In Korean culture, jeong is a feeling of kindness and closeness to others as a part of a collective social responsibility. Jeong, in its simplest form, is love. But it is also compassion, affection, attachment, and community. Before traveling to Korea last November, I often found myself trying to force a connection, struggling to answer the “why” or “what” my paintings represented. Over the course of my trip, I discovered jeong. Jeong changed my understanding of the bond between the artist and audience.
The paintings that comprise my thesis do not rely on direct representation to create a connection with their viewers. Rather, the large, abstract shapes take on a life of their own. I approached their creation as an adventure that begins with the initial application of paint on the canvases. While I have some control over the colors and composition at the outset, the paint ultimately flows freely. Each finished painting represents a unique moment in time: a natural, physical expression of jeong.
During this unprecedented time of social fragmentation and isolation, jeong is more important than ever. I hope that the essence of my pieces satisfies something primal in you — something in your subconscious mind — and that you can discover jeong as you enjoy these paintings.