Unit 1 - Part I




Mongyudowondo was based on a dream that Anpyeong Daegun had on the 20th of April 1447.


Anpyeong Daegun had a dream about a beautiful open land full of peaches and bamboo trees, this utopian scenary deeply touched him.


Wanting to capture this dream, he commissioned Artist An Gyeon to make this painting.


An Gyeon listened to his dream and realised this painting in three days. 


It’s currently displayed in Tenri University in Japan.


I’m forever fascinated by the way this imagined landscape is depicted in panorama style, and the way it captures the grandeur of nature.

Tetsuya Ishida was a painter known for portraying 失われた十年 the Lost Decade.


( between 1991 and early 2000s, economic stagnation was caused by the asset price bubble's


collapse ) He explores themes of isolation, alienation and despair.



Beauty is Embarrassing- 2012 Neil Berkeley

Screenshot 2021-01-10 at 01.26.19.png

A documentary about American Artist Wayne White.


He talks about the making of Pee Wee's playhouse and his other artistic adventures.

He lives life on his own regards.


Unit 1 - Part II


Sophie Calle was one of my first biggest influences,


She's very good at engaging with her audience, using many different mediums and


I also love that she's always pushing the limitations and borders of art.


Her work is both intimate and universal, the first work I've seen by her was


" Voir La Mer " a documentation of people seeing the sea for the first time in their lives.


She read in the newspaper that there were people in Istanbul who had never seen the sea


before. She found this intriguing as Istanbul was surrounded by the sea.


She invited 14 people to come see the sea for the first time and filmed their reaction.


The film still from the series was published as a book,


and the film was shown in many different locations including galleries,


New York Times Square and Shibuya crossing.


Prouvost works with language and nature.


In one of her artist talks she says


" I always felt neither my French or English was very good.

It's something that I always struggle with, but I love that words create images."


" I think writing opens a lot of visuals, everyone has their own image of a window, the seaside, etc"


" I love the misunderstandings "


This reminded me of the quote by philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein


( He worked with language, science and silence. )


“ The limits of my language mean the limits of my world. “


Prouvost makes work about what we lose and also gain in these conversations.,contemporain%20de%20Rochechouart%20in%20France.


In Korean there’s a word called “ 언어유희”


Which roughly translates to “ The amusement and joy of playing with words “



" When I'm drawing I become free, nobody can hurt me" - Lee


Lee Jung Seob (1916~1956) was known for being one of the most influential painters from Korea.


His style was considered modern western style.


During the Korean war ( 1950- 1953 ) 


Lee couldn't make artwork freely as the village up north he lived in had fallen under communist rule.


Lee fled to take refuge in Jeju island with his family seeking freedom and safety.


However after suffering in poverty, his wife and two sons leave to stay in Japan.


During the war, Lee struggled to find art material.


So he made drawings using cigarette packing foil, stitching awl, and wooden pens.


He lived another three years after war, during these years he made oil paintings of oxes and cows.


This drawing was included alongside with the letter sent to his child during the Korean War.

Lee was staying behind in Korea while his wife and two sons fled to Japan.

The description under the drawing reads

" My Taehyun, I hope you are healthy.

This is a drawing of you, your brother and your mother riding a beautiful brown cow.

Daddy is taking you to the warmer country, the thing above the cow is a cloud."


Anne Ryan is an Irish Painter based in London.


Earthly delites was roughly based on the painting " The Garden of Earthly Delights "


by Hieronymus Bosch. I still remember seeing this Earthly Delites exhibition last year and being


completely blown away.


The downstairs floor of the gallery was covered in cut out sculptures that were also paintings at the


same time. The colours were lively and vibrant. The cutouts were propped up on top of wooden


tables. It was almost eye level, so it definitely helped the viewers to enjoy every corner of these


standing paintings. Ryan uses hard cardboard and cuts out her imagined desired shapes and


paints them, this way she is frees herself  from the burden of  traditional square shaped canvases.


A sensational film about alienation and the limitations we face from language and love.


this film forever intrigues me and is definitely a movie that has been engraved in my heart.


Coppola portrays the heavy loneliness that comes from being far away from the world one


once experienced before. The feeling of being in exile, without being actually exile.


