorted the score, printed and tore it apart in order to give a gradual degree of deeper brightness from pure black and various achromatic colors to white. Byun’s focus on color is not at all surprising considering the fact that she majored in fine arts and is a certified colorist. Black and white for Byun can mean a visual state of enlightenment while a variety of colors a visual fatigue.
Ceaseless exploration into companionship and human relations
Byun is a constructive artist. She expresses her color zones by using 2 dimensional collages and strengthens the texture by 3 dimensional sculptures. She has done thousands of nude sketches and watched ballet in order to realize the mime of each pose. She also reinterpreted sadness and inner beauty of the African children of into emotional black and white while ceaselessly exploring companionship and human relations. She has used calligraphy, traditional Korean painting, oil painting, pen sketch, pastel and gold for her works but they all came into one form of two people meeting and accompanying at the end. Quite recently, Byun has worked on mixing the wet paper with various mediums to make it harder than plaster and sticking musical notes on the surface to create 3 dimensional forms on a planar surface. The viewers might feel the sense of volume of marble, granite and basalt on her works which actually are created by layered mixed materials. The ‘Companion Series – We Now’, for example, can be seen as expression of opinions of a tree and two people while her other work ‘Thoughts 2’, the parodied work of Rodin’s Thinker, can be interpreted as an expression of sweet painful love that is chained. Byun says “One of the characters of my works is ‘emptying’. The heart emptied by giving out all its love is a space that can be filled up with something again. So I dug it out and filled it up so that the viewers can apply their own selves.” In this respect, her works ‘You and Me’ and ‘Life that Sings’ can be interpreted in terms of both emotion and action.
Mysterious encounter of inner side drawn from human sculpture
Byun’s other works include ‘Beautiful You’, the masked stone when seeing in distance and a group of lines and dots in close proximity, and ‘The Day The Memory’, the work of maximized 3 dimensional forms on plane surface which contains Byun’s past, present and future as well as her song of hope. Through these works we can see Byun’s ability to use her hands like brush and musical notes like paints to create a work. According to Byun, the musical notes are the beginning of all sensitivities and actions and contain the seeds that have limitless possibility of life and its story. And the collage functions as a block that is needed for ‘the language between two people’. Byun explains “I hope my works are a means of communication, understanding and consideration. The collage I used gives harmony and life between people and it is a way of overcoming solitude and emptiness of life.” Byun’s ‘Companion Series - We Now’ visualizes all forms of human beings as social animals into symbols and implications. It is no doubt that Byun’s use of minimal colors and materials and the visualization of open conceptions will continue to show us companionship between people.