Q&A Session with Myself
Q: Hello. Can you briefly introduce your art to those who haven't seen it before?
A: Hello, I’m Yoonsoo La, an artist who paints pain.
Q: Could you briefly introduce your work?
A: My paintings reveal pain.
I like the phrase ‘Life is pain.’
If life is a continuation of pain, it means that tomorrow will be less painful if today was the hardest day.
When I look back on my memories, I have been suffering from pain for my whole life. I have recently suffered from financial problems while starting my business, and two years ago, I was eager to survive as an artist. To go back a little bit further, ten years ago, I hated the pimples on my skin. At that time, it was very hard for me, but now when I think about it, it has become a light topic to talk about.
I paint my pain in a light and humorous way with materials used in everyday life and using playful images.
Q: The phrase 'life is pain' is said a lot in Buddhist doctrines. Are you influenced by Buddhism?
A: Yes, I am, but I am not a religious person. Rather than believing in one specific religion, I am simply interested in all religious doctrines.
All religious doctrines seem to have the power to make people feel comfortable. For example, the Bible promises heaven by telling me my pain is the ‘will of God’ and Sutras (Buddhist texts) tell me to admit my pain by saying ‘Life is pain.’
Both doctrines seem to encourage and comfort people in their own ways.
For this reason, I research all religious doctrines.
My ultimate goal is to create an image that makes people feel comfortable.
Q: Where do you usually get your inspiration from?
A: I'm usually inspired by the pain in my daily life. For example, I depict very primeval pains like hunger, a sense of loss, and all the pains in my life.
In terms of image, I am usually inspired by artifacts and old texts, especially the works in prehistory and the Joseon dynasty periods.
Q: The display with all the works on the wire mesh is very unusual. Could you elaborate on this as well?
A: I'm not good at organizing, so I just pile up the paintings as they are done.
When I concentrate on my work, everyone tells me that the studio is a pigsty.
So, when my room is nearly bursting with paintings, I clean up. (It’s like once a week.)
As I organize my paintings, I organize my painful memories together.
The memories of pain that I still don't want to see go back into the box.
But when the paintings look beautiful and are no longer painful for me, I place the paintings on the shelf.
For me, organizing is a process of meditation, and displaying is the result of meditation.
Just as meditation is a process of emptying and clearing the mind,
for me, tidying up is the process of emptying my inner pain.
And the result is that the display cleanses my mind and all my pain is gone.