Interestingly this movie in Korea was called " 사랑도 통역이 되나요"


which translates to " Can love be translated "


In Spain it was called " Perdidos en Tokio "  which roughly translates to " Lost in Tokyo " 


It would be wonderful to write about alienation as a seperate subject.


Bantock, N. and Chronicle Books (Firm (1991). Griffin & Sabine : an extraordinary correspondence. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.

This book was originally recommended by my American History teacher in highschool.


Micah, if you're reading this, I would like to say thank you.


In this imaginary correspondence, Bantock creates the character Griffin from London.


Griffin is a miserable and lonesome artist in his middle age, who one day receives a postcard from


an illusive character named Sabine who is also an artist and she claims to have admired him a


long time. Throughout this mystical series, it's very unclear if Sabine was ever real or a fragment of


Griffin's lonely mind. The book contains photocopies of the postcards and envelopes that open up


with printed letters. Inviting the viewers into their world.


Bantock's works reminds me of Joseph Cornell.


The imagery of birds and the poetic way he controls space,


his works also reminds me of the American artist Ray Johnson.


Ray used to mail his art to actual people, and in this way he collaborated with many minds despite


being an incredibly shy and reserved, enigmatic person.



Myoung ho Lee creates new ways of seeing through his photography.


He is interested in wiping out time and space and applying new meaning to his subjects.


The canvas is used as  a device to help him to discover another layer of truth.


Laing, O. (2017). Lonely city - adventures in the art of being alone. Canongate Books Ltd.


On Henry Darger


" Nothing is more declarative of someone's priorities than how they spend their money,


Particularly when they don't have much of it.


Hot dogs for lunch, begging his neighbours for the gift of soap,


but 246 enlargements of children, clouds, flowers, soldiers, tornadoes and fires, so that he 


could incorporate actual beauty and disaster into his unreal world. "





I started this scarf while reading Como Agua Para Chocolate by Laura Esquivel.

In the second chapter of the book, the main character starts knitting a big blanket whilst going through the most unbearable time of her life.

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Sometimes the idea of someone in our mind is completely fabricated because of their position. For instance the way I see my friend Hinako might be completely different from how her boss sees her. It's very hard to get an accurate understanding of someone. Yet we long so hard to be understood. The American writer J. D. Salinger lived as a hermit isolated in a house in New Hampshire.

He wrote most of his books in solitude. Especially the books about the Glass family who was an imaginary family of child prodigies becoming lost later in life.

When people are young they often have imaginary friends yet

as we grow older we are no longer permitted such luxury.


This series of photographs were made to try and capture the disenchantment of January. It breaks my heart to see all these trees being thrown out knowing that just a month prior to this they were beautifully decorated and cherished.

I wanted to give the trees some kind of voice and representation.

My intent was to take hundreds of these photos and display them covered on walls of a gallery overwhelming the viewers. I wanted people to stop and have second thoughts.

To question the things we simply brush away.


Just an imagined underwater scene where everything is quiet and pleasant.


" Nothing is more difficult than surrendering to the instant.


That difficulty is human pain.


It is ours. I surrender in words and I surrender when I paint. "


From the book Agua Viva by Claire Lispector


Sometimes when I feel incredibly stuck, trapped and unhappy I like to edit films.

Making films about life was heavily influenced by growing up in the early 2000s with video cameras. I remember everything I did was filmed by my father who followed me around with his camcorder. At the time I was annoyed but as years went by I started doing the same, recording everything because I understood that this might be the last time I see them. After watching "50 First Dates", an American romantic comedy movie where the main character suffers from short term memory loss and her love interest ends up making a movie about their love story to play every morning as she wakes up to help her remember her brief history and life events. It just inspired me more to do it. The song played on the background of this video is called "Fences" by a Korean rapper named Woo. He is rapping about being trapped within himself, being so frustrated by

the walls he built and knowing that the only way to break free was to keep making music. I chose this track because everywhere seems to be fenced up in this city and also since covid happened I think everybody feels locked up in themselves. It is impossible to ignore yourself when you are the only one left in your life. Making these videos declutter my mind so I call this "Dust Bunny"

Research: Part 1 unit 2


For Unit 2, I was interested in the idea of correspondences.


Because of the pandemic, as we were unable to see each other.


