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About Se

Baltimore City

(Born in Seoul, South Korea, 1978)   Se Jong paints to explore the extent of her imagination and to expand her ability to express it. She subscribes to the idea that art is a collective process, and hopes that her work can trigger the audience to explore the depths of their conscious minds beyond the representations in the physical world. Shows ·      Logical Magic // July, 2014 // windup space // Baltimore, MD ·      Light Undulation //... more

in/outside of room/f

When the peaks of our sky come together
My house will have a roof.
-Paul Eluard, Dignes de vivre, Julliard, Paris, p. 115

You can read a room, or you can read a house. Both are psychological diagram that guide artists in their analysis of intimacy[1].

The artist used the rooms and roofs as a context for her to explore intuition. The placements of the objects inside of a room or outside on a roof are arbitrary with no symbolic gestures. Jung, in “depths of the unknown:” intuition is our interface with the whole of our potential.2 She used intuition to achieve harmoniousness, using whatever ability she has, in the spaces portrayed. The result is a certain style: a precise depiction of objects using controlled color selection. Cocteau writes: “Style is the soul, and unfortunately with us the soul assumes the form of the body” in refuting the decorative encumbrance any work of art with style may face. These paintings are things depicted through a certain style that should be experienced, because there is no content in these paintings, but hopefully they will excite or captivate the audience. This is the most intimate way the artist can connect with the audience.

[1] Bachelard, G., Stilgoe, J.R., 1994. The Poetics of Space, Reprint edition. ed. Beacon Press, Boston.

Evaporative images

Like a mass of condensed water vapor floating in the atmosphere, sound hangs in the air.

“Art is the game of extending our ‘shape of real’ without the necessity of present practical affirmation.”[1]

Paintings are static but musical composition (not on paper but in the air) is dynamic. Therefore, while the representations of the clouds are static, we invite the audience to imagine the dynamic and constant transformation of clouds as the sound atmospherically evolves around them. The dual installation of sound and images is intended to involve audience in multiple modes of participation, stimulating both visual and auditory senses thereby creating an environment where emersion is possible. Rather than the audience merely looking into pictorial boxes as an external examiner, we invite the audience to experience the visual images as a context for extending the shape of real through synthesis of their memories of shapes of real.

[1] Irwin, R. Notes toward a Conditional Art. (J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011).

Reflective anatomy

In these paintings, human body parts substitute, embrace, or simply float in the natural environment. I wanted to integrate the human body parts to multiple different environments some more natural and some more synthetic.

Reflective anatomy channels my work as an environmental engineer. Leopold once envisioned the idea of the “land ethic.” I wanted to create that idea, the idea of responsible, harmonious, and sustainable existence, using my imagination and relying on the audience’s comprehension of the human impact of economic self-interest on the land.

Organic geometry is more abstract with no moral quandary over human relationship to the natural environment. These paintings are self-exploration of identity. By abstracting our identity, expressed with body parts, through superimposition in the familiar but alien environments, I strive to depict the “consciousness immersed in the being of life (Hegel).

Light undulation

Light undulates, scatters, deflects, and reflects. Through this processes, our visible world constantly transforms. I developed these paintings in an effort to translate this processes as far as I could grasp them.

Light undulates on the rippling water. Light is silent in the mountain.
Light is granule on the bare canvas. Light glides on the gesso.
Light creates depth. Orthorectification removes this depth.
Light is aggressive when it is warm. Light is calm when it is cold.
Light is bright sun in the golden river. Light is veiled in the valley.

Life preserver

Life preservers consist of images of animals projected from my mind machine. Henry Miller describes the creative process that reveals the complex interior life and translates it into communicable form, “…[I]n the mind world, worlds unclassified, undenominated, unassimilated, form, break, unite, dissolve, and harmonize ceaselessly. In the mind world, ideas are the indestructible elements which form the jeweled constellations of the interior life. We move within their orbits, freely if we follow their intricate patterns, enslaved or possessed if we try to subjugate them. Everything external is but a reflection projected by the mind machine. ”
The paintings of life preservers project animals in the world that echo their images, in the unclassified world where the animals become ideas, ideas that are indestructible as they transcend beyond what I can imagine as a deliverer of the images because they precipitate into the interior lives of the observers. They are external images that tie me as a deliverer to the observers as receivers of the mind world.
The drawings of life preservers are images of animals expressed through lines that become volumes in the minds of the observers who fill in between lines. Thus, creation and preservation of the images of animals become a collaborative effort.

