Can you tell me a little bit about you?
My name is Soo young Chung, and I am from South Korea. I am currently living in London and recently completed an MA in painting at Royal College of Art.
What ideas are you exploring in your practice?
What lies between misery and joy, deprivation and desire in the countless relationship with numerous objects is the everyday experience of contemporary people. Even on very normal days when nothing happens, a lot of things get involved in people’s daily lives.
However, no style is dominant in creating an everyday environment of people. But most people share and consume products similar to others. In other words, although each person chooses an item with his or her taste, most of them make a relationship with the products in a manner similar to that of others, creating “contemporary daily life.” Everyday space in my painting is a scene that starts from someone’s personal story, and could also be the life of someone else.
What is your process like?
The space of the house and objects in my paintings are mostly based on my actual life, but also I refer to magazines and personal media that people present in their home environment. It satisfies my voyeuristic desires and make me understand what people enjoy at home, what they hide and what they want to reveal. What I have found from comparing my home with the space in those types of media is that the house space contains intimate details about personal taste, so its objects allude to a person living in it without his or her existence [or presence], but it is also socially reflective space. In other words, the space of the house and the objects depicted in my paintings are the intersection of my personal mythology and collective identity.
Before I start painting, I do a pre-drawing collage first. I refer to the objects I use, I find pictures from online or other media and collage them to complete the basic drawing. My painting is based on the drawing, but the composition and selection of color is determined by improvisation.
Do you have a mentor, or a piece of advice (or both), which has influenced your practice?
Rather than having a specific mentor, I like to talk to various people about painting. And I prefer to talk with artists who do painting because I can share many deep concerns about work.
What is your studio like?
My studio is in Brixton, London. I prefer a well-organized environment. Maybe my characteristic is reflected in my style of painting.
What do you find most daunting, challenging, or frustrating about pursuing art?
I think that the hardest thing to live as an artist is that I work 24 hours a day. Of course, I do not literally paint 24 hours a day, but even after I leave the studio, it is hard for me to get away from my work. There is an obsession that I have to think about something related my work at all times. So sometimes it is necessary to completely empty your mind, and that is a real rest.
What are three words you would use to describe your work?
object/ environment/ human
What are you working on right now?
I recently interviewed people from various professions about their spaces, and I make a painting series based on it.