Young Min Choi

I was, I am, and I will be at certain time and location at each moment throughout my life. It has been almost 33 years of various times and locations. Such time and location are coordinates that prove my being by objects (including figures) existed around me at that place and at that moment.

My existence is proven by other people, objects, surrounding environments, and time. Time never comes back so each moment is unique. Environment slowly changes through time so they work together. Objects around me are not originally planned to be there for my art but they are just there with or without good purpose. Unplanned existence is perfectly sincere, just like a pebble sitting by a river.

Accordingly, “encounter” is sincere. We all have had experienced different times and locations until an encounter happens. An individual exists independently but dependent on other individual(s) to prove its own being. We communicate with each other in many ways to understand each other’s being. Sometimes sensing each other’s silent existence can communicate louder than a well spoken speech.

I paint those unplanned beings I encounter that prove my time and location. It not only proves the physical existence of me, but also implies the metaphysical emotions of each moment. Physicality is what we see on the outside and metaphysical nature exists inside of each being. There is a wine glass in my studio that someone gave me, and I naturally think about that person whenever I use that glass.

A guest who enters my studio and uses the same exact glass will not share the same exact emotion I feel. We cannot see, touch, smell, hear, or taste one’s thoughts but we know that we can sense the metaphysical nature of each person. On the surface of my works, spectators will see a finished painting(or unfinished to someone), but each painting is an artifact of a small history called “I”.

I only see what I can see and others are objects around me. Same logic applies to other beings and that is the essential beginning of the relationship. We all start from knowing “I”. Multiple “I”s will form “We”.

Furthermore, it will form a complex structure called society. I focus on what I see and what I feel to record the objects that naturally exist around me. There is no special reason for this activity. I am only willing to prove my being through this process only because I will. I paint them as I feel at each moment, and my paintings will quietly exist at the spectators’ sight, and hopefully an inexplicable communication happens between them. Sometimes a moment of eye contact can initiate something that thousand words cannot do.

Historically, painting (or drawing) has been the most primitive form of visual expression of human mind. It not only captures the physical forms of the objects, but also a painter’s emotional connotation becomes the essential value. As I keep questioning myself about my own subjectivity as an artist, I sense an inexplicable and primordial core on the very bottom of my mind. It naturally resulted in choosing painting as a medium to record visual languages of my own.

Oil paint enables a painter to paint more freely due to the slow drying time. Other painting mediums, especially acrylic, may seem quicker to handle but such quick drying time limits the painter from breathing more slowly. Oil paint allows enough time and breathing space for the painter to slowly make moves to project images on the surface, while acrylic forces a painter to move as quickly as possible and that limits all the chances that time can do.

Also, the sense of color that oil paint produces feels more natural than the synthetic palette of acrylic. Such characteristics of oil paint works cohesively with my subject matter. It allows me to continue slowly sensing the existence of the object, and it will open the door to much larger freedom than acrylic to encounter unintended chances that may or may not happen through a silent communication between the object and I.


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