Interview with Woon - Chul Yang
In our last Selected by Maui we wrote about Woon - Chul Yang (1979), a South Korean artist, art curator and art consultant, known for his captivating minimalistic artworks.
We were incredibly impressed by his work, which reflects beautifully the concept of ‘simple beauty’, and contains a vividness, profoundness, and at the same time an almost meditative stillness.
Alongside his fine art he puts his reflections in the from of beautiful short philosophical poems that accompany the reflective quality of his artwork.
We spoke with Woon - Chul Yang to hear more about his his methods of work, what brings him inspiration, as well as his vision and view on life.
What inspires you for your artwork?
I am inspired by everything that exists. I think of all of our familiar experiences, and think about them in a different way and therefore I also have other experiences. For me existence appears constantly in a different way, because over time, there are continuously various thoughts.
Are there any other artists that inspire you?
I think it's probably all artists. Various things happen to me depending on what perspective I look at the work.
How long do your paintings take to finish ?
It depends on the format of the work, but it usually takes about a month.
There's a sky near the ground. From the ground up to the sky. standing on the ground We're breathing in the sky.
Why did you choose to use the Ottchil lacquer technique?
I learned Ottchil when I learned creating lacquerware in college and I use it when I need a specific color and form to express what my thoughts are. In general I work with various forms and use various materials. Finding a way to express what I think works well through the choice of the materials and forms, and for me Ottchil is one of my expressions.
What is your mission and vision with your art?
Rather than a mission or vision, what I truly hope for is that we can talk together, that we can exist together and be with each other with all of our differences. The differences of all of us is why I feel it's amazing to exist and I think we should live together with respect for that fact. I hope people will understand that in order for us to be human beings, in order for there to be life, and human rights, that nature must exist first, and to cherish nature.
Where do you place art in our everyday lives?
If you express what you think in your daily life and lead that to concrete conversations, I think that's art. For me art in our everyday lives are thoughts, our expressions, and conversations.
What is your philosophy on life?
I think my philosophy is the process of constantly asking questions about existence and life, and trying to get a better understanding on who someone is or what something is. I aim to understand how things exist together, whether it is people or objects. So I think for me it's an exploration of relativity and analogy.
To stay and to be different. Stay different, stay the same.
That's how you stay here. Maybe there.
Did you always knew you wanted to be an artist?
From the moment I was born, and I developed myself as a person, I started to experience life, and knew how to think and express myself. It was when I realized I can talk to myself, I can communicate with other people, it is time for me to be able to talk to nature, to what is all around us.
What is most important for you in life?
Because I'm a human being, for me it is having a close family. I could say I am a family, and by saying that meaning that that is people who live together, but I think it is also the nature we belong to and that we are with.
What inspired you to write the poems, and what forms the inspiration for them?
I wanted to expand the conversation with my writing about my works. The writing was expressed together while making the work to bring myself closer to the work. When I started writing, the writing was short and the sentences were divided and so it became like a poem. And I think that from an art critic's point of view, writing helps us see and understand more profoundly the work.
What is your experience with exhibiting?
I think exhibiting is a meeting to reach people. And for me, meeting and talking with people during my exhibitions allows me to experience the conversation, and let me experience the possibility of expanding the conversation in the future. I think it's an experience that allows me to share the same feelings as the other people I meet at my exhibitions, and I try to meet with as many as I can.
Do you have a world? Your world will be with a lot of worlds. The world you live in and so many other worlds.