"My impulse to do work involves a desire to advance the notion not only of a post-medium aesthetic encounter with painting but also one that implicates a principle of performativity."
Could you tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been a practicing artist and where did you study?
[Sic] I graduated with a BA in Fine Artat the Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul in 2014 and achieved an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art (First Class Honors), London in 2016. During the two years of MA course, I wanted to experience the "real art field" by running more than ten group exhibition and projects. Especially I have tried various works such as collaborating with performances and other fields as an artist. Due to the working environment of the time difference between two countries, I have experienced whole new works. Among them, I took in part of an opening exhibition of Doodle Gallery in Seoul. There my performance was being broadcasted live through the gallery and on YouTube. I feel the joy to work in countries where they have different cultures. This is because the unfamiliar environment affects my work. In the field of art which constantly requires creativity, allows motivation and inspiration contrast to the unstable and unfamiliar working environment.
Some of your more recent works are large scale paintings partnered with objects situated in front of the pieces. Could you talk about the reasons for the objects and how you feel it changes the dynamics of the painting?
[Sic] My impulse to do work involves a desire to advance the notion not only of a post-medium aesthetic encounter with painting but also one that implicates a principle of performativity. It is not so much a question of painting being live as much as the process by which it is able to occur. The painting has a tendency to redrawn from its own generative questions so I see practice has to be the exploration of this edge between it being something and yet being part of a risk of disappearing outside of the elected boundary through which it is named. Based on my notion forwards painting, I have started to do wall-painting and created sculpted landscapes. The wall painting as painting degrades to the background while there are an object and performance with a musical instrument and during the process, it remains painting. The performance is a catalyst between painting and sculpture.
As well as painting and installation you also create computer generated videos, like the work: “My Little Fountain”. The graphics are very retro/basic giving it a nostalgia value, could you talk about the thoughts behind them and the process of these works?
[Sic] The feature of my work is a mixed media installation. For the pursuit of the perfect landscape, I spend all kinds of passion and effort. The day or even a few hours after, the perfected landscape degrades to incomplete work. The standard for perfection is constantly changing; I was the only one who knew the process and relocating of the object constantly. The situation of repeating work was immensely stressing but it was the source to lead the work into new work. I was satisfied with the result of overcoming the stress into work; The kaleidoscopic scene of working was recreated into animation. It is the media that shows how much effort is being invested for a landscape.
The installation piece “My Little Mountain” seems to depict hills/sand dunes made out of sugar or flour. Could you talk about this piece and the intentions behind it?
[Sic] I have started creating a landscape under the theme of magical landscape. I wanted it to look both manmade and natural scenery; the exotic landscape was created through various scale, colour and texture. I am not fond of explaining the work with defined art terms. Specially my work of object as a sculpture and the object in painting takes apart the boundaries and affects each other. The work "My Little Fountain" is a landscape created by geometrical figure of which best reflects the artist, Jae Jo’s identity.
What do you hope the viewer gains/reacts from looking at your work?
I hope they associate and think through my work whatever that may be. I have focused on the feeling of a poem that leaves resonance just like the work which spiritually inspiring. The feeling of excitement and curiosity of a child reading a bedtime story would be the one I am hoping for.
Tell us a bit about how you spend your day/studio routine? What is your studio like?
[Sic] My workspace is no different from home. Abundant food is critical because it helps to feel calm; the comfortable beach chair is essential because it helps to take a nap. It is a lonely life on a foreign soil but the things that comfort me are within two or three meters!
How do you go about naming your work?
[Sic] I enjoy creating new words, sentences and writing a poem. I tend to name my work by thinking each workpiece as a literary work or a diary.
What artwork have you seen recently that has resonated with you?
[Sic] Anthea Hamilton's work comes to mind. Her choice of material, formative beauty and the colour were impressive. As her work, "Man's buttocks" is direct as her ways of short and direct speech which are enough to attractive me. Even though I had a short tutorial with her I could feel her human aspects; It was the time, she as an Artist, she became an example to me. I congratulate her being nominated for Tuner prize and wishing her the best. I look forward to seeing her deeply moving work.
What does the future hold for you as an artist? Is there anything new and exciting in the pipeline you would like to tell us about?
[Sic] By nature, I like working in a dynamic environments so I was thinking of traveling but for the time being, I am planning to work in London. Creating a perfect view is my goal for the next year or so. I imagine the perfect view, which is the perfect stage, placed in an unusual environment. I too wonder the outcome of the landscape when it escapes the white wall.
Publishing date of this interview: 12/08/16