Line between Secrecy and Disclosure
Byung-mo Jung, a professor at Gyeongju University.
One day, I happened to see a painting, describing books, by So-eun Park on Facebook. It was "My Treasure Warehouse."
The appearance of a woman lifting the curtain with her hands and the facade of the woman's room were fascinating and fresh.
Not only was the woman's appearance so beautiful that it reminded me of Beauty, but the setting that allowed me to look into
a secret woman's room was interesting. When I planned an exhibition related to pictographs and book paintings at the Seoul
Arts Center in 2016, I was delighted to find a work depicting a woman's study. Ah, a painting of a woman's study during the
Joseon Dynasty! So-eun Park's "My Treasure Warehouse" is a piece that re-awoke the emotion. The two works are common in that
they are a book painting released from the perspective of feminism. The outside of the painting is a still-life painting,
but the inside is a portrait. The books and objects in the painting show traces of the main character's life in the painting.
So-eun Park deftly expressed the conflict she wanted to hide and reveal on the other hand, even if it was a study of the same
woman. Therefore, the artist named the book painting series "A Woman's Mind"
Entering European castles, we can find the 'Room of Curiosity' and the 'Room of Pottery'. It is a space where kings and nobles
gather their favorite things. These rooms are seen as the beginning of today's museum. The "My Treasure Warehouse" the author is
trying to depict is another room of curiosity and a room of pottery. Going back and forth between the boundary points of private
and public space, the artist's secret treasure warehouse is suddenly wide open as our treasure trove.
The treasure warehouse that the artist adorns and loves is a space full of her dreams. For her, dreams represent the ambivalence
of dreams in the middle of the night and dreams talking about hopes for the future. She says she has had plenty of dreams since
she was young. This sleeping habit has been the motivation to focus on shaping the symbol language of dreams since college, and
dominated her consciousness enough to interpret the symbolism of dreams with Jung's unconscious theory for his master's degree
In Rest, the whole family is dreaming, buried deep in a blanket of white peonies. Their dream is a small island full of fragmented
clouds in the sky. The dream that the artist is describing comes from sleep. Maybe since she has had many dreams since she was young,
everything she does about her dreams is full of confidence.
It was five years ago when she took over a lesson at the Seocho Cultural Center. In her consciousness, she disapproved of building
boundaries, whether ink-and-painting, literary or folk paintings, but after taking charge of the folk painting class, she became a
folk painting artist as fate would have it.
There's a painting called 'Tiger Skin Curtain Painting' we know very well. This painting has a client's secret space behind the curtain,
which is a book painting. Just as the royal family or aristocrats of European palaces secretly decorate the "Room of Curiosity" or the
"Room of Pottery," a client of Joseon cut off some of the painting and drew her own private space. So-eun Park noted this point. What
is her own room of curiosity? What is her own treasure trove? The place was filled with objects that evoked her memories. It is a space
that she wants to hide only for the artist, and it has a dual character that she wants to show for the viewers.
Other people's dreams are also precious storytelling to her. She once opened her notebook in the exhibition hall and asked viewers to
write a story about their funny dreams. Her father's dream also appears in her work without hesitation. The school uniform, a house
with a straw-thatched roof, a phonograph, and a pipe cigarette, which symbolize the 70s and 80s, are icons that feature the father's
The climax of the folk paintings featuring dreams is a painting featuring an auspicious dream landscape. She saw the auspiciousness of
the folk painting and the lucky dream go hand in hand. Both are auspicious signs for human happiness. In that sense, the auspicious
dream landscape is the very lucky landscape. It is a utopia that embodies her auspicious dream. Her soft colors and hazy style of
conversation have imaged this perception. The reason why there are so many reds in her work is in the same vein. Dreams are short,
but they are stimulating and enchanting, and they have been given back to red. The reason why the artist chose Geumgangsan Painting
is because it is a mountain of dreams of the Korean people and also a mountain that Chinese and Japanese people want to go up.
After My Treasure Warehouse, we're met with an unusual touching piece. It is the Treasure Island. When we look at the painting, we
can think of the "Three Themes" that flourished in the late Joseon Dynasty. They are a folk painting, a book painting, and a authentic
landscape. Folk paintings represent our lives, book paintings are representative of our culture, and authentic landscapes are pictures
of our nature. In this way, three completely out-of-the-way themes are naturally connected. However, the artist's intention is completely
secret and empirical. The woman in the painting is the artist's alter ego, a pile of books piled up in disorder is an expression of desire,
and a meekly expressed Mt. Geumgangsan is the artist's dream. Her treasure trove crossing between secret and revealing borders has been