• Heo, Eun Young

Heo Eun-young, In a Seed

In Heo Eun-young’s artwork, it can be seen the small boxes harmonizing with each other, which arranged one in a large place, or a lot of small boxes  about the same size. The artist focuses on the inside of box by sticking Korean paper box to the part where cut out in square on the picture, after overlapping the Korean paper in many folds on the canvas as the support. In this way, the paper box was put on the picture. Looking it  in front, it looks like the hollow part, however, in the background, it seems to be a house built up with paper boxes.

The artist regards this solid box as “the container putting the suggestive record of personal memory or experience”. It can be recognized as ‘the warehouse of mind’, which not only implies ‘the depth of memory’ but also the significant place catching ‘the spiritual energy’. It is a sort of headquarter dealing with the behavior, emotion, and thought.

By the way, it seems to have an invisible boundary between inside and outside of the box.  Although it seems to be impossible the interchange of inside and outside, it can be an optical illusion. Actually, it operates as the medium by covering a plain glass with cloth between inside and outside. So to speak, it takes the role connecting the separate things as a pier. It still communicates and closely connects the hollow part with the outside of flat part. Somehow, it could be answered the purpose of protecting the box which is signified ‘the depth of ego’ and preventing from temptation and shock from outside.

On the surface of artwork, it reminds of the image of a certain plant. As like the first outside impression of the person who had stayed at home for a long time, it was represented in an exquisite way. It was fully filled with the vitality. Sometimes it shows the shape of an egg or the image of a plant, seed, petal, and fruit. Those images are connected with creatures, and also dyed in lovely colors, which is elaborated surface created by the artist’s great efforts. It is very soft, sweet and receptive, which can accept all things.

In the artwork, the artist would tell about the world where is not in a stain and stick, but  blooming and exuberant, and bearing fruit. It can be made the possibility to bear fruit on fallen place in the great efforts, as the soft wind consoles the weeping man. When we enter into a thick forest, we would assimilate with the nature in a mountain filled with a scent of tree. In nature, we are captured by the illusion that we are looking forward to seeing the paradise.

Heo Eun-young shows the world of wonders in her artwork. For example, she shows the images of motif connected with the feeling of vitality, and find the flash of life all things as the person planting flower seeds. It can be reached to the holy act by actively participating in the colorful mystery in universe. We have been living in the numerous mysteries in the world with the deepest gratitude and the delightful song of hope.

Since the artist used plants as the theme of her artwork from the beginning of 2000, she has been working in a series of ecology process. For instance, it represents the process of that the seeds were planted on the ground and sprung up from the ground after passing through the hardship.  As the result, it sprouts a new bud, and bears abundant fruits. Actually, the artist would not focus  on these ecological intersection about the physical view of the universe. She would mention about ‘the spiritual maturity’ and ‘the blessing of heaven’ through the process which the vital seed plants on fertile ground, becomes a strong and firm tree, and then it bears fruit.

In a careful look on the artwork, it can be found the symbolic image of vital element in a paper box. It makes a knot with thread or string of Korean paper, which the shape is too dim to recognize on the artwork. However, the artist put the knot in all boxes. It indicates the beginning of life with revealing the mystery of birth of life. It is the meaningful moment which a new life starts when the seed plants on the ground. The seed grows into a tree all grown up.

In the seed, it delivers the yearning for a new life. As the saying of William Blake, ” See the world in a sand”, the artist evokes the philosophy which could be found the truth in the little seed.

Generally speaking, human being is united with body and soul. So it is important to take  good care of the soul in our inner mind, rather than returning our body to dust. As the garden of soul, it  should be taken care like the body which can be sublimated into ‘Imago Dei’ of the Almighty. Each soul can be the gardeners working at the paradise under his control.

If the delight of earth was ‘an imitating jewelry’, the joy of paradise could be compared with ‘a real diamond’. In there, we can be found the great joy. We can share the delightful time with others as walking into the infinite land with the chorus of birds. In eventual, we can drink ‘the wine of Sharon’, which could not experience in the earth.

The artist, Heo Eun-young would tell about the hopeful world. She would like to invite the viewers to the pure land ‘scattering snowflakes’. Thus, she recalls the pure memory and clearly shows our dearest wish. In her artwork, we can be found out the desire what we are really longing for. Therefore, the moment captured by the artwork could be ushered into the world with unknown experience in the lovable aesthetic sense. As looking at a charming spectacle with covering the earth snow in white, it is the reason why the viewers can be evoked by her passionate artwork.

/ Seo Sung-rok (Department of Fine Arts at Andong University)