Five inches up from the knee and three inches...
reinforced plaster, acupuncture needle
(Installation view of Jiyoung Yoon’s solo exhibition Yellow Blues_ at One And J. Gallery. Photography by Euirock Lee)
The way we communicate and develop thoughts is changing, as we spend more time alone and are kept from seeing each other "in person" amid the protracted COVID-19 crisis. While we are forced to reassess time-space experience that we took for granted, we also seem to be compelled to turn inside our heads. What I address in the current work, in a form of visual narrative, concerns precisely this excessive self-consciousness or "individuation" that ensues from prolonged self-isolation.
Such a state of mind is by no means unique to the era of COVID-19. In Absent in the Spring, a novel written by Agatha Christie under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, the protagonist Joan finds herself stranded in an isolated place on the way back home from visiting her daughter, and begins to reexamine the life she "believed" to be near-perfect. With nothing else to do except going for a walk, she chews over certain life events over which she has glossed at the time, perhaps out of defensiveness. In due process, she becomes overly confessional and filled with self-contempt, driven to a state bordering on neurosis. In fact, almost everyone is capable of torturing themselves over a long period of time by dwelling on things that they themselves or others have done or uttered. However, when such kind of egocentric focus in the way someone relates to her external events protracts, unable to stop turning inside her head, it could lead to cognitive distortion and affect the way she interacts with others.
The series of inquiries I have made on this subject matter have led up to my current work, where I attempt to lay bare the process of sensation and perception undergoing a transformation akin to the aforementioned cases. Since my solo exhibition A Single Led of Moderate Speed in December 2015, the pivotal concern in my creative practice has been the notion of interiority and its inaccessibility, and I have employed a diverse range of media to explore the interior-exterior dynamics in various contexts-- i.e. an individual's mind responding to an external event; a sculptor's treatment of the "inside" of her work in casting and mold making, etc. The current series of work, Yellow Blues_, is an extension of such an exploration, as it employs sculptures and self- portraits in various forms to produce a spatial language that articulates the state of excessive self-consciousness and individuation.