My best friend Stripey started writing letters-


And naturally we started to pen pal.


It's such a historic way of communicating. And I wanted to discover this in the field of art.


Hatoum's Palestinian family was forced into exile, and moved to Lebanon before she was born.


Hatoum was born in Lebanon and raised there. In 1975, when Hatoum was in London.


The Civil war broke out, she couldn't return back to Lebanon.


This piece portrays intimacy, separation and feminity.


The screen displays a series of letters between the artist and her mother.


You can her recordings of her mother's voice and the artist's voice narrating over the recordings in


English. Towards the end of the piece, you hear the artist's voice narrating the following.


" I have not seen any of them for 8 months now...


You have to dial for days to get through to Beirut "


It was visually really interesting, because as I cannot read Arabic,


I couldn't really read between the lines, and ended up heavily relying on Hatoum's english


narrations. The last minute of the video was jarring and hard to sit through,


as you feel emerged in the artist's loneliness and confusion,


and the grief and hopelessness that comes from not being able to reach each other.


I got up - On Kawara


This is a moving series of artwork that was made each morning the artist woke up.


He wrote on a postcard, the time he woke up and sent it to his friends or colleagues.


As we move through these series, you can see the cities change and there's a sense of travel.


It's interesting how commercial the postcards look,


and at the back the message states the exact time Kawara woke up, there's nothing else written.


This series captures the repetitive nature of life, it made me rethink about the borders between art


and life. This work by Kawara reminded me of the work I saw in Tate a few years ago.


It was Tehching Hsieh's " One Year Performance 1980- 1981 "


For 1 year, Hsieh punched a time clock at the beginning of every hour and photographed himself.


You can visually see the passing of time, as all the photograph strips were displayed on the wall.


It was an overwhelming piece, but I often think about it when thinking about how to portray the


passing of time in works.


Take Care of Yourself - Sophie Calle


Sophie Calle collaborated with 107 women in different professions, by sending them a break up


letter she received, and asked for their interpretations.


I had the hardback book version of this work and it consisted of the responses and


a picture of each women reading the letter that was originally addressed to Sophie.


My favourite interpretation of the letter was Sophie Calle's mother's response.


She simply wrote a letter to Sophie, and it was incredibly touching.


It was also interesting to see how everyone responded quite personally as if


Sophie's letter was addressed to them. Sophie Calle said she decided to share the break up letter


with women, as she felt that the letter was clearly stated to a woman from a man.


It's interesting how audience become an active part of the work when you invite them for an active






After his grandmother passed away,


Mingwei was left with many things he wanted to tell his grandma.


He spent a year writing about 100 letters to his grandma.


At the end of this process, he collected all the letters and burnt them into ashes in hopes of reaching


her. For this piece, Mingwei built three wooden writing booths.


And invited the audience to write letters themselves.


The Walking Man Diary - Ian Breakwell


This isn't a piece about letter writing or correspondence,


but I decided to include it anyways, as it expresses some of the ideas that I've been exploring.


Breakwell started a continous dairy in 1965, where he recorded small details of his life.


Exploring the moments of alienation and absurdity.


This was a series of photos he took of a man he spotted through the window.


It actually hits a wall when it comes to connection, as the man was unaware of Breakwall.


It makes me question how much we really know another person.


Ray Johnson was the first artist that came to mind, when it came to correspondences.


He was mostly introverted and awkward, but he connected and collaborated with


colleagues and audiences through mailing his work.


It's such a playful approach and doesn't require confrontation.


I love to imagine that once we make art, it stands on it's own and has it's own life to live.


So I think the true magic happens when the maker lets the piece go-


Jitish Kallat - Covering Letter


For this exhibition, Kallat screen projected Ghandi's letter for peace into the exhibition space.


Audiences were invited to walk through this letter.


This letter was written to Hitler by Ghandi, as an urgent, desperate plea for peace.


This letter never reached Hitler, as it was stopped by the colonial government.


While reading this, I remembered an old saying.


" 역사를 잊은 민족에게 미래는 없다. "


Sean Landers: Art, Life and God, 1990

This is a series of journal written by the artist Sean Landers.


It's a sort of letter to himself, and addressed to audiences as well. The handwriting makes it more


intimate. It gives you a window to his life and sorrows, also within the writings he discusses  the


uncertainty of sharing something with an audience, and expresses his own doubts and struggles.


