INTERVIEW WITH JI O YOO


Korean artist explores the strange atmousphere generated from organic movements combined the artificial objects.



A00

Where did you grow up?


J.O.Y

I was born and raised in Gwang Ju, Korea



A00
What was childhood like?


J.O.Y

I was one of those kids who liked having chocolate syrup with milk. I used to enjoy coloring white papers into black and cutting them into tiny pieces… as small as they could be. I think I was kind of normal and yet a weird kid.



A00
There are many interesting artists on the rise in South Korea. What is it like to be a young female artist in Korea?.


J.O.Y

Actually, That is a difficult question to answer. I don't want to be categorized into particular social frame-sets.



A00
Sorry, we didn’t mean it in that way. But what is life like being an artist in South Korea? Would you say that there are any cultural/social advantages? Or limitations?


J.O.Y

Until now, Korea's art scene isn't developed as in places like Europe. Which is why I feel like I'm part of its progress and growth, though I haven't really accomplished anything major in the art world yet.



A00
Are you ever inspired by the city you live in?


J.O.Y

My hometown Gwangju is packed with traditions. The Gwangju Biennale is a city famous for the historical uprising. I was naturally attracted to the modern art scene.



A00
Did you start art at a young age?


J.O.Y

I started learning about art when I was 14. I was interested in Design at the start, and I actually majored in design for 3 years but I shifted my major to Fine Art later on. I studied Fine Art for over 4 years now, but I felt the two-dimensional limitations of painting, so I moved to installation art. But one day, I might change my mind again and do something else.



A00
Why did you want to become an artist?


J.O.Y

I thought this is a way of life that would justify my existence.



A00
What do you mean? Like identity?


J.O.Y

It's similar. I feel that the practice of art brings worth and value to my very existence.



A00
What sort of topic are you exploring?


J.O.Y

I'm strongly inspired by the moving patterns of water and organisms, and I'm also fascinated by the recurring movements of machines. Also, sometimes I get ideas from phrases from books, which is why I have tons of books I couldn't finish.



A00
What book did you read recently?


J.O.Y

Jacques Rancière - the future of the image (I might not have understood all of it but it had some interesting concepts.)



A00
Your work has a very unique mix of organic and mechanical. Like water, and plastic. Metal and natural fiber. What's the story?.


J.O.Y

I like the unique energy that comes from the collision between organic and artificial materials.



A00
When you say “energy” what do you mean?


J.O.Y

It's both the physical energy converted there, like kinetic energy, but also something else, something equally invisible but strange created by the fluid dynamics.



A00
Why is this, in particular, that was so fascinating for you?


J.O.Y

I always found it somehow beautiful and contrasting.



A00
Your recent work with water and tubes. Can you tell us more about it?


J.O.Y

By using time and space as a fixed and controlling factor, the energy generated by the collision of fluids is visualized, forming a sensory impairment in images.



A00
Is there any artist you strongly associate with? Or inspired by?


J.O.Y

Olafur Eliasson



A00
And why?


J.O.Y

I originally came across Olafur Eliasson's work by accident. I didn't know who he was. I dug deeper into his work and instantly became one of my favorite artists. The ways in which he manipulates atmosphere in set spaces had a large influence on my work.



A00
What would you say is the most exciting thing going on in the art world?


J.O.Y

It's interesting that diversity has become more and more relevant across the world. More so than ever.



A00
Do you have any daily rituals or routines you do before work?


J.O.Y

I don't think I have a specific routine before work.. it all depends on the day.



A00
What's your studio like?


J.O.Y

Actually, I recently moved my studio to a larger place since my work got bigger and I need the space to make more works. Now I'm sharing my big studio with other artists including Hyunwoo and Taewon.



A00
Do you listen to music while you work?


J.O.Y

I like listening to electronic ambient music, while I work. Arca, Oneohtrix Point Never.



A00

You’re one of the many artists living through the Covid pandemic. Would you say that many have changed? For the better or worse?


J.O.Y

I'm worried about the large volume of image consumption on social media. I'm afraid that the overconsumption of images would decrease the weight of physical exhibitions as web-based art activities are popularised.



A00
This is interesting. Do you feel that the digitalization of art is dangerous?


J.O.Y

I feel that when a lot of physical exhibitions are replaced with online exhibits due to the negative impact of the pandemic, online became over flooded with imageries way too quickly, without giving viewers enough space and time to digest the changes. The digitalization of art is not a real alternative to the physical experience of art.



A00
The 3D experience of object, space, and time tends to be an important aspect of art for sure. Do you think that the overconsumption of imageries via for example social media like Instagram have any negative impact on the art world?



J.O.Y

I would say that it was an inevitable reaction, social phenomena, beyond negative or positive. it could be something pure as a series of documentation to be remembered, or something shallow and forgotten in an instance.



A00
The willingness to connect, as a social phenomenon, caused by the pandemic has certainly helped artists to connect with people in foreign galleries, and viewers. Did the pandemic have any effect on you in terms of connectivity?


J.O.Y

In my case, I happened to participate in this interview through Instagram. So yes, the online world has certainly got me in touch with others I have never previously in touch with.



A00
Would you say that it’s impossible to really experience installation work online?


J.O.Y

It depends on the situation and the circumstances. In the case of my work, online may be an inappropriate method because it's important to immerse into the atmosphere and the dynamic feel of the space itself.



A00
We noticed you’ve been making smaller sculptures as well. What's the story there?


J.O.Y

Its a representation of monumental forms composed of various imageries and sculptures.



A00
What sort of role do you think artists play in society? Or should play?


J.O.Y

Sometimes I wonder why should artists even play a particular role in society. I feel like we have proved our roles by pushing the boundaries of sensual experiences, saying the unsayable, challenging the status quo. The value of those practices can be extremely subjective, and for artists to obtain support from their society, proving what's useful and measurable seems to be a vital factor. Which is all very ironic to me.



A00
If you could travel back in time, what era would you visit?


J.O.Y

I don't think I would ever want to visit the past... but if I have to travel back in time, I would go back to when I was about 6. Relive through the happy days of childhood again.



A00
What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?


J.O.Y

I made eye contact with an albino crocodile.



A00
What’s your scariest experience?


J.O.Y

Top secret.



A00
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?


J.O.Y

Nothing yet.

 
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