Hometown: Seoul, Korea
Lives and Works: Singapore / Seoul, Korea
I experience each of my paintings as a coalescing of elusive perceptions, memories and meaning; a bringing to awareness of momentary possibilities emerging from the unconscious. As such, my practice is in the tradition of Abstract Expressionism as I engage the physicality of material to resonate emotions and challenge pictorial conventions. The symbolic imagery that emerges through this method of painting undermines how I constitute reality. Synthesizing my surroundings this way, the anarchic nature of my imaginary world embodies a reality that aspires beyond the contingencies of the body and a consciousness that aspires beyond the prison-house of self. Painting is therefore, for me, an alchemical process that seeks to physically transform instinct into self-reflection, the material into the spiritual. Representationally, my works can be seen as attempts at an emotional and spiritual cartography, a rendering of the personal landscapes between being and becoming. These landscapes are populated with “vessels” that form a disjointed community of fluid identities. Perversely seductive figures, they seem to give the paintings theme and content, but they simultaneously represent the always already deconstructed nature of being. I see them as biomorphic vessels, bearers of fragile, transient meanings, that evolve and crusade towards the paradisiacal. Compositionally, the interweaving of colour in my repetitive layering system creates a provisional order. The obsessive-compulsive rituals of editing, reworking, removing and embellishing are a mechanism for processing existential anxiety. Grids, convergences, implosions and explosions are common motifs in my work. Each layer is the trace of a mental engagement to which the next layer responds, forming a material record of vanishing memories, a history whose legibility is in question. Most of my works are double sided works that change according to the direction of lighting and installation, the layers converging to evoke the growth, evolution, and decay of the self and the natural world. In a more sociological register, I use embellishments in my work to explore my own ambivalence towards commercial and mundane realities. These include elements like nail polish, nail art stickers and crystals; domestic activities such as embroidery; and hobby art such as scrap booking, crafts and DIY fashion. Behind the seducing jewel tones and iridescent lure, the wrought surfaces of my paintings portray my dislocated identity as it is partially constituted by distracting, decorative objects. Through my art I hope to challenge the viewer’s sensory perception, making her question the depicted image, eliciting different interpretations as the illusion is contextualized within different people’s realities, or indeed the same person’s multiple realities. My painterly process thus tries to create a transcendental gateway towards an ineffable 4th dimension in which all of these realities can converse. ARTIST BIOGRAPHY Sunny Chyun was born in Seoul; Korea, 1979 but has been a long-time resident of Singapore. Since she was twelve, she has been mentored by Cultural Medallion Recipient, Teo Eng Seng. She has a BA with Honors from Wesleyan University in Economics and Studio Arts and has an MFA from the Korean National University of the Arts. She has exhibited in the US, Korea and Singapore and is currently working on upcoming exhibitions.