Through the Window Artist Statment

Through the Window (1997-1999)

The city of Pusan is the second largest in South Korea and is in a season of tremendous change. It is moving from what used to be an emerging economy to the 12th largest in the world - all within the span of 60 years. Through the Window is a series of paintings depicting an area in the middle of Pusan called An-Chang Mayul. It could be perceived as a slum; however, in reality, it is a microcosm of an emerging democracy.

Capitalism abounds with all the benefits and collateral damages that result from the competitive atmosphere associated with it. During my graduate year of university, I was deeply influenced by some of my colleagues who were involved with the student movement for labour rights at the time.

I was both intrigued and troubled by the irony of capitalism: the employment and prosperity of the worker alongside the abuse they suffer from their employer. Young are children left alone in cramped rooms because both of their parents have to work 12 and 14 hours a day. Elderly people are fending for themselves in squalor surrounded by corrugated steel.

While I photographed and sketched these surroundings on a beautiful summer day, I was struck by the humble humanity that was entrenched within this old neighborhood of An-Chang Mayul. Suddenly, it became clear to me that I wanted to capture the essence of what I was seeing in my paintings.

I was both intrigued and troubled by the irony of capitalism ..."