Interview: Chanbyul Park
Luca Curci talks with Chanbyul Park during the 15th Edition of VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2022, at Palazzo Bembo.
Chanbyul Park is an Artist-Designer from South Korea based in Eindhoven, Netherlands. After completing her Bachelor’s studies in Industrial Design at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, she majored in Contextual Design at Design Academy Eindhoven, where she obtained her Master’s degree.
As an Artist-Designer, I am interested in recording my perspective on the order of nature on two- or three-dimensional objects. Cubism and Impressionism are examples of ways how painters portrayed the world from their perspectives on drawings. In writing, such a portrayal is achieved through various types of literature, such as poems and novels. By researching these different ways of documenting the world, I established my unique way of recording how I interpret the world in my works. These works include paintings, objects, and graphic novels.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Chanbyul Park – I am a night owl. Since I was a child I liked to be awake at night. This naturally came from my physical constitution rather than something of my choice. Being naturally active at night time, I often faced artificial lights. When I work beneath the pale fluorescent light in the middle of the night, various shadows of objects were together with me. At first, I did not recognize that I was surrounded by their existence. However, with a little awareness, there were multiple of spreading shadows from objects. Also, it soon became clear that those various shadows were from several lights, which certainly was an intriguing point for me. Moreover, I was also completely into the act of ‘recording’. I was captivated by actions in a three-dimensional world being recorded in a two-dimensional plane. A diary entry, a poem, a business contract, and a drawing are human’s two-dimensional way of recording the world. The formats differ from each other but to some extent all of them are the outcomes of serving the world on a plane. Cubism and Impressionism are examples of the artists’ portrayal of the world in terms of painting. Such depictions in writing are made through various types of literature, such as poetry and fiction. Furthermore, this is related to technological advancement. Its development has influenced the forms of recording from the past. Moving on from lithographs and papers to laptops and smartphones, the recording methods have also been diversified, from texts to even videos. In my opinion, the shadows that artificial lights have created are a new measurement of recording that is accomplished with the development of technology. Through exploring different ways of documenting the world, I established my unique way of recording how I interpret the world in my works. As such, the aspect that I want to record about how the world functions is the inseparable relationship between lights, objects, and shadows.
LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
CP – The nature of watercolor is that it is difficult to paint seamlessly when it dries. When you add another brushstroke on a dried area, it becomes a double layer. This is also the reason why I chose watercolor as a material to depict the characteristics of overlapping(layering) shadows. However, due to this nature, I have to paint quickly in order to clearly demonstrate a single shadow coming from one light, as it is necessary to have a clear layer per shadow.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
CP – It’s tough but it’s fun. The sun in the Netherlands lasts very long in the summer. In midsummer, the sun sets after 10PM. Unlike natural shadows, the shadows from artificial lights require darkness. However, my house does not have blackout curtains, so I had to wait all day for night to come to paint my shadows. To make matters worse, the sun rises earlier in summer. So I never had enough time to paint my shadows in summer which made me depress a little bit! Now it is getting colder and days are getting shorter. I do not like the fact that the days are getting shorter, but i am happy to be able to paint for a long time again!
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
CP – I like art with narratives. I cannot define what art is, but to broaden the scope of it, I like the fields of movies, novels, and poems. Of course, I love paintings. In fine arts, I like Impressionism and Surrealism because I can tell that there are a lot of timeframes and stories captured in a plane.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
CP – Rather than feeling something after seeing the finished work, I learn a lot in the process of thinking and completing the work. This enlightenment during the process becomes fertilizer for the next project. A work is a finished outcome, as well as a chain of processes. Therefore, when I look at my final outcome, I think of it as beautiful for a while but after that I feel thirsty for a longer time. This is because of my desire to pour everything out from me in the next work. The final outcome becomes my inspirations and motivations to move on to the next project.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the exhibition or as a part of preexisting works?
CP – First of all, thank you. This is part of the existing work. Both works are initial outcomes of the series <Light and Shadow>.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
CP – Both of them are part of the series <Light and Shadow>. This series came out from the introspection of lights and shadows. Since shadows emerge from the interaction between light and things, they are evidence of something being material not just abstract. I use a shadow as a tool through which to understand the relationships that humans form with different concepts and objects. Light is an immaterial matter that reveals all other substances. Where there is a light, everything with mass, from elephants to molecules, has a shadow. In universe where light is natural, shadows are the evidence of the existence. In the past, there was the only one light source, the sun. It means that there was only one shadow. These days, however, human has invented artificial light sources, which are the light bulbs. Shadows arise according to the number of light sources. One light has one shadow, and two light sources have two shadows. Now we can see numerous artificial light sources and numerous shadows at anytime, in anywhere. This is the shape of the present era that is completely different from the past. In addition, the shadow is a proof that ‘I’ exists in the present moment as an observer. Recording shadow is possible only when an object blocks the light and creates darkness. I record this moment as an observer as well as a recorder. It means that facing the shadows represent facing the present. The shadow is a great tool for facing the world we live in. I paint with objects that can be seen in daily life and common shadows. This is to convey the idea that we can easily get new reflections on the world at anytime, in anywhere in our daily life. I hope to deliver the idea that shadows can thus become a tool to understand the relationships that humans form with different concepts and objects.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
CP – I would first like to know the kind of collaboration you are interested in. If it matches with my thoughts as an artist, I will consider it very positively.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
CP – I appreciate ITSLIQUID GROUP for giving a variety of opportunities to artists. I know that ITSLIQUID GROUP also holds exhibitions in Rome and London. The group influences with a positive energy in the art scene as it offers a great opportunity for many artists to exhibit their works in major cities and introduce themselves to the public.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
CP – Yes, of course!