Yun Hee Toh

August 21, 2017 by Laura Gomez


Artist Interview:

Name: Yun Hee Toh

Age: 55

Birthday: 28 November 1961

M.F.A. Sungshin Women’s University, Seoul, Korea
B.F.A. Sungshin Women’s University, Seoul, Korea

How would you define yourself as an artist? Being an artist is just being an individual. It’s not being a leader or a politician. It’s just someone who does things that they genuinely feel within their own boundary.

Why art? How did you get involved with art? Both of my grandfather and grandmother were artists, which influenced me fundamentally. For my inner peace, the only way to get out of being melancholy was to paint ever since I was a child.
There are people who can’t bare to exist without pursuing something and for me that is art.

What art do you most identify with?
Painting, I am a painter.

What does “being creative” mean to you?
Discovering unknown path endlessly by using aesthetic sense and trying to find something while maintaining it inside me.

What are you trying to communicate with your art? I think about the other side of the world. I am interested in things that are hidden or unseen, fragments of unfamiliar life, remote place, something reversed. Therefore, these are things that are covered by things to be seen more obviously. I talk about these covered things metaphorically. There are poetic portions behind and on the periphery of reality as well as in its realistic details.

My job is to broach those out onto the surface of the world and make it look real. Thus where I am standing is the point where this poetic metaphor meets the reality.

What do you see as the strengths of your pieces, visually or conceptually? I use metaphor or implication to deliver the reality and this makes the reality richer than just seeing it with naked eyes.

What themes do you pursue? Things that are hidden, thing that cannot be seen without slowing down, things unformed, things old and broken.the world being seen from the inside. Things that are easily seen from the surface has it’s aggressive aspect of making the inner side to be discovered even harder.

What inspires you to work? There are too many things from the everyday life. Those are rather being discovered intuitively than being forcefully restrained. Inspiration can be also triggered by scenery, sound, image, or some occasion or phenomenon.

Colour: Talking about color, there are many variations even in one named colour. In fact, there is no exact color. This is because color is a reproduction of emotions from different conditions. For example, when we see same color, it’s totally different from daylight to night, and also from what color it is next to. For this reason, color is emotion.
The color of river on a rainy day, the color of dust on an old window sill, the color of skin under sunlight, the color of rusty metal piece on a cold winter day.. I like these kind of colors.

Book: too many

Movie: movie’s from Friedrich Lang, Robert Bresson, Michael Haneke

Food: Breakfast menu

Quote: can’t think of any

Can we talk a bit about your process at the beginning of a project? How do you conceive of it? How do you build it in your mind before you start? When there’s an idea, I don’t transfer it onto a canvas right away but I capture and save the image or make notes. Then an idea gets switched over to working process as time passes by. Once it’s ready to be transferred onto a canvas, I visualise a finished image. Afterward I choose colors and make drawings.

What Role does the artist have in society? Exhibiting the act of questioning life of human indirectly yet in precise manner. Direct references are done by journalists.

Do you suffer for your art? Of course I do.

What do you think about the art community and market? I am not sure, I am not positive.

Should art be funded? Why? no comments

What famous artists have influenced you, and how? Thomas Bernhard. He let me know what I know. The fact that the act of living life requires effort is in fact just a timid struggle against stealth, impulsive destruction.

What other interests do you have outside of art? Traveling.

You seem to be very aware of the history of works. Where do you see films, photo exhibitions, art perfomances today? I personally look for them by visiting museums and shows, reading in books and via the Internet.

How would your life change if you were no longer allowed to create art? To me, creating art is not about proving creativeness, but rather is yelling out or liberating myself. Painting is my only will against the bitterness of feeling impotent. Creating art is about the inner side endlessly being revealed to the outer world. This is about devoting interest in life. Creating another equation by adding everything together. If this cannot be continued, I wouldn’t be driven away from the distressed core of anxiety.

some short questions now…

Colours: every color

Textures: I use hands. You can think of it as sculpting thin layers using oil paint.

Describe your style: “Define yourself”… contemporary classic.

Define your art: contemporary classic.

