Can Be a Mystery, Who Decides the Beginning and the End?
The magnetic force, the life of the Logos gathers together his body of manifestation.
-Alice Bailey, A Treatise on Cosmic Fire 1)
It is a mystery. From Chaos to Cosmos, from Cosmos to Chaos. How do they circulate? Scientists suppose that black hole absorbs substances, but white hole extracts the absorbed mass. However, it resembles ‘Law of the Conservation of Mass’, which was discovered by Antoine Lavoisier and not scientifically proved. Why does such a phenomenon happen? One of the mystics mentioned that it was because of the limited perception of our bodies. If we could get out of our body and use our full capabilities of senses, then things would be seen in very different colors, and all matter might be perceived differently from what our bodies experience. 2)
Using liquid magnetic material that Sungfeel Yun has been working on since the 2010s, the exhibition 《Contemplation on Electromagnetic Force : Black Screen》 explores the principles of creation and changes of the universe that can be imagined theoretically but cannot be proved scientifically. The world that he explores are, as Younggi Kim (chief curator in OCI Museum of Art) wrote in his critique, ‘the circulation as a mode of existence, and it is “the world of circulation” that is the evidence of being alive whether logical or physical’ and also as Eun Jung Cho (critic) refers, “the world of true nature” where “everything is a movement of mind”, revealing that the principle of operation of all matter in the universe is the same as clouds in the sky that can be seen as tigers or flocks of sheep, but they are only clouds, and clouds are not a concrete entity.
The world of circulation and true nature is a world where human beings, machines, and mechanical movements meet at one point, and a world that makes “thinking moving iron powder as a bug” to borrow the quote by critic Cho Eun Jung. It implies indirectly that “life and matter” are perceived as a single entity as the world of contemplation in the ancient East and West perceived, and everything whether living or non-living is not fixed but circulating. In this exhibition, it is worth paying attention to the point as critic Eun Jung Cho mentioned that ‘his work reminds me of Anish Kapoor, but it is focused on energy, not the expansion of space.’ Sungfeel Yun’s works do not focus on the appearance of the shapes aesthetically, but focus on the way liquid magnetic materials revealing physical shapes in space through the major aspects of ‘vibration’, ‘time’, and ‘electromagnetic force’.
1) Alice Bailey, 『A Treatise on Cosmic Fire』, Lucis Publishing Company, 1973, p.330.
2) Lobsang Rampa, 『Lessons from Lobsang Rampa』, Inner World Publishing, 2018, p.191.
The ‘time’ he focuses on is the opposite of the time of still life painting, which captures ‘the moment of pause’ and remembers the time of eternity. The time he captures is not about remembering a certain moment when it is paused, but focusing on the ‘time’ that constantly flows. Memories of stillness merely pays attention to the shape, but memories of flowing time is capable of observing the changing shapes, that is, focusing on the inner essence of them, not its external appearances. Flowing time implies that the ‘individual element’ is not fixed in the time of eternity, but becomes a single entity with the ‘whole’. In other words, whether or not water droplets became ice, clouds, and stagnant water in a puddle, it is impossible to sort out them when they merge in the sea. It means a world of individual elements becoming one with the whole and constantly circulating, not like a closed individual and its separated world. The ‘electromagnetic force’ that activates liquid magnetic materials reminds us of the ancient Eastern theories of yin and yang and the mutual relationship between energy and matter. The form of a fixed material does not exist in the exhibition 《 Contemplation on Electromagnetic Force : Black Screen》. By triggering the electromagnetic force on the liquid magnetic materials, it becomes a shape with material form. When the electromagnetic force operates, the shape becomes physically visible. The outcome is visible in our eyes, but it is also the entity of energy as it is shaped by electromagnetic force. The exhibition 《Contemplation on Electromagnetic Force : Black Screen》 shows that matter and energy are not separated, but that energy and matter are the same substances but only have different forms. It implies that life and matter are not separated, and that human beings and everything in nature are not divided as well. Lastly, as seen in 〈Black Screen 23-1〉, it is ‘vibration’ that moves liquid magnetic materials through ‘black colors’ and electromagnetic force. The black liquid material on the black screen that absorbs light looks like a black hole that absorbs all matter in the universe and the dark chaos before the universe was created. In 〈Black Screen 23-1〉, the physical form in which the black screen vibrates by electromagnetic force reminds me of the quotes described in H. P. Blavatsky’s 『The Secret Doctrine』, “the final vibration shakes infinity. And the cosmos awakens.” 3) or the line by Alice Bailey, “The magnetic force, the life of the Logos gathers together his body of manifestation.” 4) Therefore, the origin of the creation of humans and the universe can be different from the ‘creation theory’ that all things were created by God, or the ‘evolution theory’ that life naturally evolved from inorganic matter.
The exhibition 《Contemplation on Electromagnetic Force : Black Screen》 does not explore the fundamental nature of the shape within the art genre to find its essence. It is explored through electromagnetic force in the field of science, philosophy, and 3) H. Blavatsky, 『The Secret Doctrine』, publisher theosophy, translated by Kiyoung Lim, 2000, p.143. 4) Alice Bailey, op. cit., p. 330. other studies. Therefore, it can be said that the essence of shape is examined through a convergence art paradigm beyond the modern art paradigm.
The matters embodied through Sungfeel Yun’s liquid magnetic material is both visible and invisible, revealing that these two worlds are not separated, but the same world, that is, matter and energy are just two sides of a coin. Therefore, it tells us that the exploration for origins of the humans and the universe should extend beyond the physical world as well as the perceptual world perceived by our bodies.
As mentioned earlier by curator Younggi Kim, the exhibition 《Contemplation on Electromagnetic Force : Black Screen》 makes us think about the other world with complexity and chaos and the invisible world, such as “the movement of electrons, the flow of water and air, the principle of cause and effect, the five elements of yin and yang, karma and reincarnation.” It excites our curiosity to explore the secrets of the creation of humans and the universe.
Kwan Yong Cho (art critic, director of 2023 Gwangju Media Art Festival)