Youngwon Kim
born in 1947



Towards a vision of Third Art

I think the value of human existence lies in the realization of the self. This issue becomes more urgent for modern men living in a post-industrialized society. Nowadays, the negative aspects of human nature -- sudden changes, no stable values, alienation and anxiety of human existence and thus impairment and destruction of human nature are discovered everywhere like poisonous mushrooms.

The endless pursued of material comforts has brought about extreme dehumanization.

If art can be defined as the sensuous totalization of human life, its characteristics at present time reveal self same confusion and disorientation. If such is the case, what kind of art it should be at such a time? I have considered this matter for a long time.
At this moment of crisis, I want to go back to the origin of man and make the bud of new artistic life sprout. I want to suggest the integrated vision of the world by synthesizing the divided and dichotomized categories, such as life and death, soul and body, spirit and matter, consciousness and unconsciousness, etc. The result will point towards a whole, a living culture. let me call it ‘third Culture’. This will represent a world full of life force, a world of reconciliation and great affirmation in which human being will enjoy freedom and peace in their true sense of the word.

I think a strict self-recognition is a way to get to that world. We, humans, need wisdom rather than knowledge for that kind of recognition of which wisdom itself is a by product, a fruit. That seif-recognition is a way to perceive the world as it is -- order and disorder, time and space, unit and a whole being, consciousness and unconsciousness, free from all kinds of prejudice.

Then I can archive harmony within my self. I am free from any misconceptions, prejudices and conflicts. Now I am able to make peace with everything without. Once you earn that power, you will discover a new world overflowing with life various things around me.

To incorporate such power in plastic art, I have reserved the exiting methodology, the product-oriented one. Instead, I focus on the process of art, I try to reach the deep source of sensory perceptions and thinking, find my real self.

Then I can sensuously visualize the force earned in the process and achieve harmony with various things around me. To realize one’s self through art, there must be some way to recognize oneself in the process of making art. Here I present an artistic activity based on ki-kong meditation* as a methodological alternative. With ki-kong meditation, I meet in a complete peacefulness unconsciousness lay hidden in deepest part of the consciousness, find affirmation and harmony between these two and finally earn power of great harmony with myself. this power is life force, a vehicle for boundless freedom. Based on this, I have repeatedly made artistic experiments to watch my inner world objectively and thus complete my works.

In the actual working process, I make structures, shapes of circular or square columns in advance. The artistic works thus complected will represent various mind-waves. In turn, I can affirm and accept my inner world through those shapes and aspire more earnestly for the Absolute Self. I wish people who are looking at my works would experience those mind-waves of peacefulness and harmony all together.
I suggest this method as one way of recognizing artistic self and enlarging a horizon of new art. My works will be developed in various artistic fields -- sometimes in performance, sometimes in installation, in cubic or in flat. It will also open a free world in its mode, free conventions of concrete or abstract art.

※ ki-kong meditation : There is an unseen flow within and without body which reflects the activity of our mind. In Eastern philosophy, it is called ‘ki’. The word ‘kong’ means ‘practice’. If your mind concentrate strongly on your body, you can see, feel, read and control streams of ‘ki’. The purpose of ki-kong meditation is to see the activity of the mind as it is.

by Youngwon Kim