Art Fairs: Basel, colon, chicago, miami, fiac, frieze newyork, london, Hongkong

Museums: every museum

Cities: Fes, Lasa

Travels: sahara desert, tibet, india, mount etna volcano

Artists: changed from age to age

Music: cannot pick

Cars: none

Drones: none

Mobile App: TripAdvisor

Who are the artist’s you admire the most? Those artist who influences other artist. Good artists influences other aritsts.

What are your next projects? My next plan is to continue on my current project. It’s because when continue your current work, the change of flow comes naturally.

Define Klassik Magazine for the audience? Impressive! Stunning!

Solo Exhibitions:

2011 Unknown Signal ; Gallery HYUNDAI , Seoul, Korea
2008 Gazing without Eyes ; MONGIN art center, Seoul, Korea
2007 The hidden beauty ; Galerie Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland
2005 Being : CAIS Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Being : Lee Hyun Gallery, Daegu, Korea
2001 Being-Forest :Fassbender Gallery, Chicago, U.S.A
1999 Gallery Bhak, Seoul, Korea
Kumho Art Museum, Seoul, Korea
1998 Artemisia Gallery, Chicago, U.S.A
Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea
1996 Gallery Bhak, Seoul, Korea
1994 Woong Gallery, Seoul, Korea
1995 Seoul Art Fair, Gallery Woong, Seoul Art Center, Seoul
1993 Artemisia Gallery, Chicago, U.S.A.
1992 Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea
1986 Duson Gallery, Seoul, Korea

Selected Group Exhibitions:

2012 Flower in the moment ; OCI Museum of Art, Seoul Korea / Draw, Draw, Drawing… : HELIO Art, Seoul Korea
Beyond the Bridge : Bridge Gallery, Seoul Korea

2012 People chasing the memory to come ; Gana ART
Abstract it !; : The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul Korea
Immersion : Jeju city Museum, Jeju Korea

2010 Drawing through process ; Atelier 705, Seoul Korea
Dup. the meme : BIBI Space, Daejeon, Korea
Floating Hours : Moon is the Oldest Clock ; The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul Korea

2008 Brushed, non-brushed after 10 years, Gallery Bundo, Daegu, Korea
Genesis: “Works by Ariel Ruiz i Altaba and Yun-Hee Toh” : Korea Foundation Cultural Center, Seoul Korea
B – Side: Do Art, Seoul, Korea

2007 ‘FLOWERS’: Aram Art Center The Goyang Cultural Foundation, Korea
Kleinformat, 30 Positionen, Galerie Karin Sutter, Basel

2006 Simply Beautiful: Breath of Nature in Korean Contemporary Art, Centre Pasqu’Art, Biel, Switzerland, Le Grand Jardin, Joinville, France
International Incheon Women Artists’ Biennale, Incheon
Multiculture & Arts Center, Incheon, Korea

2005 Feng Shui, The 12th Special Exhibition of Sungshin Women’s University Museum, Seoul, Korea
Beyond Repetition, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

2003 Crossing 2003: Korea/Hawaii, Contemporary Museum of Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A.
A Vague Scene, Yoo Art Space, Seoul, Korea
Bench Marking Project, Namsan Park, Olympic Park, Seoul, Korea
Tradition & Innovation, Koreanische Gegenwartskunst, Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Berlin, Germany & Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea
tandstill Time, Star Tower Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Korean Contemporary Art of 21st Century, Sun Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Gana Art Gallery 20th Anniversary Exhibition, Gana Art Center, Seoul, Korea

2002 Chemical Art, Gallery Sagan, Seoul, Korea
The Exhibition of Asian International Art, Daegu Culture & Arts Center, Daegu, Korea
Invitation of Contemporary Art, Daegu Culture & Arts Center, Daegu, Korea
Spring Story, Gana Art Center, Seoul, Korea
Speculation of Plant Life, Gallery La Mer, Seoul, Korea
66 Artists Supporting Contemporary Literature, Gallery La Mer, Seoul, Korea

2001 Yun-Hee Toh & Seung-Tack Jang, Gallery Sagan, Seoul, Korea
9 Women Artists Vision & Version, Seoho Art Museum, Namyang, Korea

