Jihyun Park comes from Korea and he is internationally known for his Incense Series.
That’s how he describes his works of art. “After reading the books Gulliver’s Travels, Utopia, and Erewhon and seeing the Japanese animated movie Castle in the Sky, I became inspired to develop a relationship between the concept of utopia and the materials that I use in my work. My recent work, Incense Series, focuses on this relationship while searching for the promised harmonic balance that utopia brings. Ironically, the word “utopia” in Korean is “Yi Sang Hwang” and “Hwang” means “incense”. In My current incense drawings, I use lit incense sticks to burn holes in rice paper. I then mount the final drawings onto varnished canvases. The burning of the incense sticks creates emptiness where there once was substance, both in the stick itself and the paper used. At the same time, the emptiness creates space in the paper and empty spaces show new image.The holes in the paper allow one’s eye to see shadows while at the same time light is reflected back from the varnished canvas. This balance of dark and light, emptiness and substance is the essence of ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’ and through this balance utopia is achieved. “