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Yoon Miseon On How Painting Helped Her Overcome Trauma


Yoon Miseon On How Painting Helped Her Overcome Trauma
Image courtesy of the artist

The power of art manifests differently from individual to individual. It has the capacity to bring joy, sadness, or act as an outlet for people to express their emotions. For Yoon Miseon, her journey as an artist has been trying. Hailing from Korea, her initial practice in textile art has evolved due to health-related aspects that prohibit her from continuing them. She also looked inward to gain emotional perspective, later turning to drawing and painting to overcome her personal hurdles. 

We spoke to Yoon about her journey as an artist, how she came up with these distinct characters, and what she hopes her audience feels when they encounter them: 






You graduated from Hongik University with a Bachelors in Textile Art, but your works are mostly done with pencil and acrylic on paper. Why did you end up working with these mediums instead?

I majored in textile art at Hongik University and was working on portraits using fabric for a long time. Due to the nature of these works, I had to use heavy machinery. This caused health problems and I am longer able to produce such works. Then, I focused on drawing and painting, which is something I've always done.


Tell us a little about your journey as an artist. Did you always know that you wanted to be one?

I lost myself to trauma from my childhood caused by pressure and violence by my family. There was a false ego created by learning and coercion. I became timid, indecisive and weak, but I was able to overcome it with my practice of drawing and painting. I have loved painting since my childhood. As I grew older, I wanted to spit out inner pain and escape from weakness, so I became more absorbed in painting. In college, I was fascinated by my practice that used fibers while majoring in textile art. At that time, I thought that the result of the hard process of carving and reattaching the fabric healed my wounds. However, as I had not been able to do this work since last year, I focused on drawing and painting, which I have been consistently working on since then. I then realized that the fabric work that had been trying to overcome my mental pain had instead become more and more self-pitiful, and kept the pain deeper and deeper. Contrastingly through painting, I had a sort of sense of freedom that I had never felt before. Realizing that it was drawing and painting that made me feel free, I wanted to be honest about what kind of perspectives I wanted to express to people.


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The characters in your works are incredibly eccentric. How did you come up with them? What motivated you to?

Fabric works had directly expressed the anxiety or fear I have felt through various objects. After working with drawing and painting, I tried to capture my distorted feelings with a schematic look at what I wanted to express. I wanted to create new characters by filtering them with my eyes. When I put these characteristics together, what arises are common images and figurative parts. As I concentrated on that, I created characters that were weird and mischievous. Although they were pure, these characters were also filled with playful discontent. These pure images of human instinct, especially those of children and human nature, are much inspired.

Tell us more about these characters? What are they trying to say?

We all live in a balance with fear and discontent. I thought about how I could paint the balance of anxiety through my eyes? I long agonized over what I wanted to express, such as the uneasy feelings we have in a funny and pleasant way. I wanted to combine the figurative objects around me with organic human forms and create characters out of them. 





Who are some of your influences when it comes to making art?

I am inspired by everything around me - objects, the idea of the human, individuals - they all influence me. I am especially influenced by the appearance of youthfulness and static shapes.


What are some of the difficulties that you’ve faced in your practice?

A trial and error process is required to bring these characters from my mind into real life. Although this process is always fun, it is also challenging.


Lastly, how do you want your audience to feel when they look at your works?

I hope my audience feels free! It is good to have an open mind when looking at my works because they should resemble my audience themselves. I want them to wonder if the subjects of the painting are men or women, or to feel sad or happy about the characters. Although the characters are created from my perspective, they are modeled after everyone.


To view more works by Yoon Miseon, click here
To explore more artworks available on The Artling, click here

Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.

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