Lives of the Artists: Jazoo Yang
What is art for me? It’s the process of documenting other’s solitude in my subjectivity.
Jazoo Yang, woman, it’s me, myself. Born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1979.
At the moment my work space is in Seoul and I live with my musician friend and a lovely puppy and a cat.
As my mom told me, I started to draw something since I could grab a pen in my early childhood. I was a stay-at-home child, painting alone instead of going out with other children. Even in my highschool years, I was always scolded by my teacher because of drawing in school hours.
After graduation, I did visual works like animation and documentary films until 2006. Since 2007, I got stuck into my painting works. In 2008, I was granted a residency in Beijing, China. Until now I’ve had four solo exhibitions and many group exhibitions.
My works are stories about modern people having no choice but to live in solitude because of the social system. It’s kinda oppressive topic but I’m really enjoying my works.
In my early works, there was the story about personal solitude. Then my eyes widened on to social solitude. How does solitude become a danger devastating the individual in modern society? It’s my focus that I’ve been working on. Solitude in the past was a philosophically exclusive thing to some elites, but in modern times it is like an actual disease from a social structure. It frequently happens as visible cases like extreme crimes e.g. wanton murder, a depression and a suicide.
There have been three stages in my works.
The first one, is called “Monster Series”. My works reproduced human figures turned into monsters by solitude and isolation.
The second one: “The Face Series”. In this my focus moved into the inner side from the outside figure. There was the story about the emptiness of solitary and isolated human’s inner core, the silence of an emptiness and the staring at the desire for something to be fulfilled.
The latest one, “The Excretion Series”, contains the moment of releasing exploding emotions all at once – anger, frustration, desire, conflict, confusion and chaos.
Besides my general works, I’ve been steadily doing Street-Art works like drawing on the wall in the street. This is so interesting. I draw a painting on the rubbish that I pick up on the street, then I put it back in its place where it was. It’s really fun for me that people enjoy unexpected painting on the street. Street works give me thrill and fun, like an adventure.
Making infinite space on a plane surface
I use my actual body for my works with minimum using of tools like a brush and a knife. There is the mixture of finger-painting and action-painting. It immerses me in the act of painting, like a trance. Furthermore it takes various sincere emotions out of my unconscious. The act of painting means the work of harmonizing body and mind for me. The immersion in that brings my energy, ‘ki (氣, chinese character)’ out. The aim of my works is to make infinite space on a limited plane. ‘A dot, a line and a face’ holding my ‘ki’ has continuous movement. I make them extend into that infinite space.
Giving eternal vitality to a dot, a line and a face by combining body and mind
I also pay attention to the painting itself. A true painting has the characteristic of the material like run-down, sprinkled, sticked, crumbled and scratched. The movement of a painter, the pace of a work and the intensity of emotion are found from those characteristics. To make the most of the material’s characteristic becomes the process of releasing the characteristic, and of freedom. The completion means the end so I just explode my energy. I never complete my painting. After pouring my momentary energy to my canvas, I just leave it as it is. As a result, the fixed and limited plane surface becomes the infinite space.
‘A dot, a line and a face’, holding my energy, infinitely extend to the space by themselves.
I usually keep late hours so mainly work at dawn. Also I hate the bloody cold and consequently sleep all day in the winter time like bears, what a hibernation!
I love music so much, I can’t work without music. I mostly listen to the music of British and Japanese indie-bands. Especially Thom Yorke. And experimental music like Lali Puna, Isan, Helios….they are my favorites.
These days I’ve got a plan for a Live-Drawing performance with DJs and bands – it’s going to be on Wednesday 27th October, my first live art performance!
This autobiography is part of the Escape into Life Lives of the Artists Series