This is Not a Pipe (The Treachery of Images) by Rene Magritte is not an actual pipe. But, if not a pipe, what is it? When we separate the world of form from the real world, we can answer that question. We are all aware that paintings are not exact replicas of the real world. Yet, as we try to make sense of paintings, we cannot stop projecting our individual experiences of the real world onto them. This is true not only for images in paintings that evoke real-world associations, but also for those in abstract paintings. Abstract images are still understood as the polar opposite of figurative images that resemble the real world; however, abstract images should be included as part of the real world experience. They are inseparable pairs like "day and night," "plus and minus," or “thesis and anti-thesis“.
Ideas exist as images in the world of form. It is not a world of objects, but rather a world of various perspectives on objects. So there are images that appear to be related to the real world, but others appear to be unrelated to it. The mere fact that two things are similar does not imply that they are the same. As a result, various approaches to comprehending forms are unavoidable. There is a need for a "way of seeing" in this situation: a method of comprehending the unique world of form. "Budo theory" is the visual theory I developed for this purpose, and "Budozi" is the world of form.
I'm not going to bore you with lengthy explanations for each of the paintings in this exhibition. I believe that viewers do not need to understand the complex visual theory. However, I believe that some basic information should be provided for viewers, so I will briefly explain the types of information contained in the paintings.
The substantial object represented in the paintings is the structure of consciousness. The relationship between the subject of cognition and the object of cognition generates the structure of consciousness. These paintings depict various analyses of consciousness structures. Even though I apply the theory to the paintings, viewers would not notice the differences right away. It's the same idea as when people who haven't studied Korean try to read a Korean novel: they won't understand what's going on. People tend to avoid things that are unfamiliar to them. It's not uncommon for something to be difficult to grasp simply due to unfamiliarity. Thus far, painting- the language of form- is an unfamiliar language to most people. It is difficult even for me to look at paintings in a totally different way. I needed practice; I still do. Any conceptualized place formed by the projection of recognized ideas is referred to as a "plane." In this sense, the dimensions of a plane are determined by the dimension of cognition projected onto the plane rather than the typical two dimensions. Unlike in science fiction, the world of this new dimension can only be experienced through cognitive changes, and this is the only way to do so. The countless perspectives in the world of form cause us to perceive the object in different ways, and new dimensions can be created by combining these different ways of seeing. Paintings provide cues that allow us to experience different dimensions. Sensory organs connect the mind and body. The sensory cognitive system is how we perceive things. The various textures and brushstrokes revealed in the paintings' images serve as sensory representations of consciousness's invisible activities.
My paintings are not expressions of thoughts, emotions, or feelings, but of the structures behind those thoughts, emotions, and feelings. They have multi-dimensional structures.
Press Release: Sujin Chung’s solo exhibition
Suejin Chung has used visual language to probe in depth the multidimensional nature of color and form-based painting. As suggested by the title of her recent solo exhibition, An Omniscient Artist’s Perspective in the World of Form, she has persistently presented works founded on the “Budo theory” she spent many years developing.
The artist posits all forms that she depicts yet cannot quite determine as “monsters” and inquiries into what causes the disorder and chaos that the monsters exist in and for what the monsters and their chaotic world exist. Her attempts at imbuing order to these monsters symbolic of disorder and chaos have concretized into the “Budo theory” after a decade or so. This theory reflective of the artist’s long-term research is a visual theory that makes the world of consciousness visible. According to Chung, “Ideas exist as images in the world of form. It is not a world of objects, but rather a world of various perspectives on objects. There is a need for a ‘way of seeing ‘in this situation: a method of comprehending the unique world of form.” Conceived expressly for this purpose, the Budo theory is still in development.
When examined in detail, there are various elements of our daily life, thoughts, spirit, and consciousness intermixed in Chung’s works, and the viewers must interpret these elements according to their experiences, intellectual ability, and emotions. But what Chung suggests is that these visual elements open to interpretation are, in fact, founded upon a certain principle and structure.
Artists are those who make propositions to the viewers—propositions materialized using visual language. And Chung is no exception. So, when we come across something unsolvable in her work, we need not panic; we simply have to skim through the theory that compiles the artist’s discoveries as we would look up an unfamiliar word in a dictionary. What is amazing is that the concept she has theorized is so systematic, logically coherent, and convincing. The theory defines and visualizes the principles behind every worldly happening in an almost freakishly acute manner. This is what first leaves people awe-struck when they enter Chung’s artistic world before developing a fascination. Her works are closer to a process of propagating the truth that she believes in than correspondents to visual theories. The artist herself describes her work as similar to a scientist’s journey—an explorative and experimental process aimed at discovering the clandestine and undetermined world beyond and understanding its inner workings.