Yoon Jong-Seok's Solo Invitation Exhibition

<Pale Blue Dot>

30 March - 22 April, 2023

“A Dot of Yoon Jong-Seok, his Emotional Reaction to the World”

Widely acclaimed as “the syringe artist”, Yoon Jong-Seok is returning to HORI Artspace in 《Pale Blue Dot》 exhibition. Having held a solo exhibition at the same gallery under the title of 《The Deep Surface》, the artist is presenting his new works in two years. Yoon’s artwork production technique may seem effortless, but it is actually a painstakingly arduous process. The act of putting acrylic paint in a syringe and squeezing out 1-2 mm dots millions of times on a canvas is, utterly phenomenal. If creating an extraordinary difference with ordinary materials brings an artist to be competent, Yoon Jong-Seok can be claimed to have already made it in the art world. 

The title of the exhibition comes from the book 『Pale Blue Dot』 by astronomer Carl Sagan (1934-1996). The dot here is a tiny, 0.12-pixel image of Earth taken by Voyager 1 on February 14, 1990. In his book, Carl Sagan stressed, “From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it, (edit) human being who ever was, lived out their lives. (edit) To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.” 

“My work is an emotional reaction to the world. It is also a process of tracking and mining images culled from countless everyday things and relationships, and each of their time in history. We live by rising on the stacked-up traces of the past. The selected images connect us in the present to the past and future. The different motifs mingling together on a canvas are also a way to get to know my current self.” 

- in an interview

Just as the words of Carl Sagan, Yoon Jong-Seok records the lives of everyone who has lived on that tiny dot, in numerous dots. One painting consists of at least four or five superimposed "images or episodes related to the same date of different years" searched on the Internet (Wikipedia). The cut-out images from thick paper are adhered to the bottom and create the effect of a rough surface by the light, while the top layer shows the mingling of various shapes. The (dotted) line connecting these images and shapes can be regarded as a sort of " recurring line of reincarnation" that bridges time and space. In addition, the digits in the parentheses of the titles refer to the date of collecting images on the web.

A very special masterpiece is featured in this exhibition; A 3-meter-wide painting titled <A Woman’s Life (0907 – Mother)> (255.7x318.6cm) describes, as the title tells, the life of the artist’s mother. Scales of various shapes are hanging by a golden stem that extends like a tree branch, and various subject matters related to his mother are weighed on each scale. A baton for her exceptional speed in running when she joined her son’s sports day event during Yoon’s school days, her favorite camelia flower, a soju (Korean liquor) glass that she enjoys drinking with, a cooking knife for her arduous days of working at a restaurant, etc. This piece is not speaking only for Yoon’s mother, but all mothers’ lives as well, with poignance and affection.

To accentuate the “Pale Blue Dot” of the exhibition title, all the walls of the gallery are painted in black with a hint of blue, making the artworks give off the impression of sparkling in the dark sky of the universe. Among the countless afterimages of things that brush by in daily life, what Yoon chose to keep are met with “dots tinier than a grain of sand”, and born into “precious yet fleeting” entities. This is an exhibition where you can see how “an artist’s honest labor” with the mindset of an ascetic can bring forth such a sophisticated level of completion. Just as the waves of the Milky Way tell of the depth of the universe, numerous dots sitting on the canvas of Yoon Jong-Seok show the extent of his artistic inspiration.

* Hosted by Nari Kim (CEO of HORI Artspace)  

* Directed by Yoon-sub Kim (CEO of AIF Art Management)


Installation Views

Related Artists

Yoon Jong-Seok

윤종석, (1970-)