Yang Seung-ok calls herself a wild flower. Whenever she walks countryside, she never pass unnoticed any tiny, coarse flower. She is so naive that we can't believe her age, over 50. She has very sensitive sensibility. She closes her eyes to feel the touch of wind and to listen to the sound of raindrops. When she is absorbed in drawing, sometimes she wields a broom so earnestly that she seems to be possessed or she is so active that she looks like an active volcano, but sometimes she sweeps and sweeps with a broom calmly just like a mediator.
She sweeps and sweeps with a broom. The repetition of sweeping with a broom makes some thick traces on the papers, or on the canvases. The thick traces of broom sweeping with seems to suggest the thick layers of her life time or the vague, unknown world beyond the horizon of sea. In her works, we can recognize the concept of time and at the same time, the concept of space. She suggests the concepts of time and space not by drawing with a brush but by sweeping with a broom. Her sweeping with a broom is similar to a performance. I asked her why she sweeps with a broom. She answered, " a broom is a means by which I sweep off all the negatives of my mind. I sweep and sweep on the canvases to sweep off my desires, tears, and pains."
Is it possible for her to open the door by knocking? She knocks on the canvases to go into the world which she seeks after. Through knocking, she opens the door and goes into the world of freedom. She says that at the moment of hot meeting with the canvases and brooms, the world of freedom and peace is opened. In the world of hot meeting, the free vitality, as a never vanishing flame, comes out of the ecstasy which she experiences in knocking and knocking.
Like this, the 'sweep' series also contains the natural vitality of wild flowers. As we know, she called herself a wild flower. What she intends to contain in the canvases, that is, what she wants to sweep off or to open by knocking, is finally in herself. Her attitude to see her own self is not the denial or the criticism of self but the gaze at the self in existence. She identifies herself with a wild flower and ,through the vitality of wild flowers, she gazes at herself.
The gaze starts at friendly looking at things and nature. The key to the truth is in the self and it can be discovered through self identification by gazing at the self. According to Krishnamurti, a modern philosopher and a master of mind, "the gaze is moving every moment. So it is not a habitual which can be practiced. The habitual mind is short of sensibility. And the mind which dwells in the conventional action is dull and stubborn. On the other hand, the gaze needs flexibility and sensitivity. The gaze is a process of liberation from the action of the self. The more expanded the gaze is, the more free from all the action such as thoughts, motives, and the pursuits of desire we are. Because the gaze means the freedom and it produces the freedom. He says that the gaze is the truth as it was and the simple truth of our daily life. So to advance farther, we have to understand the truth of our daily life and to start from things close to us. If we can understand something close to us, we can understand something far from us. Therefore, the distance between something close with something far doesn't exist in real. Because the beginning and the end are one.
Like this, Yang's 'sweep' is the gaze in which she finds herself. She is free from a certain specific discussion or modern difficult codes. Through the knocking with a broom(which is a wild flowers and at the same time, herself), we can have a contemplative time in the midst of heavy and busy life, and meet a wild flower as a religious mediator. The black points which she made through knocking on the canvas, look like wild flowers waving in the wind or look like a heavy silence after the wind stops blowing. This is the place which conceives life. Through countless knocking, she has a hot meeting with the gaze at life and at the same time, a portrait of self. By knocking, Yang meets a portrait of herself with the gaze of life, and opens the door into freedom which she desires eagerly to open.
If we can feel a certain delight which she may meet through sweeping and sweeping, through knocking and knocking, with flexibility and sensitivity, if we can meet the portrait of herself with our clear mind and imagination, we can be able to go into the door which she knocks at and to have a hot meeting with the world of vitality and infinite freedom. (*translated by Kim, Eun-kyung)
Kim Ok-real (Independent curator)
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