“Balance” is a body of work crafted during a time of turmoil and global pandemic. However, the thinking and motivations behind the work have been bubbling for a few years. It represents a shift in the way I work, one that’s less fueled by anxiety and more of a channeling of such energy. Similar to my previous works, thoughts of politics and geopolitical dynamics heavily influence my thinking. “Balance” represents a more formal approach to processing that context.
Over the past year, I’ve learned the craft of weaving. Having tried several different methods of production, I settled upon hand tapestry weaving. Working in this manner allows an amount of freedom as well as a rigid process to work within. But the effects go beyond the craft and have influenced my perspective on my work. As mentioned above, my methods have flowed through the threads to be one that channels and represents the anxieties that boil below.
Those anxieties are shared by many during these times. As political power begins to shift, there are still many scars to the pendulum swing of the radical right. As a Korean American I’m heavily sensitive to the shifts in American politics and how they affect the world at large. This past election clearly shows how polarized and how locked the Right and Left are; locked in a violent standstill. The global pandemic has also affected the Korean peninsula, halting ironically Trump-driven talks with the North. Many may describe this moment as unbalanced, but what is more frightening is how balanced they are; with over 74 million Americans voting to continue Trump’s Presidency.
From within this context, the work presented in “Balance” has come forth within this context and tries to address such turbulence through a formal meditation of shape and color. The threads intermix patterns that play against the uneven splits and cracks in the silkscreen prints. Form has also played an active role in my work, but through “Balance” I meditate on my anxieties purely through it. Returning to these basic elements of design (color, shape, composition) I have found a reassuring shifting of energies that has set a new discipline to my process.
In a sense, the work presented has a less overt message and the expression is not as confrontational. This transition may be a reflection of age, but it is also demonstrative of an amount of creative maturity. With this attitude I present the collection “Balance”.