In the winter of 2013, I climbed up Ptaramigan peak in Colorado. The winds were incredibly forceful and strong on the peak; I thought I would get blown away and as I experienced this sensation, I was simultaneously struck with a mysterious feeling, an awe, an inspiring awe. I returned to Minnesota from Colorado and immediately I started drafting the beginnings of my ‘Mountain series’. I showed the first drafts to my master class art teacher and friend, and through our discussions and her critiques she suggested to me to superimpose a history of war machine blueprints on my paintings of mountains in order to contrast human history, or in her mind, a false history as it relates and is relating- to the overall evolution of nature and the planet it inhabits. I adopted her conceptual question as applied to her perceptions about my drafts. The mountains are painted as they appeared to me in nature, with sensitivity and a very real and mysterious power, and war machines are the product of purposive-rational calculations. The geological evolution of the earth took place over 100 million years- so these mountains have come to be and have existed far longer than our species has. The art of measure, the possibility of imaginary variation, the spatio-temporality located in our cultural fields is at once illusory and real. If we feel beauty in the war machine and also in the mountains and our representations of them, my question is why do we feel this way? If war machines distract from the beauty of mountains, then why is it?
My work attempts to capture a scene of industrialization of modern life. Nuclear reactor and power grids are the two most recent subjects of my paintings and drawing. I believe that there is profound implication within the machines. Social system is built upon machines and forms of these machines probably express traces of our thinking. In fact our entire social existences is influenced and controlled by our needs for comfort provided by machines: power grid. I want to embark upon deep explore of energy center through process of art making.
For the preparation of the paintings series called ‘Power Grid’, I visited power grid facilities and took photos, and conducted visual survey. I believe it is important to understand the aspect of infrastructure within our society as well as electrical and structural functionalities of devices. Some of the understandings may not appear immediately in the paintings, however may give profoundness to the paintings. I always conduct back ground researches before making actual art works.
Prior to the ‘Power Grid’ series and following the shocking Fukushima nuclear reactor explosion, I made 14’’x17’’ sumi ink drawing series called ‘Fukushima 2011’ just after the accident. This series consists of 10 drawings which were made in midst of turmoil and fear of the recurring Chernobyl. I picked Japanese sumi ink on a sketch book because of its immediateness and connection to Japan. The drawings series are more or less a trace of my personal investigation of the disaster. I researched the nuclear power plant and tsunami disaster prior to making the drawings while the disturbing news was reported one and after. That was my attempt to approach the reality of accident thought art making processes.
I believe that the evolution of our thinking needs to go hand in hand with art creations. Painting and drawing have power to penetrate into reality – breaking though the barrier of linguistic limitations of our thinking. That is what I believe known to be my accomplishment.