Interview: Kwon Jian
Luca Curci talks with Kwon Jian, one of the winners of ARTIST OF THE MONTH – APRIL 2021.
Kwon Jian developed her flexibility by learning rhythmic gymnastics from childhood and worked as a member of the choir to learn the basics of dance and music. In middle school, she was part of a play and realized the expression of emotions on the stage, the transmission power, and the rhythmic movement. In high school, she majored in makeup art and laid the foundation for art. She formed basic learning as an omnidirectional artist through a variety of experiences and methods, not the approach of traditional learning. Kwon Jian made her debut as a vocalist of a K-pop mixed group ‘Typhoon’ in 2006 when she turned 22. She grew into a media star loved by the public by making her face and name known through various media, including topping the music chart rankings two weeks after her debut. However, she began to suffer from depression due to mental stress, feeling the gap between her life and the reality of the star she dreamed of, and overcame her slump by starting art in 2009 for healing purposes. Kwon Jian boldly jumped into the art world by choosing her life as an artist to let the public know about this “good function of art” after experiencing that art is another means of expression and can be a spiritual cure for modern people.
She made her debut as an artist starting with her first solo exhibition in 2012, and in the beginning, she presented works on the back of people chasing after splendor under the theme of modern people’s desire and appearances. She continued to work on her own creative work and expression, and in 2015, she transformed auditory artist music into visual art, called “Self-Collaboration (Kwon Jian x Solbi)” and presented the work for the first time. Named by Kwon Jian, “Self-Collaboration” collaborates with the musician “Solbi” who looks at the audience and sings, and the artist “Kwon Jian” who expresses the abstract world through a tool called paint. It is a comprehensive artwork that captures the composition of popular music, messages in the lyrics, and stories of dance draw pictures on canvas with lines and colors, and complete the work by cutting the traces left by flat paintings. It is also an original concept art that creates and delivers stories through music, video art, and performance.
LUCA CURCI – What is Art for you?
KWON JIAN – It is art to listen to the sound of the soul, believe in the senses, and contain unconsciousness. Art is about capturing moments in my journey of life and leaving them as a trace. Listening to my soul, trusting my senses and expressing the unconsciousness is what I believe art is.
LC – Which subject are you working on?
KJ – As I began creating art with the purpose of psychotherapy, my early works were about personal stories. Afterwards, I concentrated deeply on the stories of the world through personal experiences. So the theme changes every time and does not limit the methods being expressed.
LC – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
KJ – I made my debut as a K-pop singer. I started painting for psychotherapy purposes so my early works are in a diary form. While working with a visual representation, I wanted to go deeper into my art world. Being a musician, the sudden thought of expressing my music as a painting through my gestures came to mind and I was curious what kind of harmony would be made between the expressed lines and colors. That’s how I started working on ‘Self-Collaboration’ that combines music and art. I didn’t want a single performance to be volatile after months of practicing, but strived to put intangible performances through the language of tangible art. Self-collaboration, or body language, is a large-scale project. It requires time, manpower, and capital. So, with ‘finger painting’ I freely express flowers, nature and the wind. ‘Finger painting’ is on the same line as ‘Self Collaboration’ in the way of working using the body as a material. Recently, I have been working on reinterpreting the portrait of modern people in a pictorial language by looking at the object of the cake.
LC – How do you choose your subjects?
KJ – Cartels and secrets wanted to be hidden from society and human instincts are the main motifs. I believe in the careful planning, improvisation, boldness and sense of precarious moments. And that’s how I finish a planned coincidence art piece.
LC – Do you use art to express something in particular?
KJ – In the cake series, melt candles. Then the candles are stuck on a canvas. They contain joy, sorrow, hope, and longing. I also dream that I live with the art soul as enthusiastic as the candle.