In my artwork, I draw from the human circumstances that flourish between reality and perception. Born and raised in the Korean myth culture and adopting Buddhist philosophy, I assume that the world we are living in is not real but is an illusion that we perceive. I doubt that there is anything like truth in a concrete sense. I aim to create my own illusion in my art. My images are my way of seeing the world without pretense.

I often use half animal and half human figures in my work. Those hybrid creatures represent the portrait of us, human as social animals and the society that we live in. They portray the society that we are living in through the creation of creature hybrids, which express the absurdity of the human world. They portray ironic gestures that create a mixture of humor and grotesqueness, reflecting life in our society. The creatures are symbolic of those humans who are dimwitted and un-knowing, or who choose not to see anything beyond the ‘Illusion’ that they are taught.

My recent work is responding to lifestyles and thinking processes that are often ruled by consumerism. I see about our contemporary society as new illusion that created by systemic world since the invention of internet and social media. Through the internet and social media, human lives are controlled and monitored and this new system that controls us consistently promotes consumerism as they get information from watching and monitoring us. Trying to fit into this consumer culture makes individuals loses the sense of their own identities and personalities while we follow and being followed. My creatures are a portrait of us, human who reside in this illusionary world that is created by the system we created ourselves.

To show the mass consumer culture where humans live in today’s contemporary society, my medium varies in different types of prints incorporating other media such as relief, intaglio, screen printing, as well as digital process, and new technology like laser cutter and 3D printer and combine them with sewing, ceramics, book binding etc. I also experiment with human-made materials such as plastic boxes, vinyl sheets, and paper bags, products that symbolize our micromanaged and controlled society through my project.

(Statement by Eunkang Koh)