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Artist Interview in Berlin "LODOWN magazine (#81)
It’s weird how we memorize things, isn’t it? Way too often – regardless if the flashback was triggered by a sensuous experience or simply by staring at a photograph – things are getting all out of proportion from the actual truth to an almost grotesque level, particularly when you don’t keep these memories to yourself. Depending on your mood and ability to either paraphrase rather irrelevant incidents as thrill-rides or serious drama, the past suddenly was either a lot better or worse… but hardly what it actually was. There are a few people though, that almost obsessively dissect their past to get to the bottom of things. And some of them luckily do so in an overall fascinating and creative way like Seoul-based artist Minjeong An.

“I get a lot of my ideas from personal emotions and trivial occurrences,” she tells Lodown, “yet, they are meaningful, something like treasures that I can cherish. Many people overlook the value of everyday things and relationships and often treat them as being menial or unproductive. I want to discover the true value out of seemingly insignificant things and share them with others.”

As a young girl already, Minjeong An was looking for empty spaces that she could turn into canvases but soon turned her focus to drawing blueprints and assembly drawings to make her own game houses and machines, which surely weren’t perfect but worked good enough for her. Still it took her quite a while to find her very own means of expression that later got her the well-deserved attention.

“As far as I remember the very serendipitous moment was about 10 year ago when I worked as a web designer. I came across an architectural floor plan on the web and found the complicated lines and signs just beautiful and compelling. I guess, even before this I had been drawn to collaged and complex images, but this was a kind of clicking moment seeing the beauty of the floor plan. All the elements such as dots, lines and signs written on it were neither merely decorative nor auxiliary, but each of them carried important information. I think the impression of the blue print was quite deep. When I was in graduate school, one day I thought of measuring myself with rulers and creating a self-portrait. In completing the piece, I used signs and symbols from many different charts and diagrams and the practice evolved up until now. But again, as I mentioned earlier the impetus was to express and convey personal sentiments. Thus, I would say, my work is open to other visual elements and approaches as long as I find them relevant to further express human emotions and trivial but valuable stories.”

Her art is a heavily detailed trip into the past, an autobiographic amalgamation of personal memories and intellectual observation of family interaction that reveals a lot, not only about her life but about Minjeong An as a human-being. By delving deep into her pictures you’ll find out that she’s a very sensitive and gregarious kind. So what about your past?






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