"Delineating a self"

My practice is a representation of my cultural identity, which continuously transforms to find a balance between Eastern and Western cultural values. I try to revive East Asian cultural values through a reinterpretation of traditional Korean paintings. I believe that constant changes in the self and the surroundings have enriched my life and nourished my artwork. Each new surrounding demands a high level of awareness to relate to others and adapt to the physical and psychological situation. Positioning and repositioning the self continually is an exercise, often painful, yet the temporary adjustment is a cathartic process.

My works are outcomes of self-discovery that define my identity and delineate multiple selves. I portray the present tense by weaving the external condition with my inner side, the place where, among other things, anxiety and struggle collide. Temporal thoughts, feelings, and physicality appear in my painting where I explore a broad range of mark-making such as blurring, scribbling, smudging, and layering, so the multi-layered surface channels the complexity of one’s identity.

Each painting, once completed, becomes a frame within the time sequence of my lifetime.

The Korean monochromatic painting movement, “Dansaekhwa” resonates with my struggle 30 years later as I am trying to locate my identity between Eastern and Western cultural values. They mimicked the repetitious and meditative processes of traditional Korean painting to channel their spirituality while employing mediums such as oil paint, acrylic, and canvas due to the Western influence in the 60s. I wish to portray the present Korean identity by reviving

Dansaekhwa and reinterpreting Eastern culture through my influences of Western art history.

-WooJin Shin