Zoryu – The Night Sky Above Where I Stayed

Zoryu – Artist in Residence

Residency Dates: July 22-August 18, 2022

I am in a place which would have been unimaginable to you and me in front of that rotary pine tree last August. How could I have imagined that I would fly across the Pacific Ocean and write a letter to you, surrounded by Mother Nature?

 – Partial excerpt of the letter I wrote to a friend of mine living in South Korea 

 Furthermore from exploring the nature, I found out myself that I was again looking at the people among them. What’s more about staring at people here is that, I experienced a rehab. I learned to say hello with a smile when I ran into a passerby on the street. I also found that people who were chatting randomly on the street, in a one-day sculpture class or in the bar could be new to each other. Never have I done that back there in Seoul, nor I imagined that would be so ridiculously comfortable and healing. I think I did art therapy capturing the scenes of people but from nature, because people I’ve seen around helped me find stability.

For a long time, I thought of myself only seeking the gestalt of ‘Body’, not the people. Since few years ago, I have been disproving my previous viewpoint. In the conflict between the body and the person, I used to look at the objects as an element of a chemical individual. As an objective chemical element, the individual’s appearance is not fixed and inevitably changeable. It depends on this changeability of objects to tie them up into groups and interpret the scene of them as people.

Kiss, installation on the studio carpet, 2022 (Pacific Bull Kelp, unfired clay)

Images below of the Kiss, unfired clay taken to Taylor Beach, Metchosin, BC and returns to the sea.

Images below, Pacific Bull Kelp, painted linen sculpture

I bought linen which was quite different from what I’ve used so far. The tissue was very rough, so no matter how many layers I painted gesso underneath, I kept getting small holes in the painting. I first thought I should to get rid of those anyhow, but after having a wonderful dinner and music with Heidi and Michael, I decided to leave them. To check where the holes were on my canvas, I held it up to the ceiling light, and the holes on the canvas were just like the stars that I saw while laying on the ground the night before. 

Now I am happy to be able to tell the other friends I’ll meet afterwards:

The night sky above where I stayed looked like this. 


Material Report

  • A change of linen into a rough one.
  • Left the rough, free-spirited brushwork exposed. Manet and others from 19th century paintings were referenced.
    • : This is different from what I’ve done previously: revealing no traces of painting so that the surface of the canvas remains cool and unmoved. 
  • A change of the brushing method: Mostly done with wet brushing instead of dry brushing
  • A change of the paint
    • #1: Jo Sonja
    • #2: Jo Sonja
    • #3: Jo Sonja
    • #4: Liquitex
    • #5: Holbein
    • #6: Liquitex
      • : Liquitex felt not as flexible as Jo Sonja. Blending is not easy without a large amount of retarder or stroke-blend medium. The tone is colder compared to Josonja. The package of the paint is well-designed so it is comfortable to use, but the quantity is small.
      • : Holbein Gouache is well soluble in water to the extent that it is not acrylic gouache but watercolor gouache. Therefore, the durability is not good. (If the painting is wiped with water a few years after completion, it will be cleaned.) It has the good taste of blending with a wide brush. The tone is very neutral.
  • Expanded use of Flow medium: making paint available to sprinkle. Mostly used to express gravel.
  • Did not use any gesso after #1

The next artist joining Studio H Canada International Residency is Erin Kann, August 21-Sept 10, 2022. Stay Tuned for more information about this artist.

Artists of all media and disciplines are welcome to apply to Studio H Canada International Art Residency – please check out the link here to apply.

Check out previous posts about artists here.

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