“I am making a constant effort to construct the body as a made-up habitat”
AT: Where are you from and how/why did you start engaging with art?
JH: My name is Jihyoung Han. I’m an artist based in Seoul, South Korea. I take interest in pseudo-science and non-human images, and am researching the world and identity that derives from an individual. My experiences in various countries and friends I met there seem to have triggered my art world. Human beings of the same species, but language, skin, disposition, perception – Many options were different. Through interacting with anonymous and newly created egos, I secured subjectivity and wore various skin through storytelling and transformation.
AT: When did it become serious?
JH: As a human being and a Korean, my exterior is only a simple surface, so I dreamed of an outer skin made of the nature inherent in it. The shape created through the desire to freely coordinate the appearance according to the environment was explored.
AT: Are there any person who has been significant in your breakthrough as an artist?
JH: They are friends in various fields who spend a lot of time with me.
AT: What is your first approach to the work? How would you describe your practice?
JH: I wanted to enter and understand the different customs and traditions, the amplitude of language, the gesture, and the diversity of gestures in each country, and I always felt like I was rebooting myself with a new setting. What was made from that is the subject of passing through my painting series. I usually start by studying the human body, such as molecular biology or biological sociology. Using the new intellectual property developed through these studies, I’m experimenting with the possibilities of the altering physical body becoming more adaptable in the future.
Still Life With Basket of Apples, Acrylic on canvas, 60.5x73cm, 2022
AT: What do you aim to reach with your work?
JH: I’m making a constant effort to construct the body as a made-up habitat. And as I do, I treat the image inside the work as a single lifeform. This lifeform’s body parts aren’t decided, such as a head and limbs. Rather, it is closer to a small community or village that each has a role they take part in and live together in harmony. Fragmented pictures, like easily handled Legos, take on monstrous and disorganized shapes at this point with illusion and melancholy as political inhibitors. Illusion, as the blind presumption that the weak can prevail over the strong with no strategic coordination, leads to unfulfilled promises and unmarshalled drives.
AT: What are your favourite tools and materials for working?
JH: I use Airbrush and Acrylic painting as my main medium and imitate the images we experience in the current digital world, such as the pixelation in JPEG files or the brush techniques from Photoshop.
AT: What do you feel while you work? Do you usually think about the final outcome beforehand?
JH: The fragmented images that each flee toward a different future manage to create a space within frame and unite to live together in this place to become one painting. So it’s usually hard to think how it’s final outcome.
AT: How do you understand that a work is finished?
JH: When elaborately constructed forms eventually complete structures that are dependent on each other in very different and complex ways, my work is finished when it shows that they’re all calculated according to the laws that work around us.
Egos slide into one another, Acrylic on canvas, 145.5x112cm, 2023
Parabola of our age, Acrylic on canvas, 145.5x112cm, 2023
AT: Where does the inspiration for the work come from?
JH: Digital institutions / physical institutions – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Things that redefine the future of visual
AT: Are there any artists who influenced your works? Why?
JH: Ed Atkins, Ryan Trecartin, Jon Rafman. I think they’re kind of people who are extremely expressive of melancholy through estrangement. Towards an imagined, un-achieved future of pleasures and intimacies, grounded in a flawed, imperfect present. It impresses me a lot.
AT: How important is the role of social media for you?
JH: Images born through an individual’s image editing act become a world and reproduce what is determined by human appearance. In this sense, social media activities are a place where I want to escape and disappear. And that kind of thinks always come out from my works. But on the other hand, it’s helpful to finding our own reflection. As a means of creating the world and challenging the patriarchal norms of offline mainstream.
AT: What is your opinion about NFTs and their impact on the art world?
JH: I never know if I’ve ever witnessed something go from zero to hyper quite so quickly. One of the fallacies of
NFTs is that art can be pursued in an economical realm divorced from the struggles of everyday reality.
Honestly, I think it’s still very early days and the verdict on all of this is far from in. As whom is fascinated by
the mechanics of accelerationism the whole situation is thrilling
Bodies on occasion, Acrylic on canvas, 100x80cm, 2023
Bodies on occasion, Acrylic on canvas, 60.6×72.7cm, 2023
AT: As an artist, what is your point of view about the contemporary art system?
JH: As a near-inexhaustible source of creative energy, the artist that are rendered in the art world exceed bodily boundaries through enthusiasm. Whose collective individuation strives toward uncontrollable relationally. The contemporary art system needs to concentrate imagined, un-achieved future of pleasures and intimacies, grounded in a flawed, imperfect present.
AT: What do you find to be the most challenging or daunting thing about pursuing art? What is the most
rewarding part of working as an artist?
JH: I think it is the most difficult to carry out the illusion that is not promised. Without strategic coordination, leads to unfulfilled promises and unmarshalled drives. Most rewarding part of art Our practice is not so nihilistic as it is a practical, good-humored assessment of how The Way Things Are Today will be understood. Try not to make something so extraordinary, endowed with a magic so stupefying, so useless in the dreary framework of the everyday, and at the same time so irreducibly necessary to those who, from day to day, seek to live the parabola of our age.’
AT: What do you do besides art?
JH: I am very interested in underground culture, so when I don’t produce art, I spend almost a lot of time with people here and do various things like clubbing, DJing, model works or art directing.
AT: What are your goals and expectations for the future?
JH: As a means to counter the exploitation of hypervisibility and ai, I want to continue to create a non-readable body that changes and transforms, creating a strong background view of the work. And also, wanna do other somatic explorations which nurture processes of unlearning, exchanging, and relating to and through the matters and environments in and around us.
Jihyoung Han | Portrait in studio.
Jihyoung Han is interested in pseudoscience and human images, researching the identity that derives from individuals. Her paintings involve “alternative reproduction,” “new shapes,” and a search for “social positions,” as well as experiments and transition processes for the conditions under which it is possible.
Through the continuously evolving contemplation of the boundaries of the human realm, transformation and transition are now considered real sociological issues affecting contemporary reality. A new metabolic state has been devised by late capitalism whereby human needs and desires are purely satiated by the continual evolution of their devices.
Her paintings show the main components and reflections of anamorphic bodies, introducing the public to question our position, which is no longer just a science fiction fantasy. She asks herself, “What can this body be?” and “Which cultural imaginations shape the function of humans?” Her impulse for transformation is evident in her work.