Natural Recurrence Part II

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Humans have long been driven to create as part of a meditative process, a way of emptying the mind through expression. While this is far from the only impetus to create, it is one of the main factors driving the work of Korean artist Yun-Kyung Jeong and Japanese artist Akiko Ban. Yun-Kyung Jeong’s large canvas works employ a symbol for all the elements as one and in harmony. Linked to the eastern philosophy of Animism, Jeong’s recurrent forms represent the equality of nature with man. In essence her work is united by the aim of working this sign through all the possibilities of its combination. The resulting natural forms have all the fluidity of calligraphy, but play, through form and tone, with the illusion of greater and lesser depth. The sense of the natural, abstracted into sign, allows the viewer to form their own, multifarious readings. While the works are often left open to these individual interpretations, some titled works such as An Hourglass hint at the artist’s intentions. Others, the artist states, explore the link between the natural forms of the western Gothic architectural style with the traditional eastern affinity with nature. Akiko Ban’s sculptures explore the shared theme of spirituality in a deeply physical and personal way. Ban aspires to “generate being from life”, where her actions manifest themselves in “natural phenomena”, allowing natural forces to shape or effect elements of the work. A careful and deliberate casting method is combined with an indeterminate natural process, producing unique organic forms. Ban creates sculptures that aim to work a recurrent fluid form through all of its physical possibilities. These objects act as both a plinth for the work, and as part of the work itself, distorting traditional forms of sculpture. Ban communicates much of herself in the sculpture she creates, attempting to visualize a sense of being in its broadest meaning. Her process is concerned with creating a tangible representation of temporality, a record of the effects of time on material and object. While both artists share a deeply spiritual engagement with their chosen subject, their individual explorations into ideas of life, nature, and spirituality are expressed through strikingly different media. The meditative process, emphasised by both Jeong and Ban, often requires the self-imposed limitation of a relatively simple sign or form. Through this, a framework is established within which the artist can work, resulting in the recurrence of particular signs. It is through these developed signs, as form or as concept, that these artists are linked. Concepts of ephemerality, temporality and the natural world are combined and signified through the artists’ individual mediums.