"Why I make Asian painting as an Asian artist"

I cannot stop feeling repulsive whenever I see traditional Asian images being misappropriated by the ones who do not come from an Asian cultural background. The misappropriated images do not feel any different from the casual racism I experience as an Asian in my daily life. Traditional Asian images are a representation of our own cultural identity, ideas, and philosophies. The act of misappropriation comes from ignorance and lack of acknowledgement of people with different cultural backgrounds.

My current body of work criticizes stereotypical perspectives towards East Asian culture. I start making images by taking parts of traditional Korean paintings. I cut traditional images into pieces, collage them back together, and paint on top of them. Certain areas of painting show cultural references, but the whole image loses its original intent through the irrelevance of collaged images. I seek a new possibility at a place where everything loses its meaning. The vigorous usage of traditional images is a claim on ownership of cultural references, and a criticism of the relentless fetishization of East Asian culture.

-WooJin Shin