Seon is an artist from South Korea who has transformed what can be common in our everyday lives into a form of art. Having lived away from Korea for decades, she has a diverse and multicultural background. Consequently, she began to question life and her identity. Seon studied art therapy because of a long-lasting desire for the arts and psychology, which eventually led to the pursuit of her Master of Arts degree.
After she finished her studies, Seon’s clinical experiences led her to develop her career as an artist. She believes in symbolic communication, which allows inner conflicts to be resolved non-intrusively, using creativity as a tool for a natural healing process. Through her studies and work experiences, she analyzed her life – namely her childhood – and her work became the embodiment of her memories and emotions. Yet it also represents everything she has come to understand as life’s impetus: a continuing series of memoirs. Freud’s Instinctual Drives, Jung’s self-actualization and Erikson’s “Psycho-social Development” majorly influenced Seon’s artwork. She incorporates these theories of psychology into her art, embodying these metaphors in her work.
The term “Shirubean”, coined by Seon, was inspired by the growing process of “Kongnamul” (soybean sprouts) which, she observed during her childhood. The “Shirubean” series is a reflection of inquisitiveness. The “Shiru” pot is a traditional clay pot that is used in Korea for cultivating bean sprouts and making rice cakes. The “Shiru” pot, an old, unflattering banal earth-stone pot that harbors the growing bean sprouts, is what Seon identified herself with as a child. The pot was a central symbol in her childhood and thus holds a heavy significance for Seon: it remains an artifact of those days and memories.
The beans are cultivated in a small space, each tiny, weaving stem struggling, and gathering, pushing against one another to grow. A certain magical energy is felt as the yellow beans burst from their skins in the final stage growth, just like the rising sun. Seon feels that this humble process represents human life and the struggles we experience as we grow. “Shirubean” is symbolic of her identity of all the memories and emotions that sprouted and strives in Seon’s heart.