Research: Part 2 unit 2


This was my first time seeing Jessica Rankin's painting in real life.


There were small etchings in her paintings made with thread,


This piece was my favourite piece, it was energetic, and the watered down paint made


the painting look fluid and free.


The way the white paint splashes and explodes across the two paintings was magnetizing.


When I noticed the etching on the canvas, it was like finding a message in a bottle!


This piece was made with recycled Korean traditional handmade paper called " Hanji"


A lot of the details are lost in the photograph, but in real life, the grey stripes are all textured blade


looking spikes that stick out of the painting.


Ishida made many pieces that show the devastating reality of 失われた十年 ( The Lost Decades )


During the bubble economy between 1986 to 1991, things were looking up in Japan.


( You can see this through popular culture such as tv and music.  )


However in 1992 the bubble bursted leaving companies full of debt,


wages dropped, and mortgages became impossible to pay off.


I think a part of the reason why Ishida made such paintings was because he was one of the


generation that was hit hard by the Lost Decades, he must have been only 19 when the economy


collapsed, and witnessed the horrendous effects it had on society and people.


I think he captured the distress of the times so well.


And that's what a wonderful artist can do, capture the times the happiness and pains of the world.


“When I think about what to paint, I close my eyes and imagine my- self from birth to death. But what then appears is human beings, the pain and anguish of society, its anxiety and loneliness, things that go far beyond me.” - Tetsuya Ishida


With social distancing going on, I remembered this piece by Bourgeois and it made me wonder if


we can ever social distance ourselves from ourself.




Cathedral- Raymond Carver


The short stories were bitter sweet, they were magnetizing. It pulls the reader into the world


of the main characters and finishes after a punch, leaving you stunned..


There was a slightly sad undertone to all the stories, but it was sad and funny at the same time.


The Stranger- Albert Camus


Camus's work has been misunderstood by some of the audiences, being classified as a nihilist.


In fact, in this book you can see how much Meursault appreciates small moments in life.


It's just that he does not believe in dishonesty, and that dishonesty includes exaggerating his


feelings. His principles are against being a scoundrel, yet the ending of the story would've


changed if he had been a scoundrel. He would've been treated better if he had been dishonest.


This book really reminded me of a haunting short story I read in high school called


" Bartleby, the Scrivener " written by Herman Mellville in 1853.


There's almost 100 years between the birth of Bartleby and Meursault.


Yet they share many similar traits.


( Although, Bartleby shows clear symptoms of depression whereas Meursault doesn't. )


It makes me wonder if Camus read Mellville before writing The Stranger.


Bartleby works in an office, and he's a hardworking calm scrivener at the beginning of the story.


He used to work in the dead letter office, and the author imagines this may have broken him in a


way. As time passes, Bartleby shows less and less interest in doing anything.


When he's asked to work, he replies " I'd prefer not to. "


He's always at the office, and ends up doing nothing but staring blankly outside.


He eventually gets moved out of the office building and dies.


What's so interesting is, the writer ( lawyer in the office )


seems to identify with Bartleby and writes about him and his sadness with love.


Ah Bartleby, Ah Humanity!




This movie was the touching film, and personally the best film by Godard.


Anna Karina's performance was just devastating,


Nana is misunderstood and disenchanted, dealing with heart-break and poverty.


( Disenchantment would be a great theme for future research )


And she tips into another way of living,


the way the talking sequences were filmed is breath taking.


This scene is really interesting, as you can see that Nana is with her friend,


but clearly their thoughts are not together, as Nana speaks to her friend,


her friend is out of the frame, making it look like Nana is giving a monologue, not a conversation


This film follows the life of a young girl named Mona.


She wanders, hitch-hikes and drifts through the South of France.


I remember the conversation between Mona and a farm owner she meets.


The farm owner genuinely cares about her


and tells her how he used to do the same, but he had to settle down.


And how all his friends who were drifters ended up dying- from addiction, destruction, etc.


Unable settle down, Mona leaves and continues meeting people, leaving them, drifting away.


Mona cannot compromise within the social structure,


but her choice of freedom also leads her to destruction.


The movement in this film was amazing, and it was restless to watch-


as Mona becomes more and more restless through her wanderings.


