Epidermis: The Frosty Lips 2 Painting by Jiyoung Hong

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Art Description

Painting: Oil on Canvas.

My works ask about inner side by exploring images of which external figuration grew dim and they express a world beyond feminine and masculine images shown in mass media.

I used to have habit of biting side flesh parts of tip of finger nails. When I observed my palm after biting 10 fingers, I could see that each finger had two concave grooves. In fact, no pain was felt maybe because I stopped biting just at the limit. Instead, I remember that I was busy and happy with making twenty grooves when the flesh started growing again.
The flesh I used to swallow is so-called “epidermis”. Epidermis is a coined word between “the outer” meaning “to reveal outside” and “dermis” connoting “skin” and “layer”. This means an organic body or external skin which embraces the outward part of a living thing. In general, epidermis is considered outer skin of plants and animals. Epidermis in plants plays a role in protecting and regulating the composition of inner side of plants. The cuticle meaning cells which embrace the upper part of nails, as in the same context as epidermal cells of leaves, prevents human body from evaporation and protects it from outside.
Epidermis observed in my works is motivated from my habit of biting side flesh of finger nails of my childhood caused by psychological restlessness which turned into a ludic act in the end. The side flesh of nails can be classified as animal epidermis like cuticles and this means skin tissue covering skin surface composed of 0.3mm of thickness void of blood vessel and nerve. Therefore, the concept of epidermis contained in my works includes outer skin and layer of plants and animals too.
However, they are now a superficial tool I want to delete. This is because the thoughts of observing things have been changed into superficial perspective by the influences of media. Moreover, epidermis is not only a symbolic word implying lop-sided way of thinking toward external appearance of the modern society but also key matière of my works.
Today, mass media intends to brainwash appearance-oriented views (lookism) to people in a subtle and unconscious way. Like this, it is the word “epidermis” that I intended to delete external information right from the point in which outer beauty is about to be carved as a generalized image. This way, my epidermis is changed as a superficial instrument wishing to delete the tool of a ludic act.
The shower of non-stop media pouring every single moment attracts attention of people and speedily spreads by gathering all kinds of stimulating senses like visual and auditory senses. Even against their will, people tend to absorb what is said, written and done in the media with receptive attitude. For this reason, the reversal of the order leads information to be delivered in a unilateral way away from bilateral communication. Finally, media makes our fundamental thoughts keep hovering around or cease to exist.
Hereby, my works starts from “Epidermis world” where epidermis can be purchased right outside the door. In other words, my works explored the essence by way of expressing virtual world of which the images of external figures are already deleted.
The series “Epidermis TV” based on thermal sensor cameras which started from 2014 want to tell about the current era of media. The world seen by thermal sensor cameras is embodied in six different colors by the temperature change. This way, the world becomes absolutely simplified in ambiguous colors and forms by the heat and it does not depend on infinite information poured from the media. This is my wish of looking at my inner side by expressing the world with simply connoted colors and heat. For this reason, in this new world, you are invited to ask about your inner side while exploring the virtual world of which external appearance became vague beyond the figuration of media.




Epidermis: The Frosty Lips 2

Jiyoung Hong

South Korea


Size: 16.1 W x 20.9 H x 0.7 in

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