Please introduce yourself to us!
Born in Seoul, South Korea in 1984, I currently live and work in London. Both two years at the US Military in 2010 and at University College London in the UK in 2014 sculpted my perspective toward the contemporary society, of how it forms and breaks. I believe the personal gaze on the society expressed via diverse mediums presented on virtual space lays out the visual assessment of the social environment. I predominantly work in mixed media, including drawing, installation and video, questioning how collective and personal memories of the urban space embedded in found images and objects trashed on the streets regenerate the perspective of city life.
How did you find your voice as an artist?
I aim to confirm my endeavour of creating visual records of my thoughts and impression of the city as a living space, going beyond the activity of merely exposing conflicts of an individual. This starts from the belief that the process of translating personal memories and experiences into visual narrative could take part in defining contemporary society, with its various interpretations opening up for diversity and mobility in the city.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Born in the city, having lived in different cities and destined to live in the city, I am a citizen and an artist whose subject matter ranges from objects and sceneries found in urbanity to personal memories formed in the city. The gaze I cast upon the city gains a form through diverse media. This gaze expands itself once it is relocated back to the city alongside these forms.
Is there a particular material that you prefer to work with?
I collect daily life waste objects left on the streets. I disassemble the debris left or thrown away and make them lose their original forms and functions. I reassemble these particles, into new objects coated with my pen drawings and the waste paper. The repetitive pen drawing is the visualization of the impression I get from the city. Unlike pencil that portrays numerous levels of thickness or painting that provides as an infinitive spectrum of colours, ink pen fills the surface evenly with the monochromatic and consistent the particular to the medium. Yet the monotony is disturbed by the vivid colours of the loosely-shredded packaging paper, on which printed images shed the alluring colours of the consumerist city – the colours of the city that I attempt to express. The finished output of refined pen drawings and solid pieces arranged in collage are my personal response to the virtual space.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Although each work bears different form, at the core of my works sits an individual both isolating oneself and been isolated by one’s surroundings due to the fierce competition in the contemporary society. The act of drawing repeatedly is for the feeling of achievement with which I suspend chronic anxiety temporarily. By collecting what has been left out of its usage, I embrace what has fallen behind the competition; be that objects, sentiments, or individuals. I release the agitation from the daily routine in the city by the format of art.
Joonhong Min’s profile on Singulart: https://www.singulart.com/en/artist/joonhong-min-165