Exploring the Beauty of Nature | An interview with a Korean Artist Shin Chaeyeon


What draws you to nature as a source of inspiration for your art?


I feel at ease and relax in nature. Just a small park or wildflowers in the city create some space in my spirit and mind.  I feel they are whispering and singing in living form. Nature is young and wild at the same time very ancient and wise. When I connect to them, I can listen to their old voice invoking my voice which is always been part of the great nature.


Can you describe your creative process from the initial idea to a completed artwork?


I make color and texture on the surface by abstracting from plants or natural pigment. And it leads to some poetry images or subjects in an intuitive way. A huge part of the whole process is a work of alchemy, it goes very much to unexpected and wonderful outcomes. Sometimes I feel I am only a translator of what nature wants to say or sing. When I choose them to compose in specific series, I choose to be more delicate or more intuitive and wild.



How has your Korean heritage influenced the themes and style of your artwork?


I think I've been influenced not only by Korea but also by various countries through literature, paintings, sculptures, music, and travel.  I tried to find my themes and style which feel right and suited me so that I can feel satisfied and happy when I do my work. I could also say It's quite personal. 

When it comes to Korean heritage, I remember my dad, who had always supported and cared for me, and that time made the core of my artwork and myself, which is unconditional love. 




Do you have a favorite natural element or landscape that you like to depict in your artwork?


I like earth and fire element. I love sunshine and love to swim in water too. I like my Light series and Air series as well. The landscape of Horizon with Mountains, lakes, and deserts is compelling to me. I see the landscape as a big textured canvas or frame, and I fill them with imagination, contemplation, and color. It's more that I'm trying to express what I see and How I feel their spirit inward than depicting the look of the outside.

When I choose elements for each work, sometimes I follow my mood and feeling of the day that I need to connect with or elements within me.



How do you balance realism and abstraction in your depictions of nature?


I depict nature as energy and spirit form. Spirit of flowers, wind, rain, and stones.. Abstraction gives images of poetry, and small realism which looks like a horizon could make it balanced and peaceful. I like it that way. I'd like to let my color and texture speak for themselves as nature does. And sometimes like clouds, people find some figure in my art with their mind and I like it too.


What message or emotion do you hope to convey through your art inspired by nature?


Nature is home. They are here, they've always been here to listen quietly and want to connect to our old souls. I hope the person who sees my art finds some relaxation and playfulness in beauty, as nature does.


How do you see your artwork evolving in the future, and what plans do you have in store for your next project?


Recently I've been exploring other mediums like soft pastel, cyanotype, linocut, and monotype printmaking. Playing with other mediums gives me fresh air and new joy. Also during the art residency I had in Portugal and Spain last few months, I could explore local plants in my process. And I liked it. Wool felting and paper making for the surface also quite feel interesting and experimental to me for now





if you like Shin's works please check out her  webpage