Chaos, Cosmos and Circulation
Hanmi Gallery is pleased to present Chaos, Cosmos and Circulation, a series of work by South Korean artist Sungfeel Yun (1977). These works on canvas tackle themes of balance and harmony in the universe, relating to both the macro and the micro and revealing the constant flux of systems, including human existence.
“The conceptual nature of my work is about the nature of existence, as explored in Eastern philosophes and the theories of physics moreover affected by the expressive methods of minimal art such as using geometric styles, repetitive patterns and simple forms.” – Sungfeel Yun
Following episodes of life threatening bronchial asthma attacks as a child, Yun was drawn to ontological questioning. The search for answers to the simple question, ‘What am I?’ led to the study of Taoism, the Yin and Yang theory and Buddhism. Yun relates these philosophies to the scientific understanding of the physical world, including string theory and quantum mechanics. Physical laws follow many of the same principles as Eastern philosophies, such as regarding the universe as a circulating system of energy created by electromagnetic force (Yin and Yang) and repeating cycles of creation and extinction within the universe. These coexisting ideas now underpin his artistic practice.
The majority of the works in the series Chaos, Cosmos and Circulation are formed by positioning ball bearings on a sheet of linen covered in either a mixture of steel filings and glue or epoxy and pigment and then rotating magnets behind. This results in a pattern of concentric circles that resembles many phenomena found in nature, such as the pattern formed when a raindrop hits water. Here, Yun alludes to repetition, cyclical systems and ultimate harmony. Other works also contain circular, repeating forms and use magnetic force to create dynamic surfaces.
The universe can appear chaotic, but at times order or predictability emerge, revealing underlying principles of circulation, cycle and repetition, such cycles observed in nature include the changing of the seasons or the planets orbiting the sun. The key to reconciling the paradox of the coexistence of chaos and cosmos is to understand that we are looking at both with a human understanding. Chaos, to us, is that which humans cannot understand. The cosmos or order is something that we can comprehend as forming cycles. The difference lies in our understanding and is not intrinsic to the phenomena. There is a balance. Critic Young-Sang Hong observes in Yun’s work, the “visually balanced harmony of the chaos and the cosmos”.
Born in South Korea, Sungfeel Yun completed his MFA in Sculpture at the Slade in 2013, following an Art Practice BA from Goldsmiths. He now lives and works in both London and Seoul. In the past year he has been awarded the Broomhill National Sculpture Prize, Special Commendation, North Devon, U.K, has been included in the 2013 New Sensation, 50 Long List by the Saatchi Gallery, London and selected as one of the 40 artists for The Catlin Guide 2014, London. Solo exhibitions include Chaos, Cosmos and Circulation at Pyo Gallery, Seoul (2012), Looking at the real world from within the real world, Zaha Museum, Seoul (2012) and an exhibition with the same name at sketch, London (2014). He has also participated in a number of group exhibitions including the 2013 Broomhill National Sculpture Prize, North Devon, UK and 4482 Map Korea, Barge House, London (2012).