WooJin Shin is a Korean artist currently living and working in Chicago, IL. He investigates
Eastern mythologies, traditions, and spirituality to examine the potential means of our
presence. His work portrays the present Korean identity by reinterpreting Eastern culture
through his influences of Western art history. He has received his BFA from the School of
the Art Institute of Chicago in 2017 and he is a current MFA candidate at the School of the
Art Institute of Chicago in 2019.
I make art as a reaction to the systemized structures that rigorously rationalize and categorize art. I find that art teaching and interpretation privileges rational thought, and works in ways very distant from what I think of as our natural spectrum of feeling and expression. My practice has taught me that matter morphs continually on a continuum between compression and expansion. On macroscopic level, matter assembles and disassembles in cycles or loops similar to heart beats. On personal level, thoughts and feelings of an individual collide and are formulated inwardly. I attempt to understand the whole by studying parts. I deeply focus on my senses throughout image making process to resist from the rationalization of own perception.
To understand indefinable matter, I paint each painting without knowing what the image will turn into. Each layer is an intuitive response to the previous layer. As layers accumulate, a sense of time manifests itself in the image. Painting in this sense is sequential. When the images multiply, the visual narratives on the surfaces of the paintings also multiply, mimicking the enormity of temporal experience.
The ambiguous aspect of my images detaches viewers from their habits of presuming or defining what they see. The illusion of each image allows viewers to foreground their instincts, instead of relying on the rational interpretations and critiques that are common and habitual.