Air and Dream
Gaston Bachelard once remarked that “A cloud is one of the most dreamlike poetic objects.” To me, clouds are also a source of inspiration and a dreamy motif. One day, I dropped by a frame shop. There I saw the process of pasting a sheet of paper onto the back of a Korean painting on paper, to make it flat and tight, before framing it. It required a lot of sincere efforts to completely cover the painting by repeatedly pulling up the sheet of paper and applying it. It was aesthetically beautiful to see the process of overlapping papers leave some abstract traces behind, by the mixture of air, time, and labor altogether.
The Air and Dream series is the embodiment of clouds and wind. For this series, I basically used traditional Korean papers, called Hanji, known as one of the world’s thinnest papers. After applying pieces of a natural dyed paper to an uncoated linen fabric on a canvas, I added other tiny pieces of paper to express a thin layer of air. Then, pieces of paper were additionally piled up, above of the air layer, to create imageries of clouds and wind, as if tiny particles of water vapor formed clouds.
While working on the series, I would spend a long time attaching tiny pieces of paper onto canvases, until distracting thoughts and pain went away. It was a process of disciplining myself as well as praying. In this sense, clouds as objects, which incessantly circulate, reflect my philosophical contemplation on an invisible world behind the visible forms.