These are really cool and smart. Apparently programmatic mapping, these quasi-portraits are created by South Korean artist, Ahn Min Jeong, who describes her work as appearing ‘to be emotionless and analytic, but when you take a close look at it, the majority of my work employs motifs from personal memories, people around me and things that I have’. The images of her work below are accompanied with descriptions by the artist. Enjoy!
‘Creating a portrait of my body in this piece, I employed signs and symbols, like those commonly used in blueprints or mechanical drawings, thus leading viewers to imagine someone whom they haven’t met and possibly to reconstruct a “new” person out of the complicated and yet clearly descriptive anatomy. Technically speaking, I first measure each body part, including the length, distance and angle, and then transfer the measured dimensions onto the paper. In the process, even small moles, scars and pimples on the skin are carefully observed and translated into symbols. In addition, I also try to quantify the aura of the figure in kilometers, which refers to an invisible spirit and soul, drawing halo-like curves around the head.’
Six-Membered Family Portrait: Mother Distributed Aloes of Her Own Cultivation among Her Family, digital print, 2007
‘In the piece, six members of my family gathered together massaging with aloes that my mother had grown herself. Through this artwork, I tried to capture stories of family and the relationships between family members. The halo around the mother’s head represents her warm energy and aura. Yellow rays coming out from the mother’s forehead represent the “light of love” that she has toward her family. Also, I used the hormone, Oxytocin which is related to motherhood, for my older sister’s love and care for her baby sister.’
This piece was on display at the exhibition titled Visible Sound held in 2007. In collaboration with hearing-impaired students, I interpreted their sign language into different images. Here, sign language and the visual image work in tandem to convey the same contents. In this artwork, I used the symbols from circuit diagrams to express the interrelationships between figures, the situations they are in, their appearances, how often they met, as well as how and why they met, etc.
“This piece is about a good family as a unit of responsible individuals. The most popular Korean phrase for a family motto “가화만사성(Ga-wha-man-sah-seong)” meaning “when one´s home is harmonious, all goes well” is repeated making concentric rings and embracing the entire pictorial space. Underneath it, all the family members are assembled into a single human body. The faces of the parents, who are the foundation of a family, appear as turns in a main circle which becomes the head of a bigger figure, while their four daughters form the body.”
“This is me painting. I tried to express my thoughts on painting, my perspective on the world, and the energy of an artist.”
“Based upon my personal memories where I would never go to school without my mom giving me a kiss good bye, in this piece, I tried to analyze what power a kiss can hold. It clearly shows that what moves the human mind is neither by the order of the brain or muscle movements nor is it by the energy generated from food.
When I was a primary school student in 1989, I was hard to go to school alone. However, my mom kissed me whenever sending me to school, by then, I was encouraged to go to school. Even when she sometimes forgot to kiss me, I got kissed by all means, and then I was highly excited to go to school like a rabbit. When I was tired to walk on the way to school, I recharged the power of mom’s kiss saved on my face. I arrived at school after the power of her kiss was exhausted, and I spent many days in this way. By the time I am used to going to school alone, neither mom’s kiss is able to encourage me any longer, nor she kisses me anymore.”