2000 The Beauty & System, Gallery Rho, Seoul, Korea
Beauty & Women, Bhacksang Art Center, Seoul, Korea
Autumn Aroma, Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Art of 2000, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea

1999 Revival of the Painting, Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul, Korea
The End of Painting, Gallery Euro, Seoul, Korea
The First Korean Art Festival, Gwangju, Korea

1998 Brushed – Non Brushed, Gallery Sai, Seoul, Korea
Version I, CAIS Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Material & Plane, Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul, Korea
Frame is Better Than Painting, Kumho Museum, Seoul, Korea
Traveling Art Museum, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea

1997 DOT, Kumho Museum, Seoul, Korea
Entasis of Korean Art, Dong Duk Art Museum, Seoul Korea
Beyond Abstract Painting, Gallery Wooduck, Seoul, Korea

1996 PRIX Hwanki Exhibition, Hwanki Museum, Seoul, Korea
The Present and Future of Korean Art ’96, Walkerhill Art Museum, Seoul, Korea
Artemisia Gallery Member’s Show, Artemisia Gallery, Chicago U.S.A.
8 Korean Contemporary Artists Exhibition, Continental Gallery, Japan
Art of Korean Image, Aotea Center, New Zealand
Korean Young Artists, Backsang Art Center, Seoul, Korea
New Painting Spirit – Anti Plane in the Plane, Sung Kok Art Museum, Seoul, Korea
MANIF Seoul ’96, Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea

1995 The First Print Exhibition, Seoul Arts Center, Seoul, Korea
DMZ Art Exhibition, Indeco Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Korean Women Artists Festival, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

1994 Young Korean Women Artists Exhibition, Artemisia Gallery, Chicago, U.S.A.
Seoul – Sapporo Exhibition, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

1992 Life – Phenomenon, Midopa Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Contemporary Women Artists of today, Gallery Seoho, Seoul, Korea

1991 Asian Contemporary Art, Tokyoto Museum of Art, Japan

1990 55 Women Artists of today, Total Museum of Art, Changheung, Korea

1999–89 Asian International Art, Tagawa Museum of Art, Fukuoka Museum of Art, Fukuoka Asian Art Center (Japan),
National Museum of Art (Singapore), National Museum of Art (Malaysia), Kuala Lumpur Merdeka Building,
Asia Afrika Bandung (Indonesia), National Museum of History (Republic of China), Seoul Museum of Art (Seoul, Korea)

1989 Korean Contemporary Art of Today II, Total Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
Inaugural Exhibition of Pine Tree Gallery, Pine Tree Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Inaugural Exhibition of Dongsoong Arts Center, Dongsoong Arts Center, Seoul, Korea

1999–88 ChangJark Fine Art Association Group Exhibition, Korean Culture & Arts Foundation, Marronnier Art Center, Seoul, Korea

1987 Young Artists of Today, Duson Gallery, Seoul, Korea

Selected Public Collections:

National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea
Samsung Art Museum, Seoul, Korea
Art Sonje Center, Seoul, Korea
Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul, Korea
Kumho Museum, Seoul, Korea
Ilmin Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
Sungshin Women’s University Museum, Seoul, Korea
World Bank, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
Philip Morris Co. Inc, New York, U.S.A.
City of Chicago Art Program Collection; Edgebrook Branch Library, Chicago, U.S.A
School of Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, U.S.A.
Stiftung Sculpture at Schoenthal, im Kloster Schonthal, Switzerland
Telefonica, Miami, U.S.A
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Seoul, Korea
Korea University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
Daewoo Engineering & Construction, Co, Ltd, Seoul, Korea
Hanwha, Seoul Korea
Aekyung , Seoul, Korea
Hyundai Development Company, Seoul, Korea
IT Thinknet, Seoul, Korea
Jinro Distillers Co. LTD, Seoul, Korea
K Power Company, Seoul, Korea
Four Seasons Hotel, Guangzhou, China
Marriott Hotel, Seoul, Korea
Hyatt Hotel, Seoul, Korea
Samsung Hotel, Geoje, Korea
Standard Chartered Bank, Seoul, Korea
Samsung Life Isurance, Seoul, Korea
Heungkuk Life Isurance, Seoul, Korea