Sunyoung Park

Artist Statement

My visual language is created based on the process of translation of reality. I see something in reality, and I accept it. I read it from my perspective, and I perceive what it is for me. When I understand an event, a feeling, or an observation in the world, I can't process the experience without using a memory of something else as part of my method and flavoring it with my imagination. I use this experiential translation with my created visual language in the making of my artwork. I sew fabrics, I hand build clay, and I draw. The time I spend making the work is equal to the time I spend processing the translation of reality. I use materials with significantly different characteristics—clay, fabric, wood, or metal, for example. Making ceramic and fabric compositions allows the pairing of softness with hardness, flexibility with stiffness, lightness with heaviness, and detail with abstraction. Through these contrasting oppositions, they begin to represent the duality of domesticity to nature, control to spontaneity, and feminine to masculine. Although I contrast wood, fabric, and ceramic through their different surfaces, physical and contextual meanings, I attempt to align them into a cohesive moment. I reveal the contrast between the faded image of memory and what seems to be a clear memory by using flowing glazed surfaces and matt clay surfaces that are activated with a pencil. Through this approach, I am revealing a piece of memory that is frequently repeated, becoming my visual language.


Momentary uncertainty


Trying to remember

Intermingled images

Nostalgic sense

The gesture of the body

Similar textures repeated in different materials

Transformed finger

Natural object; a rock, a branch, and a leaf

Metaphorical plasticity; gestures of finger mimic a shape of a branch or a form of a leaf.

Rock is not considered as life but aging; between death and life.

Transformed rock on the wood texture carpet,

Inside and outside

A walled garden on all sides; Korean garden

I compare these contrast qualities, and then I ask, “what is real to you?”, "where do you belong?" I regard my practice as a journey to find the essence of an object, of an experience, and how it relates to reality. I do not want to define what is right, what is wrong. I want to understand what I experience beyond the physical and delve into the realm of emotion and imagination. Through my visual language, I want to viewer can decide what they are seeing.


SunYoung Park was born in Masan, Korea. She explores the spaces between imagination and reality, feminine and masculine, East and West, disgust and beauty, and inside and outside. Park believes that the distance between opposing themes has mysterious, otherworldly, and ambiguous qualities. The use of diverse materials represents her visual language as she explores contrasting surfaces with an emphasis on ceramics and mixed media. She earned her BFA(2014) and MFA(2017) from Hong-Ik University Seoul, Korea. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Park was the resident artist at Clayarch Gimhae Museum in the Ceramic Creative Center(2017), and currently, she obtains her MFA from Studio art at Southern Illinois University Carbondale(2021).