  • Emu egg in suspension

    acrylic on canvas 28” x 30”x 0” March 13, 2014 This is a painting of an emu egg where the red strings are affected by the Bezold effect (the color appears different on the top of the egg versus the bottom of the egg). The strings help define the shape of the egg and create a perception that the egg is in suspension. However, the strings do not really provide a stability because the angles at which the strings diverge from the egg make it impossible that the strings support the egg. The strings cradle and pierce the egg at the same time.
  • Emu egg in wood

    40 in X50 in Acrylic on Canvas April 1, 2015 I painted the emu egg in the undulating wood environment. This painting was inspired by Juan Sánchez Cotán’s painting of Quince, Cabbage, Melon and Cucumber (yr1602).
  • African Elephant

    Acrylic on Canvas 30"x40"
  • Rhinoceros

    Acrylic on Canvas 30?x40? March 4, 2015
  • Oxscape

    40”x50”x0” acrylic on canvas June 2014 The ox embodies the landscape. The hump of the ox echoes the mountain in the background and the ox’s pattern resembles the earthscape. The oxscape simulation is a scaled-down, reduced-complexity model of the oxscape. My advisor once told me to imagine a spherical cow when we were developing an environmental simulation model to evaluate different management options to address sediment pollution. The spherical ox is a representation of this concept.
  • Hippopotamus

    Acrylic on canvas 22”x24” October 21, 2014
  • Cicada

    Acrylic on Canvas 14”x18” August 2014 I found a dead cicada when I was walking Tmart, my dog, about a month ago. I picked him up and decided to paint him. I spent a long time examining the cicada in order to understand its anatomy including its impeccable symmetry and appearance of durability and fragility at the same time. I decided to paint the body like a suit of armor as the exoskeleton appears to be metallic and is segmented. I washed a thin layer of gold paint to create the translucent pairs of wings.
  • Frog

    Acrylic on canvas 36”x50” October 5, 2014 I painted Gatun, Panama with scattered clouds, and the frog carries the image.
  • Jelly fish

    Acrylic on canvas 36”x44” September 17, 2014
  • Tiger shrimp

    acrylic on canvas 18”x18”x0” November 7, 2014

Logical magic

"...[W]hat survives the literalization of art is the timeless ever-changing world of magic caught in the painter's brush, or the writer's words, bits of vivid and vanishing detail." -from Adding Machines by William S. Burroughs.

I paint vivid details that escapes the representation of a painting as a whole. These details are keys to unlocking the audience's imagination that would interlock with my imaginations as a painter.

  • Computer Hall

    acrylic on bare and gessoed canvas 24”x24” February 18, 2014
  • Orthorectification

    Acrylic on canvas 24”x24” September 11, 2014
  • Wood 2b

    dimensions: 26”x26”x0” medium: acrylic January 2014
  • Wood 1

    acrylic on canvas 26” x 44” x 0” October 2013 The wood series challenges the way we process visual information. The wood block appears to pop out of the canvas toward the observer; this 3-D effect is due to the simple and familiar geometry of the block. In addition, the 3-D effect seems to be amplified by the lines that follow the contour of the block; however, upon closer inspection, the observer will note the visual deception created by the lines. The lines, in fact, seem to pierce right through the block; at the same time, the lines also melt into the grains of the wood.
  • Wood 2a

    dimensions: 26”x26”x0” medium: acrylic January 2014
  • Bowl

    acrylic on canvas 36” x 22” x 0” November 2013 The detached bowl top shows the inside of the bowl with a rock pile. The “magical operation (William Burroughs)” of a painting allows the observer to imagine a depth on a flat surface. However, the bowl, the painting, is “the body without organs (Deleuze and Guattari)” in a sense it is not a projection of a bowl and it will not have the function of containing; thus, the magic is broken.
  • Mississippi River Delta

    acrylic on canvas 40” x40” x0” March 2014 The false color satellite imagery of the Mississippi River Delta wraps around a box. Deleuze and Guattari on machine (from Anti-Oedipus): “The productive synthesis, the production of production, is inherently connective in nature…. This is because there is a flow-producing machine, and another machine connected to it that interrupts or draws off part of this flow.” This is a painting of my visualization of the above statement. The Mississippi River Delta, the painting, is the production of the production.
  • Barchan dunes and aspirins

    acrylic on canvas 44” x 46” x 0” December 2013 The components are: Barchan dunes (upper right), thermal reservoir (lower middle), aspirins (upper left), and aluminum chromate precipitate (far left) I placed the boxes at different angles creating a dynamic background. The observer’s eyes will follow the lines from a box to another where eyes would linger to study the paintings on them. The paintings on the boxes represent different senses of reality and movement: static, Aeolian, thermal, and fluid.

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