In the bustling heart of South Korea, in a city that never sleeps, a young Korean-based artist, Seirin Hyung was born with an innate passion for art. From a very young age, she discovered her true calling—painting. Throughout her journey, Seirin would carry the colors and stories of her homeland with her, shaping her identity and artistic expression.
The Early Days of her Journey
Her artistic journey began when she attended an art high school in Korea, where she embarked on a path that would lead her to specialize in fine painting. She was drawn to the thick consistency of paint, a stark contrast to the delicate brushstrokes and fine ink of oriental painting, often associated with calligraphy or ink painting.
Her dedication to her craft led her to pursue a degree in fine art at a prestigious Glasgow School of Art. She had always been a “2D person”, finding her true artistic voice in two-dimensional art. Her love for the medium only deepened as she explored the world of fine painting.
However, her life took a remarkable turn when she participated in an exchange program. She was transported from the bustling streets of Korea to the serene countryside of a small Finnish town. It was her first time living abroad. The European teaching styles introduced her to a new world of artistic freedom and choice. In Korea, art had often felt like homework, but in Europe, she had the opportunity to express herself in a way she had never experienced before.
Resilience and Rediscovery
This transformative journey abroad ignited a passion for both art and travel that would define her future. She completed her master’s degree at the Glasgow School of Art, a challenging endeavor that required her to learn English and work part-time to achieve her dream. Her major remained painting, and it was an intensive yet fulfilling experience that allowed her to forge connections with international artists.
Feeling like she was starting from the bottom in the UK, she began her artistic journey anew. Her love for creating portraits and conveying the depths of human emotions through her work was unwavering. However, as time passed, she yearned to expand her artistic horizons. Drawing inspiration from artists like Alex Katz and Peter Doig, left a profound impact on her style.
Yet, life is rarely a linear path, and after a hiatus due to personal reasons and the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, she temporarily stepped away from her art. For two years, she worked as a web designer, lacking a studio and the creative flow she once cherished. Determined to reignite her artistic spark, she turned to artist residencies as a means of rediscovery.
Where Art Flourishes
One city, in particular, has captured her heart: Leipzig. Being a city steeped in figurative painting tradition, she found herself deeply influenced by the local artists. Despite claims that painting is a dying art form, she remains unfazed. In Leipzig, she found a vibrant artistic community that inspired her to keep creating, reaffirming her belief that art is very much alive.
For her, painting is more than a medium—it’s her first language. The bridge to her inner self, and the canvas upon which she expresses her thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Her use of vibrant and illuminating yet alienating colors in her recent project reflects her exploration of the theme of alienation from the digital world. In a world where everything moves at breakneck speed, constantly updating and changing, she aspires to embrace a slower, more deliberate way of living.
A Painter’s Quest for Self-Expression
In choosing PILOTENKUECHE, she sought to challenge herself, enjoy her artistic process, and experiment with new materials. Her goal is to persevere in the art world. She continues to evolve as an artist while remaining true to her passion for painting. In her art, she finds solace, connection, and the power to slow down. Embracing the beauty of self-expression in a fast-paced world.
Seirin draws inspiration from both the physical and digital realms, capturing the essence of the real world and human experiences in her distinctive style. Looking forward to her solo exhibition at Gallery DaOn in Seoul this November, her main plan for the future is to live as a full-time artist. Her story is a testament to the enduring power of creativity and the pursuit of one’s passion.
Written by Polina Rybaltchenko
Follow Seirin on her Instagram.
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