This film reminded me of another Varda film released more than 20 years prior to this one.


It was called " Cleo from 5 to 7 " and followed Cleo.


Cleo is a singer struggling through the city,


she is anxious, stressed and surrounded by people who don't take her


at all seriously, feeling isolated and confused, and she is afraid of dying,


( she thinks she has cancer ) She seems to be at her darkest hour.


She feels weary depends on everyone around her to make her feel better.


Halfway through the film, Cleo is given a new song to sing, which is about death.


She explodes, she finally screams at the musicians for exploiting her ( stands up for herself )


She rips her wig off, breaks off a love affair with Angelle, she is able to open up and be honest


with a stranger she meets in the park. She becomes more at ease.


Vagabond was more jarring, because although she started off as a secretary in the city ( which is


not shown on the film, but briefly mentioned by Mona ) similar to Cleo, Cleo is at a more promising


hopeful stage by the end of the film, and Mona isn't.



While making a drawing Louise says,


" what is in this piece is under my control "


This sense of control was really important to her.


" There's nostalgia surrounding her work, when you meet her you almost touching history.


you're making contact with the very long time ago, the whole century..."


Reconstruction of the past,. Louise's time in New York, both the freedom and loneliness.


In this documentary, you also learn about Louise's feelings about motherhood,


the guilt, burden, the freedom and loneliness she felt in New York.


Wook-Kyung Choi 최욱경 1940~1985


Before we discuss her paintings,


I thought this was one of the most important pieces of writing ever done and wanted to share it.


It's Choi's thoughts on her creative process.

Since it was originally in Korean and I couldn't find translations of it anywhere,

I've tried translating it myself. Here we go.

Hope you enjoy.


" Creation is a lonely battle with myself.

My works are a combination of past, present and future attached to a space called Canvas.

Right now, in this moment as we meet, there is existence of the both of us.

Time does not only mean the process itself, but rather it is a common concept that can be bound into a space. The distinction between the past, present and future is a funny story.


For instance, when I look at the petals of a flower,

I imagine the process of the flower's stem growing, the moment the flower opens up, etc.

This mysterious world, as the greatness of its vitality shudders, electrifies my body.

It's a moment of catharsis! And I try to present the whole experience.


When I'm looking at Rothko's paintings,

I feel like I'm on my knees in front of the sacred altar.

The static nature and the mysteriousness of the innocence makes me suffocate.


Rothko's masterpieces seem rather full of simplicity, he filters out colours and shapes.

The maturity of colour mixing, the perspective that is already beyond the object..

I also admire the slightest bit of loneliness that coldly exposes the painter's position.


It's hard to say that my work was influenced by Rothko, but anyway,

the way I've been feeling these days are very similar to the atmosphere of his paintings.


I enjoy listening to Mahler's Symphony No.2. "Resurrection" especially Mov. 5, "Im Tempo des Scherzo. Wild herausfahrend "

I like canned beer, and smoke about two packs of cigarettes a day.

It's more than that when I'm working on paintings.

I drink about 20 cups of coffee a day.


Sometimes I'm tired of being alive.

I get so pissed off that I want to cry, I want to run away somewhere,

When I'm feeling this way, I bury myself in the canvas for days. It's a kind of an escape.

It's also a fierce battle with yourself.


I make series of pictures based on my dreams.

We must be wanderers lying between dreams and reality.

Actually, I've been practicing dreaming for a long time.

It's kind of like self-hypnosis.

Consciously walking into my dream world.

Ripping dreams out and gluing them onto canvases, wouldn't that be the nature of abstract paintings?


I'm also interested in Korean mythology.

Like the upright structure of humans, there is a vertical structure between the sky and the ground.

It's a rising structure, so to speak. Man is born from the union of heaven and earth.

and when he dies, the spiritual thing is that he returns to the sky, and the flesh, which is only the shell, returns to earth. I think dreams have the same structure as myths.

It's a rising structure.


This is the spatial concept of painting.

Because the ground is flat and the sky is space,

Isn't abstraction a long journey into space? "



She was as innocent as she was passionate.


One day she was sitting by the window at a restaurant, and started to tear up.


When her friend asked her why she was crying.


