Concept video by Jillian Meyers and Damian (by Julia Borrebaeck)
Please introduce yourself and tell me what you enjoy most about your art?
I am a California based sculptor and installation artist. I enjoy exploring new, recycled, and industrial materials for my textile sculptures and installations. I search for formable materials that I experiment with to determine their characteristics. These materials in part give me inspiration for my concepts. I discovery whole new concepts, when I collaborate with my materials.
What were the strongest inspirations for the ideas and materials of your most recent work on your senior thesis exhibition?
The theme for my project is a memorial monumental sculpture, to honor the victims of ‘The May 18, 1980 Gwangju Democratic Movement’ in South Korea. Most victims of the massacre were young students and workers. A memorial idea came to me when I heard the news about the global action for the massacre in Ayotzinapa, Mexico.
On September 26, 2014, 43 male students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College held a protest about the discriminatory hiring and funding practices of the Mexican government. The student-teachers also had plans to solicit transportation costs, for their trip to Mexico City for the anniversary march of the 1968 student massacre in Tlatelolco. However, on their way there, the students were intercepted by the municipal police force and all protesters went missing and all were presumed dead. The massacre sparked protests worldwide. When I heard the news, it broke my heart. The students were around 20 years’ old. They were young visionary activists who could have helped change Mexico’s future. By memorializing this sadly similar Korean incident, I wanted young people to remember, yet still believe that they have the power to change their countries future. I also want to tell them, do not be afraid of telling the truth because if we do not fight the false, it becomes true.
The material for this project is commercial PVC black mesh. The unified upward forms and black obscured mesh represents the courageous spirits of the victims that follows their inner faith.
What were some of the best learning experiences during the Senior Thesis Project class?Some of the best moments of the Senior Project Class were during the critique of my senior project, by my classmates and our teacher. This great feedback persuaded me to challenge myself to see my work from their varying perspectives. These challenges improved my work, making my structure stronger which allowed me to deliver my ideas more effectively. And additionally when I participated in my peers’ presentations which helped me develop a more critical view towards my own work.
Interview with Sosun Park (by Hyesun Kim)
Re-Collection, Sosun Park
Mixed Media (Asian papers, twigs) with acrylic on wood panel. 4’x4’, 2015.
What initiated the thought process and overall idea behind this particular work? What does the concept of ‘identity’ mean to you?
I’ve reached my identity since studying abroad in the U.S. One day, I met friends who were members of EGO( UC Berkeley Korean Traditional Percussion Group) and I went to their performance. When I saw their performance, I had really weird complex emotions that I felt happiness, sadness, anger at the same time because many young Korean people don’t appreciate their own culture of art. And I was the one who didn’t appreciate Korean traditional culture before. Since then, I started the series of Korean traditional colors wanted to represent Korean cultural spirit as I felt from Korean traditional music. For the last semester, I wanted to challenge myself and develop my ideas of Korean traditional colors. So, I decided to find new media that I have never used such as Asian rice paper and twigs. I am still figuring out my identity… but I would say that the concept of identity means awareness of appreciating the beauty of my traditional culture.
I know that you performed with traditional Korean instruments during the opening reception of “Prototype”. What is the significance of the performance with your work?
As I said above, my work, Re-collection, is inspired by Korean traditional colors. But the first inspiration of my Korean traditional colors series is Korean traditional music, Pungmul. I believe that performing Korean drumming in front of my work could depict my theme perfectly. I hope audiences felt the the strong Korean cultural spirit that I have felt while playing Korean traditional music.
Does the choice of medium have any significance? What about the colors used?
The works in my recent series combine Korean traditional colors and modern media to represent the beauty of the Korean cultural spirit. The traditional Korean colors are Blue, Red, Yellow, White, Black. Each of these five colors represent the different seasons of the year and also the different cardinal directions on the compass. My style uses complex patterns with abstract lines on the canvas. I tried to create abstract works with painted materials. The combination of traditional Korean acrylic colors and new media such as Asian papers and twigs depict Korean pride and the traditional Korean cultural spirit against the struggle of globalization. This contrast of the traditional with the new represents the important and at times impossible struggle to preserve traditional culture.