Bringing National and International Art to Edinburgh

YOUN: ASKED AND ANSWERED

By 9th August 2016

 

As part of our exhibition 'Absolute Contemporaries', we've teamed up with sculptor Youn Cho to ask 8 questions about her work. Hailing from South Korea and currently practising in Nice, Youn’s work comprises ideas engendered in her Asian roots that are whimsical and ecclectic. At Urbane, we have a number of pieces of Youn’s work in our collection, and here she tells us more about them:

 

Why work with bronze and terracotta?

I work with clay because it’s a living, natural material, like our skin. I can give my visages lifelike, human expressions. I also like using resin which offers a range of extraordinary colours. I also work with bronze, which gives yet another different type of finish.

 

How would you describe the content/subject matter of your work?

Whether seen at play or bathing, diving or sulking, my “girls” sculptures capture the vibrant colours of life. It’s an homage to joie de vivre, to the pleasure of being alive, of lifes little sorrows and joys.

 

How do memories of South Korea inform your work?

For more than 20 years, I have been a long way away from my country, my family and everything connecting with my childhood and teenage years. That’s why I love the themes of youth, joy and colours.

 

What kind of experience do you want the viewer to gain from the work, what is its function?

I want to make the public joyously participate in the work of art through cheerfulness and humour; I think that it is very important to bring colour and fun to our flat and fast environment.

 

How did you first come up with these characters?

I have decided to come to this wonderful and colourful city of Nice, where I spontaneously began to create these characters, inspired by the festive and carefree spirit of the French Riviera and the nostalgia of my childhood and adolescence in Korea.

 

How important is it for your work to be fun for the viewers?

I want to make them happy by bringing them the nostalgia of our childhood years and the joy that this nostalgia can arouse within us.

 

Are there particular influences that you are currently being inspired by – books, music, other artists…?

I have been influenced by my Korean childhood, that was saturated with Manwha culture (Manga in Korea). A child’s universe represents innocence, simplicity, spontaneity and lightness…

 

What has been the most memorable experience in your career?

I had the privilege to meet Lady and Lord Norman Foster who bought a monumental piece for their house in the French Riviera.

 

Thank you Youn!