Kum-Ja Lee MFA LRVS Thesis 2017

At the Intersection of Time and Space

How can we construct our internal world through contemplating time? How can we perceive a balance between the material world of external phenomena and the internal world of contemplation? How can we understand the internal world through artistic vision?

In response to these questions, I investigate artistic and philosophical notions of time, being and becoming, seeing and unseeing, and the aesthetics of the duality of Yin and Yang. My paper examines worldviews of time and space through Eastern and Western perspectives and reflects the meditative experience of emptiness as dynamic space. I am drawn to notions of time, space, and the aesthetics of duality and spontaneity.

I seek to elevate an interest in connecting the viewer to natural states of being and wonder in order to address alienation, consumerism, and the spectacle of modern society. The writings of Guy Debord, Henri Lefebvre, and others influence my inquiry. I examine these concepts and how they manifest in my art practice and in the creative works of contemporary artists. Processing art, abstraction of image, and discovery are fused with the concepts of time, being, the visible and invisible. I am motivated to make art that offers contemplative moments toward awareness as dynamic space and an understanding of harmony in the natural world. These ideas, materials, and methods are influenced by my upbringing in South Korea, my interest in Zen Buddhism, and the immersive experience of Western culture. This paper hopes to deepen the reader’s understanding of time by providing an aesthetically appealing metaphysical relationship with it and to constitute an awareness of the internal worlds of contemplation.

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MFA in Visual Studies Thesis Works