ArtistYoung-Sook Oh, who purses balance and harmony of the inner
Seo, Young-hee (Art professor in Hong-Ik University)
We cannot deny the fact that paintings are visualized emotions. However, in paintings of artist Young-sook Oh, rationality and
emotion always makeexquisite harmony rather than being biased. Through this aspect, the painter conveys the harmonious state of
our spirit to the audience by using symbolic drawing technique. The examples which can make such expression about the balance in
our mental and mind are rare, as we are living in 21st century society of post modernity. The issue of balance and harmony have
been regarded as ultimate goal by ideal realism (which is also known as classicrealism) since the ancient time up to modern society,
even though there is no intention to mention about the historical classification of art. Considering artistic trend from the time of
romanticism to today, imbalance and incongruity rather than balance and harmony, sensibility rather than reason, subjectivity rather
than objectivity, diversity and simulacre rather than unity and authenticity are being preferred nowadays. We have to notice that artist
Young-sook Oh is mattering about balancing and making harmony as artists from the past who pursued ideal realism. Her sensitivity never
seems to be anachronistic when compared to contemporary artists,though.
What happened? First, we can find out that her dimension of pursuing balance and harmony is in our mental-spiritual world, not in the external
level which includes the form of visual reproduction, such as perfect proportion, geometric perspective, and etc. Second, we can also find
out that the painter is materializing her inner level of balance (transcendental dimension, which cannot be seen or explained as well as
leaded by contents that are uncertain) as experiential drawing language like symbolic semi-abstraction of color and line. In other words,
to her, it is spiritual stuff that matters in balance and harmony, not the form. She is carving the most reasonable and sharpened-sensibility,
and organizing inner cries as a state of reason and sensibility making balance for this absolute issue. In this kind of performing stage, the
painter can get the maximum level of jouissance when he or she makes a perfect harmony between the core and surroundings which respectively
represents the inner and technical form of drawing.
But do you think that a painter can always express his or her spiritual vibration perfectly on the canvas? No way. Nobody can always fully
capture the inner pulsion which is inevitable. One’s deep inner space, which was explained once as chōraby Julia Kristeva in her explanation
about the frame of Freudianism, is an active place where mental division and connect, structuralization and unstructuralization occur. Kristeva
said that the process of giving arta meaning takes place from this unbalanced, disruptive chōra which cannot be defined. According to the meaning
of chōra that Kristeva suggested, art starts off from this unstable state of mind, so commonly the pieces cannot help being exotic to artists
themselves as well as audiences themselves ego. Chōra is the origin of art, and also it is the storage of inner energy which vents and circulates.
Even we, non-artists, experience in our daily life the unbalance of our ego and orbital deviation of our reason due to various reasons.
Therefore, to avoid the non-logical state, this is a conditionof most human being.
Artist Young-sook Oh is being intuitive than any others about this kind of inner situation. And she explained persuasively how she interprets
the state of chōra to an order of visual symbols on the symbolization stage that occurs during the process of making a piece by mentioning
the mental balance and collaboration. In fact, the case of painters logically explaining the full process of their creation is rare. However,
artist Young-sook Oh analyzed her own process of making pieces which are exhibited in her private exhibition in detail, including the mental
aspects that are based on her Christianity and material producing aspects. She was such an outstanding artist who had a remarkable ability on
her rational thinking. It may be late to introduce the painter now, but she majored Christianity art in Baeksuk University and has a work
experience of writing a master’s thesis. She is taking a very active part now, and really passionate to make a lot of pieces. She said in her
master’s thesis that she tried to make harmony of mental intellect and emotion based on the effect of works(Religious Affections, The Nature
of True Virtue) by Jonathan Edwards, who was a theologianin the 18th century. It is so impressive that she did her best in the frame of faith
to express the inner impulsion of creativity as a harmony in which reason and mind make a perfect balance, even though recent trend of art easily
falls into disorder of pluralism.
To artists, reason and sensibility, thinking and emotion are complementary energies rather than being contrastive. It is considered that it was
sucha luck to her as a painter that she found out the view which is free from the mysticism by combining spiritual dimension of faith and human
intellect through J.Edwards who was baptized by Enlightenment in Enlightenment Countrires. Though invisible, we can empirically observe a will
to make a harmony of one ego’s intellect and emotion based on the God’s aim in her pieces. However, as mentioned, an ego cannot always make perfect
balance. As ego means divided ego, it tends to shake and escape from the good will, and also proceeds to unbalance. So she chose to make an unbalanced
ego to a balanced one by using the scientific concept ‘self-differentiation’ (by Murray Bowen, psychoanalyst) in the process of expressing the
faithful emotion. Bowen thought that symbiosis relationship among families yields the fusion of mental and emotion so that individuals become both
socially and morally imperfect, so he insisted that through the process of self-differentiation which separates the reason and emotion, a human being
can develop bothside, and moreover can become a mature, independent, and balanced one. Artist Young-sook Oh connected these psychological analyzation
with her drawing, and made it possible to express emotional coloring and rational composition of picture devices. In reality, this operates as an
effective way to express in her drawing.
Let us talk about the image of a chair which is being used as an essential motive by painter Young-sook Oh to her drawing since 2010 up until now.
Chair is an object that always keeps its absolute balance by standing with its four legs. It is more stable than we humans as we have only two legs
which can make us fall down easily, and has immovable balance. Theartist just lets the chair to be alone in the empty space without anyhint or
description about the shape of human figure. However, the feeling of loneliness is not big enough because one or two more chair(s) appear(s) around it.
Moreover, as the chair is located in a sky space where thereis full of God’s good will, its making a connection with each other seems as existential
aspects to audiences that are living together in a faithful world. In other words, the chairs that she keeps drawing are we individuals, and it can be
the symbol of inner ego when considering the psychological term. It would be nice to think that it is the painter herself first, and also you and I.
The painter is drawing the chair in disparate forms, watching it from various angles. The various form of the chair from different angles almost reappears
as a semi-abstract image on the picture, neverbeing normal.
Her pictorial emotion explosively vents in this right chair’s variable image from different angles and in the color arrangement which are connected to
simple forms. But be careful not to equalize the minimal simplification of form with the 1960’s minimalism, as minimalism intended to return the original
image to daily life, and as it was realized by the will to strengthen the phenomenological experience of recognition. There may exist many intention in
simplifying the forms. It seems that in case of the painter, she intended to symbolize the inner inevitable impulsion as a way of fulfilling balance
between reason and emotion, and moreover, to symbolize the faithful emotion of herself as a feature which lies down in God’s virtue. To see from the
dimension of drawing expression, developmental trials of the painter is not able. Especially, significant emotional wave, chair-shaped line flowing,
and the contrastive expression of material shows the excellent intuitive emotion. The factor that makes the audience feel artistically impressivelies
on the ability of an artist composing colors and lines on a picture, beyond the faithful attitude. Hope to see her trial that are improved and interesting.
At last, the pursue of perfect reason(study) and emotion(art) is going to reach a holy extremity. Plotinus’s theological mention still remains with us.