born in Jeju, Korea / work in Jeju
“Even in small villages, the seasons come deeply and quietly and leave traces. In them, there are the harmony of small creatures near intense lives of people and the vital nature that embraces them. All of which coexist beautifully with their meanings and values.”
Jeju Island, where the artist Ko Kwon was born in 1980 and raised, was the beautiful island that achieved triple crowns from UNESCO in the area of natural science thanks to its clean air and beautiful scenery with about 20,000 Haenyeo (female divers) at that time. So, these natural landscapes like the sea, fish, and forest constantly appear in his works. In Jeju Island where shamanism developed enough to predict the year’s luck by reading the sky on the first day of the Lunar New Year, the shamanic subject matter also naturally appears in his work.
Northern shamanism and the painting styles of ancient tomb murals are very interesting elements to the artist as well. Like a child, his expression style which is free and purely independent of form or composition, started from such environmental influences and his humanities interest in his country.
Artist Ko Kwon thinks that all the living things in the universe are the wonderful creatures of nature, and that they prove the evolution of life. Therefore, he pursues work that most accurately represents his idea that “all creatures are beautiful and have value.”