(De-)vision Division 1.  Oil on canvas, 180 x 240 cm, 2021
As it was the beginning of a series, I kept the process and goal of the painting open, and I tried to reach the end of the painting as best I could.
Photography: Kichun Park
(De-)vision Division 2.  Oil on canvas, 180 x 240 cm, 2021
I started the painting in a monochromatic, almost black and white, and then added colour as I went along because I wanted to take a more cognitive approach to the painting process. Because of the nature of oil, it tends to show through the undertones, so the painting has an overall wet look to it.
Photography: Kichun Park
(De-)vision Division 3.  Oil on canvas, 180 x 240 cm, 2021
It was painted after I realized that the 2nd painting had become too muddy from my initial monotone work, and I was trying to figure out how to freshen it up. I realized that I habitually painted heavily.
Photography: Kichun Park
(De-)vision Division 4.  Oil on canvas, 180 x 240 cm, 2021
Still painted in a representational style, but I felt that my pictorial language had become more fluid and relaxed than in the previous paintings. However, I was still not satisfied with staying in a representational style.
Photography: Kichun Park
(De-)vision Division 5.  Oil on canvas, 180 x 240 cm, 2022
To get away from the representational approach, I sketched it out, put the photo away, and created the scene using only colour combinations. I also tried to keep it as flat as possible.
Photography: Kichun Park
(De-)vision Division 6.  Oil on canvas, 180 x 240 cm, 2022
It was difficult to move away from a representational approach. I tried to keep it as fresh as possible.
Photography: Kichun Park
(De-)vision Division 7.  Oil on canvas, 180 x 240 cm, 2022
It was a major turning point in my work. For the first time, the green landscape was replaced by red.
Photography: Kichun Park
(De-)vision Division 8.  Oil on canvas, 180 x 240 cm, 2023
It’s to recognize and reapply the operational changes I made in the 7th. I was able to apply the new changes to some extent.
Photography: Kichun Park
(De-)vision Division 9.  Oil on canvas, 180 x 240 cm, 2023
I had experienced that the actions did not flow together because the sketch was too solid in painting 8th, so I made sure that painting 9th contained enough information about the structure and form of the motif so that it would not be overwhelming. After sketching, I focused on the colors, their expression, and the way the brushstrokes were applied.
Photography: Kichun Park
(De-)vision Division 10.  Oil on canvas, 180 x 240 cm, 2023
For this painting, I wanted to make a little more progress on my work, but when I set a goal that is too detailed, the whole process tends to get bogged down in it, so I decided not to set a specific goal and just focus on the moment. I tried to keep the painting balanced so that it didn’t get too heavy or too light.
Photography: Kichun Park
(De-)vision Division

Detailed description of my project

(De-)Vision Division is a series of paintings of a single scene that blends an everyday scenario from North Korea and another scenario from South Korea into one. It is a scene I combined from two photos, one of volleyball players in North Korea, and one of people walking on a gentle slope of a mountain in Gangwon-do, South Korea. Korea has been divided for more than 75 years. Although many attempts have been made to reconcile and reunify the two states (e.g., through the so called “Sunshine Politics”) the division remains as unquestionable as ever and the border is one of the most heavily monitored regions in the world.

With this series, I paint landscapes where boundaries are broken down – in the actual landscapes as well as in the painting techniques and further artistic methods I am using in the process. The paintings of (De-)vision Division are variations of the motif described above. The idea behind the repetition is to envision the two divided Korean states as unified – yet blurred and modified. Through the tearing down of borders, between the two depicted scenarios and metaphorically between the two divided states, the long-dreamt reunification or peaceful coexistence of the two Korean states becomes tangible – at least in the eyes of the viewer. As a result of this process of visually undoing the division, the famous quote about the German reunification of the former federal chancellor Willy Brandt, “What belongs together is growing together,” may be applied to my paintings.

I have finished the first ten paintings of the series between 2021 and 2023, a time during which I was working on abstracting the realistic scenes through a formal visual language, because actual boundaries can never be broken down if reproduced on canvas. Rather, it is necessary to first discover the formative features behind the visual surface of a border or boundary, to then verbalize these features in a pictorial language. While in the beginning, it was difficult to move away from a reproductive interpretation of the motifs, by the seventh painting, I began to replace the realistic elements of the scene by an abstract formal language. For example, the green of the landscape was replaced by red, and the boundaries of the landscape immediately began to blur. In order to develop this change further, I painted the eighth painting, the ninth and tenth paintings.

I am planning to continue with next 10 paintings on this series. And this year I will work on the next five paintings along with an in-depth study of my painterly
elements and techniques. I intend to refine my method of translating the realistic elements of a scene into an abstract formative language, while at the same time working on connecting the abstract pictorial elements back to the realistic scene. By enriching my pictorial language and by using academic research methods for the in-depth study of my own painting techniques, the next paintings will result in a new landscape, one that pushes the idea of a new vision even further. The boundaries of the existing landscapes of the separated North and South, which are subtly overlapped – in each of the paintings – with each other, are broken down more and more with each new painting, and the two landscapes will be combined in yet a new way.