1) Description of Artworks: In Korea, the Japanese samurai is infamous for invading the country in 16th century and wreaking a huge havoc and devastation. Because Korea won the war in the end with the help of the Chinese, it appears to me that the war is not discussed very much in western textbooks and classes. To the Koreans, however, the war was an existential struggle and the beginning of a never-ending rivalry with Japan. The 16th century Japanese invasion of Korea was not a mere regional war. It was Asia's first modern world war involving 500,000 troops by the Sino-Korean alliance (including 5,000 troops from other tributary states that were recognized by China) and the Japanese invaders. It involved the use of naval artillery by the Chinese and the Koreans, and guns and arquebuses by the Japanese, introduced to Japan by the Portuguese traders. In the subconscious of the Japanese samurai, the Siberian tiger, also known as the Korean Tiger, is symbol of a powerful rival that must be subjugated. When a westernized Japan in early 20th century annexed Korea, the Japanese hunted and exterminated all or most tigers that they could find on the peninsula to crush the Korean spirit into subjugation. To the Koreans, the Japanese samurai is a vicious and barbaric invader. To the Japanese, the Siberian tiger is a symbol of Korea and a threat to the Japanese pride.
2) Bio: Chunbum Park is a South Korean artist residing in the state of New Jersey, close to New York City. He focuses on themes and ideals of feminine beauty and the nature of truth. He believes that in many cases, due to the complexity of the universe, truth is a matter of belief without ways of ascertaining it with concrete evidence. In this framework of pursuing truth, he believes that some have a greater affinity for truth than others.
3) Artist Statement: I believe I have an innate gift to discern truth in midst of chaos. This act of observing truth in midst of random and chaotic array of information is a tradition that goes back many centuries in the history of art, and in particular, western art. This pursuit of truth and seeking of the light can manifest in any number of forms and styles of art, such as experimental and abstract or traditional representational art. The truth that we artists speak of can include harmony, balance, and dynamic composition of colors, light, and forms. The truth can also be of historical or political characteristics that speak to the past and current issues. If experimentation is the highest achievement for a scientist, the pursuit of truth in midst of chaos is the noblest goal and attainment for not only artists, but every persons living. It is precisely because the pursuit of truth is every so often against one's own self interests or dogmatic ideology that it is so difficult, challenging and confusing to achieve. There are so many clever ways to distort reality through language, and because humans rely on language as the ultimate determiner of truth, the result of such investigation via language is accepted as truth, even when it is wrong. With light, however, it is entirely a different world. Because light is a direct representation of reality, we artists do not fear confronting it to arrive at the truth of whatever we are trying to depict. Even in experimental, non-representational, and abstract art, truth prevails as the experimental idea expressed through a visual style and visual language. Here, there is no complication in sequence of logic and depiction to arrive at a final representation of truth as there would be if people were to attempt to deliver it through verbal language. The truth manifests in art directly and efficiently without a middle man called language or words to allow any distortion whatsoever.
Through painting, I insist on the destruction of the persistent process of manipulating the truth. Through painting I am making a stand for the truth as a universal principle, and a right of all observers and actors. Through painting I am trying to deliver the whole picture, not just a part of the picture, and the whole truth, not a part of the truth.
The truth that I speak of is not absolute but a relative curvature of effectiveness and relevance. In other words, truth is absolute in that it is relative; and truth is relative in that it is absolute. I sometimes symbolize truth in the shape of an arc.
In my paintings, I am an observer and a messenger. I try to deliver the truth by capturing the essence of the subject or the emotion that I am trying to depict. This is the act of avoiding distortion by reducing what I observe down to its essence. I choose beauty as the overall theme because it is something that I am naturally drawn to. It did not have to fight me to win me over. Beauty is a truth that is innately peaceful.
In these times when truth is contested and fought over, the assertion that we the people are beautiful, and therefore the universe is beautiful, is something that I will devote my art towards.
4) Link: https://chunbumpark.myportfolio.com/