Greetings SillDA, it is a pleasure to discuss your unforgettable images. Your work is poignant because it combines a softness with the shocking, the frightening with the beautiful, please discuss how you choose this style and why.
I once thought about what is ‘the most beautiful thing’ and ‘the biggest tragedy’ in my life. And I came to a conclusion that beauty is most beautiful when it’s in tragedy, and tragedy is most tragic when it is in the beauty. When the two contrasting concepts of Beauty and Tragedy come together, I see the peak of the two concepts. I wanted to convey the most beautiful pain and the most painful beauty through my work, and I think I am only at the starting point of this now.
Artists take from who they are and what they know and then confine or imprint this aspect of themselves into a fixed or contained medium. This also means that parts of us are able to be revisited even after we change or grow. If hundreds of years from now one was to discover your art, what do you think it would tell them about who you were? And which feelings do this thought evoke?
As my illustrations are created with my own way of working and contain my private life, I have yet thought about how it would be perceived by others. I do various types of art (including fine art, craft, drawing, etc.) but this illustration is something I work on for my own pleasure. But if I think about it, it would be nice if people who revisit my work can enjoy it too. Regardless of any changes in the culture or era, I believe that universal feelings of human beings will not be dramatically changed even after hundreds of years from now.
Your approach is innovative in the sense that it uses a digital canvas to convey traditional aesthetic components convincingly. Was it difficult mastering your style? Because it seems to not simply be about strokes and striking themes, but has a real aged paper or nostalgic effulgence. Is this aesthetic a purposeful part of your visual language or was it just an outgrowth of varied technique?
The traditional aesthetic touch creates an illusion of bringing back some old memories. And that is such a nostalgic feeling. The goal is to make it more immersive by distorting memories of the audience. This is to let them feel as if the senses and emotions evoked by my art is something they had experienced before, something very familiar to them.
You have shown an interest in 3d technology and animation, both mediums exist to make truer what one sees and feels. If you could instantaneously produce your own film or meta verse (VR world) what what it feel like or resemble (if you could describe this in words)?
There is a kind of feeling that definitely exists but cannot be put into wordsᅳemotions that are undetachable from our lives such as unpleasant feelings like anxiety and confusion, or overwhelming mood that makes one cry, etc. I wanted to be connected to the audience through abstract expressions of these kinds of senses and statuses. As I am more interested in original painting than digital program, I am working on original painting for now. If there is a chance to work with a decent team later on, I would like to do a 3D or VR project with them.
It is said that emotion is a universal language, but, diverse cultures have different ways of reading emotional cues. Do you find that disjunctions ever occur between your intended meanings and audiences responses? If so, have these disunites ever served as inspiration for new or unexpected ideas?
At first, I specified a concept and started to paint. Even though the art already contains an answer, the audience came up with totally different interpretations through individual emotional cues and experiences. And this was very interesting to me, because every individual’s unconscious desire and deficiency was visible through their interpretations.
Recently, a heated debate has been brought up by one of my works titled ‘Wedding Ring’. It was reposted for numerous times with each of them getting a few hundred to five hundred comments. To explain how I came to draw the painting, I have to talk about one of my friends who often gets her couple ring off from her ring finger to put it onto her index finger every time she went out to meet other males. And this is also when I started to think that all those pre-engagement rings or couple rings are totally useless. What would even be the purpose of putting on a couple ring? What if my lover does the same thing?
And so on, that friend made me have a lot of thoughts. And eventually, I came up with the idea of an un-removable couple ring and made it into an illustration. It is a ring that represents a pledge of everlasting love but makes the owner pay the price when abandoned. The time I came across the idea was when another friend suffered from a broken marriage. So, working on this painting made me think a lot about relationships, marriages, and promises.
It was an illustration which came out of my life, but the painting got hundreds of comments from people sharing their own perspectives and arguments on love, marriage, and relationships. From people rejecting my art by saying love is a beautiful thing to sympathizing and bittering; there were a variety of responses.
However, I wasn’t really interested in other people’s opinions because I knew that each one of us have very different and diverse experiences, and the illustration wasn’t intended to give the right answer from the first place. So, I think my role as an artist, is to make them look back at their own thoughts and emotions that have been aroused while looking at my work, and that’s it.
I am aware of the forbidding yet endearing side to your images, the Onryō spirit (Japanese female revenge ghost) such as that made famous in the West through Yuon the grudge films, comes to mind as a type of archetypal femme fatale for you (it reflecting parts of yourself). I’ve read that such ghosts seek revenge because of being terribly wronged while innocent, what is the power behind this concept?
The reason the audience feel scared but loving at the same time is because my illustration has a touch of ‘affection’. Overall, my artwork is sharp and frigid but if you look into it there is a languid look and soft gesture. I could explain it as an expression of my instinctive desire for physical contact induced from my unconscious loneliness. Females depicted in my work are not ghosts, they are portraits of myself. And ghosts are not the only ones that hold a grudge, every human being does.
You create your pieces on an Ipad, and their production is very personal. I’m aware that you write down creepy thoughts and collect these as new concepts. Do you ever feel frightened while producing your pieces? If yes, do you find this sustained creepiness a way for you to expel other worries? Like a unique brand of art therapy?
The method you have referred to is probably my working method in the very early days of my career. Unfortunately, since I was timid, imagining a scary thing and noting them down was such a painful way of working for me. So I veered. At first, I focused on conveying fearful feelings, then I shifted to surrealism ideas, and now, conveying my personal experiences and situations through my art became my current way of working.
Every individual has a stress that cannot be told to others. In my case, I adroitly express it through ‘metaphor’. It is very important to bring out my own feelings and to review them objectively from a third perspective. And I do this especially because facing my situation and acknowledging it allows me to better understand who I am and console myself. Dealing with these unpleasant feelings by sympathizing is what we call ‘catharsis’. I love this way of working.
I think I will hold a media art exhibition which will be an expanded representation of my existing illustrations. I’m also planning to showcase my work of original painting which I have been working on for 1 to 2 years. I have only shown my work through Instagram for two years since I started my career as an artist, but I hope I can show my work to the audience through various channels in the future.