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Kyung Jeon -- Artist statement

My paintings start in many different ways. Sometimes I start with a character that I imagined while drifting off into sleep. These characters are usually distorted somehow with exaggerated body parts, or two characters are performing strange acts to each other.  I also start at times with what I call my doodles, as my mind often wanders while I am drawing. What comes out is spontaneous and impulsive, and I never know what to expect. Other times I find inspiration from characters in books, or an idea can come from phrases in books that I find interesting.  The feeling of getting lost in a book is often what happens when I paint.  I get lost in the madness, fantasy, and love of the characters I create.

My paintings are psychological narratives told through little cute asian boys and girls.  The paintings are drawn from a stream of consciousness where nothing is censored.  They are the crazy ranting of journal entries -- I can look at a painting and remember what I was thinking or feeling. Once in awhile, I will finish a painting and when I finally step back to look at it, I am shocked or brought to tears because what I see is something so deeply buried in my psyche -- I am taken aback at how things that are so buried somehow find a way of coming to the surface.

I enjoy when someone sees my paintings from across the room -- what they see is cute boys and girls with black hair wearing only their underwear floating around in a fantastical place where the snow is green, trees are pink, or the water is purple. The viewer is captivated by the sweet euphoria, but then when they get closer, they realize that it is not really what they expected. The paintings are humorous, sexual or erotic, melancholy, disturbing or violent. The boys, girls, and fairies often switch roles as the aggressor and the victim. I allow these twisted scenes to surface onto the painting as personal investigations to push what is funny, to what is perverse, to what is absolutely absurd. These exaggerations of characters' actions communicate my personal thoughts, insecurities, and desires.


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Contemporary Literature, April 2007, Vol. 628