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Check out Jayoung Yoon’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jayoung Yoon.

Jayoung, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My mother is a therapist and A Korean traditional dancer. I grew up watching her dance, understanding instinctively that the bodily practice of ritual might heal the failures of language and logic.

In 2005, a year before I moved to the USA, I attended a retreat in South Korea. I was introduced to many different forms of practices. I learned the practice of fully inhabiting the present, clearing the mind, and recognizing our duality. It was a turning point for the way I think about art and life

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My art draws upon diverse spiritual practices that emphasize clearing the mind and directing attention to the body to achieve a heightened awareness of the present. I was looking for a material that embodies both body and mind.

Human hair is intimately corporeal, tactile and focuses the viewer’s attention on the body. I try to convey an intimate feeling and physical tension through wearable hair sculpture. Also, since hair doesn’t decay long after death, it is an especially appropriate symbol of remembrance. I use the hair sheared from my head, then transform the hair into sculptures. Each strand of hair is hand-knotted or woven into forms, which can be seen through, conjuring invisible thoughts and memories. Such forms are often used in my video and performance works.

In the videos, I connect the ‘invisible thoughts’ to my head, often lifting slowly into the air and disappearing, as a cleansing gesture. The videos become ritualistic meditation ceremonies, often comprised of long-term actions involving endurance and silence. My head is shaved, as monks do, representing a symbolic non-attachment to the material world. Also, I meditate with my back to the camera, embodying a detachment from my gender, culture, and thought. The immersive quality of videos in conjunction with my androgynous appearance invites viewers to inhabit my body, and experience the process of clearing the mind.

Also, I make stand-alone sculptures, which they sometimes become an immersive installation. The weightless hair sculptures move from the airflow created by a viewer’s movements and from the environment. Those small movements in space, on an intricate scale, shift the viewer’s awareness toward subtle perceptions that are often taken for granted.

What do you think it takes to be successful as an artist?
For me, success means that I always listen to my inner voice and continue to make artwork. And when my work engages the audience, I hope my works facilitates small moments of awakening through the art experience.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I am a New York-based artist. I have exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the USA include Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York; Here Arts Center, New York; Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, New York; Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Delaware; New Bedford Art Museum, Massachusetts; Ohio Craft Museum, Ohio; Scope Miami Art Fair, Florida, and Seoul Olympic Museum of Art and Coreana Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea.

My upcoming solo exhibition, ‘Seeing the Threshold’ will be on display at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles in San Jose, California from October 19, 2018, to January 13, 2019.

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