Seo Jeong Ja is one of the fastest emerging painting stars in the Korean artsphere. She has organized more than eight solo exhibitions in Korea and two on the international stage, one in Vancouver and one in Beijing. Apart from this she has also organized dozens of group exhibitions, both in Korea as well as abroad. Her latest exhibition, organized under the theme title of “Healing”, from August 29th to September 4th 2012 in Seoul received high acclamations from both art critics and painting lovers. Here are some excerpts of the interview she had with Kim Cheol-ho of Asia-Pacific and Business and Technology Report.
Congratulations on organizing such a successful exhibition. What is the theme of this exhibition?
This exhibition is organized under the theme of “healing”. This is my eighth solo exhibition and is receiving very good response from visitors and art critics. In this exhibition paints used are fancifully and also meditatively in various color ex¬pressions. The restrained color esthetics used in the displayed paintings should help people to relieve their stress and in¬still vibrant energy for life.
Do you have any professional training in paintings or did painting come to you naturally? What led you to adopt painting as a profession?
I studied modern art for my Masters at Hong-Ik University. When I was child, I used to enjoy painting so much. I have kept going with it since my childhood. So painting comes very naturally to me, even though I had formal training and education for it. I am naturally a painter and I would not have chosen any other path for my life.
When did you start the painting professionally. What was your first painting?
I have been drawing paintings since my childhood. So it is very difficult for me to recollect when I painted for the first time professionally. But I believe it must have happened sometime during my teenage years. I organized my first group exhibition in 1984. My first solo exhibition was under the title “untitled” and was organized in 1999 in Seoul.
You have also organized international exhibitions. Can you please tell us something about your international exhibitions? How was the response of the general public abroad?
Yes, that is right. I have organized exhi¬bitions in Vancouver and Beijing. Both ex¬hibitions received very positive response from the public. It also gave me a chance to meet many internationally acclaimed artists and see their works firsthand. Bei¬jing in particular left a permanent im¬print on my art and mind. How many group exhibitions have you organized so far? What were the main themes? I have organized group exhibitions over 100 times. The first one was in 1984. Since then we have never looked back. We are planning to organize one more group exhibition next year again. The main concept of my painting art form is that I reinterpret “stripes of many colors” which is reflected by Korean tradi¬tional color art forms.
Apart from your group exhibitions you have also organized more than 8 solo exhibitions. Can you please tell us about the themes of the solos?
My solos have been as successful as my group exhibitions. The first solo exhibition I organized was in 1999 under the title “Un¬titled”. Since then I have or¬ganized 8 solos. My 5th solo organized in 2006 under the title “White and White” was very well received. My “Stripes of many colors” solo organized in 2007 in Beijing received top international accla¬mation. So far I am very happy from the kind of response I have received from the general public as well as art lovers, art experts and critics both in Korea and abroad.
Please tell us about your current exhibition which you are organizing here in Insa-dong. How is the public responding to it?
The feedback from this exhibition is very good. We are seeing a large number of viewers every day. Since last year, I have been studying psychology and I think that the ultimate purpose of art is “Heal¬ing”. This year’s exhibition organized un¬der the title “Healing” focuses on giving ‘Healing’ touch to the increased stresses in our daily lives. We believe we can help people to treat their mind through this color therapy. Also I heal my soul through my paintings as I strongly believe paint¬ing can treat not only the viewers but also someone who draws it in the first place. Through my painting I would like to con¬vey emotional solace, while also making my viewers creatively imaginative.
We heard your painting deals with modern contemporary art form. Can you please tell us more about your paintings?
Piccaso didn’t describe painting with his eyes but rather he did it with his mind. The essence of abstract painting points to one’s core characteristics. For example, “Movement” can be an abstract painting. The abstract painting is a pro¬cedure which reveals the great essentials of ‘object’.
What are your future plans? Please tell us about some of the important works you are planning to do in near future.
In the near future I plan to be very pro¬active and I have planned lots of new projects. I plan to cooperate with the film industry and also modern art works which will deal with everyday life. I must say my best art work is just to come.
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