Sun Choi (1973, Korea)

As a visual artist, he has been interested in how to express the gap between art and reality in the context of contemporary art. Also, it was important for me to understand the context of adopting Western art convention and its grammar in Korea. Therefore, he has tried to make artworks that contain multiple interpretative layers of meaning, which provoke the sense of beautifulness and aversion at the same time and raise a question of illusion on canvas.

For example, he made a painting with lard when all the infected pigs were buried alive in 2011 in Korea after the foot-and-mouth disease had spread on a large scale. The painting was supposed to be melted when the audience approaches to appreciate it because of his/her body heat. Another white painting was made with a colorless and odorless material, namely, hydrofluoric acid. In 2012 a chemical plant exploded in Gumi, Korea and there leaked a large quantity of hydrofluoric acid around the plant. Quickly he went there and put a canvas to get it “painted” with the transparent chemical material.

Recently, I’ve been doing works which make people rethink the hostility and warlike tension maintained for years in Korean society after the military conflict in 2013. From 2014 he is doing the project Butterflies in which he continues gathering people’s breathing on canvas regardless of their background, race, or physical conditions. Moreover, he made salt with seawater which runs from North to South near the border. It was conceived with a strong desire to have something substantial, concretized as salt in the work, instead of imposed ignorance and vagueness of the situation. He considers my effort to assimilate the particular Korean situation made me more attentive to what is happening in the world and this interest becomes reflected in my daily artistic practice.