KYUNG YOUL YOON: THE CUBIC INCEPTION SERIES – AND BEYOND
By Peter Frank
Over the past year or two – notably, during the pandemic – Kyung has moved away from the architectural and topographic/cartographic suggestions that predominated in the earlier Cubic Inception works. He has come to favor the non-objective language emerging in the series, emphasizing repetition of elements and a restless, often explosive sense of movement. If Kyung is still evoking topography, it is geology rather than geography he conjures, the massive movement of tectonic plates, the fury of volcanoes, and the spectacular disintegration and destruction of tropospheric phenomena. Large image-forms are built up out of so many small segments, metallic and
painterly by turn; the segments seem at once to comprise the large waves, flows, and bursts and to be carried away by the erupting planetary forces. In metaphoric terms, both circumstances pertain: nature works on many scales at once, and in many contexts at once. What these latest Cubic Inception works affirm is that we humans are very small factors in the process of natural evolution; we may be having an outsize effect on our ecology, but most of nature exists beyond that ecology. Fire and ice – fundaments these new relief-paintings evoke broadly — may spell our doom, but they are integral to earth’s character.
Artist Statement – Cubic Inception
Within stacks of discarded waste, a glimmer of metal sparks an idea; even a disposed aluminum food container can become something entirely new.
The transformative process begins, and cutting, flattening, and reshaping begin to birth new forms in various shapes and sizes.
As these shapes are composed on a canvas, the arrangements create disorderly yet harmonious compositions, in my eyes reminiscent of a city. This depiction is unlike the perspective that we are accustomed to, but an abstracted perspective resonant with what we can see when we are above it all, like the glimmers of a city we see when we look down from an airplane.
When the pieces are rearranged and the movement of the cubic pieces is manipulated once again, vast mountains form. When littered on a canvas painted with darkness, a milky way on a starry night appears. Applied in a dramatic ambience, luminous aurora streams appear on a lustrous night. When the cubic pieces are diffused to the periphery it can flicker like lonely stars in an early morning sky.
It is like the pebble stones alongside a river, which although seemingly lifeless, they suddenly begin to carry meaning when you revisit them.
I aspire, with the aluminum cubes that I make, to break the indifference of onlookers, to create an exchange where the viewer begins to look past the abstraction and meaningless to reflect on a new thought or idea that eliminates the obscurity in the forms and create personal meaning.
From a simple lifestyle of the past, we have gradually adopted a contemporary lifestyle that embodies a complex compartmentalized way of thought. An idea is comprised of an array of compartments connected to one another and delineated by walls.
In a way, these cubes reflect this concept; the depiction of the city is comprised of the idea of its components, whether it is materialistic goods such as apartments, furniture, phones, or the wide spectrum of thoughts in our minds. It becomes a large matrix of cubes forming a collection of ideas.
I visualize warmth as a representation of the past and imagine this warm light, in a sense, enter into the contemporary world and transform into a cool tone light as it projects to the future. I think my aluminum artwork naturally gives off this cool tone visually, which depict my original ideas in a different way than in conception.
Through the process of creating the aluminum series, I was able to explore different imagery and develop new thoughts that surfaced in my mind as I worked, such as the compartmentalized mind and materialistic thoughts, the sky and the city, and the formation of new meanings from the meaningless.
These were the thoughts that came to my mind when I was alone in my studio, crouched on the floor, painting, hammering, cutting, scattering, composing, and gluing cubic pieces on canvas, which I would like to share with you as you explore my artwork.
July 14, 2015
Kyung Youl Yoon