How is Shamanism incorporated into your work and how did you get involved with a Shaman?
My work is not incorporated with Shamanism; rather, it is more influenced by the after effects of a Shamanism experience. What I felt in that short ceremony was hugely influential on me. Sometimes the colors had a persistent effect, and at those moments I really felt that I was in a different place. It felt as though I was underwater and loud sounds began to fade far away. I am trying to incorporate what I have seen, the memories that persist, and something that I feel in my senses like a place where only one person can exist.
The Shamanism experience was given to me without notice, on behalf of my family. It was not my idea for it to happen; rather, I was forced into the ceremony. I was laying on a bamboo mat, people were watching me, and a Shaman told me bad things. There were loud sounds, and everything was fearful and a shock to me. This experience changed me emotionally from that time onward.
Are your pieces inspired by or based on any specific places, things, or memories?
My works are unconventionally made at different moments and using different things. However, they are all based on my desired place — a place that exists only in a perfect world that I find through my work. When I first started painting I began with a specific place (i.e., deep in the ocean) because I found that this was a most interesting place where people are never quite sure what is inside. I can imagine anything in that place, because it is undiscovered and deep within the earth. When I go underwater I cannot hear anything clearly anymore, and this compelled me to paint more. Afterward I imagined a place named heaven, which is the most peaceful place. My work seeks for that place of endless of freedom, and it is a very enjoyable process to attempt to complete my perfect place that will never really be complete. From that time onward I enjoyed the technical and accidental effects of material, as this creates new space and becomes one small piece of my perfect world.
What is your process like, technically? What materials do you use? Are brushes your main tool?
My work process is in both ways technical and accidental. I basically use markers, which I like because they are pure and fragile. I like the colors and lightness of the markers. I also use ink and resin. I will typically flow ink and resin together or each differently to make a big stroke or a big shape. I control the direction of this first shape and after that markers cover the side structure that makes balance. I sometimes use oil’s heaviness to control a material’s lightness.
What are the main emotions and feelings you hope to convey with your work? Why are they important for you to share?
I have always desired that people would get something from my work. From my perspective my work shows many emotions, not just one. There are so many memories and views that have become translated into structures, shapes, colors, and lines. I see many different things in one work, and so there is not just one single movement or feeling. I want viewers to catch any one of these things from my work so that they are really seeing something they can translate by their own.
I hope that I am making a positive emotional contribution to others, as I am creating my own desired world. When I am really into it I can feel healing, cures, and sometimes experience pleasure with some exact point of my work. This is really a positive act for myself — one that pushes away all of the pain and stressful things of the real world. It puts the world into the most perfect position for me to breathe comfortably. I hope that others can feel this way from my pieces.
Do you have a favorite artist in the Nonsense Society you’d like to share?
Maximilian Tomozei’s works are very interesting to me. I have found that small objects can become powerful and harsh, and this is what he translates to others.
If you could give some advice to the young, aspiring artists who visit this site, what would you tell them?
I am a young and emerging artist myself. There are simple things that we can do to achieve success: do not be afraid, see more things, feel more things, do not avoid anything, learn from outside, know yourself, and know what you are doing. I am always trying to remember who I am and to paint from that perspective.
Artwork © Jo Eun Huh (June) // junehuh.com