PEOPLE #16: Koo Youn Joo, a Korean Confucian Artist

I want a painting to be comfortably approachable and easily sympathize with an artist and viewers.
The viewers are important, because my thema for art expression is life.
I think life is to be made most beautifully.
Therefore, usually found things in living circumstance are subject matters for my artwork.
Among the various subjects, I usually paint living being.
They are human being or animals, fish, frogs, butterflies, and bird including simple plant with small flowers.
Everyone has their own life, but facing someone or something with love specially to life is rare.
We just recognize the value of exist material for human.
We are ignoring the point that human can not exist without those living beings.
Every creature has precious value of there own existing, it is not related to the kinds or way of use. Being itself is the value for life. Therefore, as I paint those beings, I do not classify animals whether it is a dog or deer, I do not describe in details whether the plants is a tree or glass.
The creatures in the canvas represent every animal and plant.
By the thought, I simplify figures with only true nature, and use basic primary colours.
In other word, I want to show the importance of life that are the true nature of animals and plants.
As simplifying the shape colors, the range of imagination can be widen and feelings in paintings. The space for sharing feelings of artist and viewers is widen through imagination inside the canvas.
And so, I paint creatures living inside a shape.
I paint life beings for an express matter, because I believe that life beings are the most beautiful thing of all. Shapes and colors can be beautiful with life.
In that thought, the earth is the most beautiful star in the space.
The earth is only one star with living beings in the space by recent discovery.
From online information, international associated research team of scientists of many countries in Europe said, “Astrophysics journal had reported2 5th of November, 2008 that a simple carbohydrate element, ‘Glycoaldehyde’ was found from 26 thousand light years away from the earth.”
Glycoaldehyde is an element that can be the origin of life, and 26 light years is as far as that an electric wave from old stone age may reach the present.
That means that the possibility of living being in the space is very rare.
It is a good proof of that the earth is the paradise of life.
We are blessed with a luck being invited to only one festival of life held in this space, now.
However, we have lost sight of the value of precious life.
There are people who abandon their life by themselves, there are many people sacrificed by a terror or war.
These are behaviors ruining the one festival of life.
When can we invited to the festival of life again?
I hope the entire human beings do not ruin this invaluable festival. Therefore, I paint a beautiful world of harmonized various living beings.
The exciting and splendid harmony of various live beings in my painting shows that this world is a Utopia.
There are some reasons that destruction is continued in the space of beautiful festival.
Among the reasons, wrong sense of value is most important, it tells to be united the world with only one kind.
People want others to have same thought and behaviors with them.
And, they devide parties according to thoughts and behaviors, different person is classified to be an evil and enemy to be eliminated.
Relative relation is divided into good and devil, so conflict is endlessly continuing and numbers of sacrifice is the result.
Our pre-exist sense of values are repeating conflict and sacrifice, and it is very difficult to have peaceful coexistence of human beings.
Because subjects always exist with relative relationship.
So, as eliminating others, new others are made again and again.
Endless terror and war are continued.
Confucianism understands the relative relationship as the cosmic dual forces, and recognizes the cosmic dual forces as complementary beings with different characters.
The other having a different way of living is a companion of oneself.
I paint humans, animals, and plant opposite direction to each other to express the different way of living.
Everything is heading up visually, but they are having different way of thought.
I want to show that complementary way is the way of living for people.
So, the painting can be hang upside-down.
We have different ways to each other.
My artwork expresses the value of life is same, it is not related to difference of human races, religions, or wealth and poverty.
Now, it is time to find new sense of values for an alternate of pre-exist sense of values that divides beings into good and evil.

The next world is divided into heaven and hell, and this world is divided into good and evil, these sense of thought is very selfish and violent.
When one party classifies the other party as an evil, they consequently remove the other party. Removing the other life is continued to satisfy instinctive feeling.
However, if there is no life, there is no nation, country, religion, nor a space for a believer.
Life creates everything.
It means that life is the top of all values.
We need sense of values to respect life the most for human coexistence.
I found a hope to solve these problems from confucianism.
Confucianism does not think relative relations to be removed.
It thinks that they are competitor and also companion for coexistence.
From this, the competition is a necessary process to make each other strong.
A relationship of complementary and check is necessary in this process.
If one side became weak disappeared, the space should be broken.
You and I are sharing a common destiny to support the space.
Human and human, and nature and human are beings to be harmonized together, by then, this world will be a paradise.

Written by Koo Youn Joo
(Introduced on Vergil America 2009. New year and Spring, 8p~17p)

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