She replied. " It's raining "


She published two books of poetry throughout her life,


" Small Stones " and " Like Stranger's faces "


Everything I'm posting here about Wook-Kyung Choi has been translated by me.


( There's not enough press coverage of Choi in English, so I had to research deeper than usual )


" I met you in a dream last night after a long time. You were a distant person who couldn't be reached in isolation despite your golden smile and familiar kindness.

If only I hadn't met you again in a dream...…

You once again made me sad in your dreams like you used to.

November 8, 1992 Choi Wook-kyung "


This monologue-like poem was scribbled across a painting using caligraphy pen, shortly before her death in 1985. She never made it til November 8, 1992, so this was her imagined future.



This painting was devoted her second brother who passed away at a young age.



In 2020, it was announced by Kukje Gallery that Choi's works are being sent to Centre Pompidou, Paris to join the « Elles font l’art » a show dedicated to women artists from 1900s to present.


Début du cours : 25 janvier 2021

Fin de l’animation : 25 juin 2021


There is a sense of longing and a constant dull ache in her work that touches me deeply

and I would love to shed light on her works, and eventually curate them!

Research Wook-Kyung Choi Part 2

The author of "Beyond the Wall of Dreams" talks about Wook-kyung Choi's "nothing."

" Nothing" was a word that often appeared in Choi's works often.

( Choi's studio in Seoul was called the " Nothing Nothing Shrine " )

Right before she died, Choi Wook-kyung had a phone call with her brother.

The following is what she said on an international phone call to her brother.


" Until now, I must have been fighting the canvas,

in a desperate attempt to get rid of the distance between the world and me.

But what's left?

What did I gain from I throwing my body everyday into the canvas like jumping to death?

Something invisible? The illusion behind the mirror that proves existence? I don't know.

Now there is only a world where I have nothing, a world of nothing."


External Resources


I saw Park Seo-bo's paintings.


All of these pieces called Ecriture, which means handwriting in French.


Seeing the natural grainy texture of the Korean Traditional paper ( Hanji ) being used for these




made me remember how my aunt gifted me a big roll of Hanji.


I've always hesitated using Korean materials for work,


because i didn't want the works to be read as ethnic art.


However I decided to venture out- and start using more different materials.



Zadie Smith (2019). Feel free : essays. New York: Penguin Books.


Laing, O. (2020). Funny Weather. Picador.


Lispector, C., Tobler, S. and Moser, B. (2014). Agua viva. London: Penguin Classics.


Saunders, G. (2018). Pastoralia. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.


Lewis, M., Riordon, B., Gallery, A., Canadian Museum Of Civilization, Glenbow Museum, Aird, J.B. and And, M. (1996). The illuminated life of Maud Lewis : an exhibition of works by the Nova Scotia folk artist (1903-1970). Halifax, N.S.: Art Gallery Of Nova Scotia.


Haruki Murakami, Rubin, J. and Gabriel, P. (2012). 1Q84. London: Harvill Secker.


Bachelard, G. and M Jolas (2014). The poetics of space. New York: Penguin Books.


Yūko Tsushima and Harcourt, G. (2019). Territory of light. New York: Farrar, Straus And Giroux.


Kim, Y.-H. and Kim, C.-Y. (2007). I have the right to destroy myself. Orlando, Fla: Harcourt.


Levy, D. (1990). Beautiful mutants. London: Vintage.


Ozeki, R. (2019). Tale For The Time Being..


Lost in translation (2003). [Film] Directed by Sofia Coppola. United States: Focus Features.


Solnit, R. (2017). A field guide to getting lost. Edinburgh: Canongate Books.


‌Davies, C. (2020). Homesick: Why I Live in a Shed. London: Quercus Publishing.


Esquivel, L., Bond, M. and Lorenzo Moya Morallón (2018). Como agua para chocolate. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


‌Atul Gawande (2017). Being mortal : medicine and what matters in the end. New York (Ny): Picador, Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt And Company.


Nixon, M. and Cashion, D. (n.d.). Much loved. New York Abrams.


‌Salinger, J.D. (2010). Raise high the roofbeam, carpenters. London: Penguin Books.


Laing, O. (2017). Lonely city - adventures in the art of being alone. Canongate Books Ltd.


Mccarthy, T. (2016). Remainder. Richmond: Alma Books.