South Korean Artist Su-Jeong NAM And Her Concept Of Figurative Lines


Deeply engaged with the interrelationship between line and figuration, the works of South Korean artist  Su-Jeong Nam depict how the contours created through drawing can feel less like artificial boundaries imposed by an artist, and more like organic extensions of the figure depicted. The artwork of Su-Jeong NAM is an exploration of numerous detailed and delicate lines, drawn layer by layer until they appear like grasses or leaves. She does not simply draw landscapes, however, but uses lines to describe the essential harmony she sees in nature and the universe.

South Korean Artist Su-Jeong NAM

Starting with dry pigments, the artist first colors her paper, then begins drawing. She builds shapes until vivid flower petals, stamens, pistils and leaf veins are grown.

From a very young age, Su-Jeong NAM’s weak eyesight forced her to view objects in a different way. Instead of looking at a flower, she sees the lines that make up the flower — not just the outline or the lines that might be visible on the surface, but lines down to the cellular level. It’s these innumerable lines that make up our world, and yet most people can’t see, that makes this work unique. The artist, who received her BFA from the Busan National University in South Korea, hopes that her paintings give people a feeling of optimism, her canvases’ bright, fresh colour and form.

Beautiful work by South Korean artist Su-Jeong-

South Korean Artist Su-Jeong NAM
South Korean Artist Su-Jeong NAM

Her concept of art includes various kinds of fauna, from azaleas to forests to acacias. Her practice of drawing lines as points of origination, rather than rhythmic disruptions of space, allows her artwork to extend freely across the whole plane of a picture, rather than being confined to some artificial area of immobility.

She utilizes techniques derived from Korean tradition to critique the society where these traditions originate. For instance- the complementarity between, the lines delineating a flower (as Nam renders it), and the colored background against which it develops, brings home the social necessity of creating less arbitrary hierarchies, where artificial divisions between the elements of a political body do not interfere with the development of life as a whole.

In a nutshell, the focal point of Nam’s work is aesthetic. The only issue is the absorption of ink into the material it is applied to, and how this absorption works to create a sense of lineation that feels both significant and formal.


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