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Q&A Artistry: Delving into Jaeyeol Han's Creative Journey and Transcending Boundaries

Can you tell us about your background and how your military service in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake influenced the beginning of your art career?

JH: My background in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake was a turning point in my life. Witnessing the devastation firsthand opened my eyes to the fragility of human existence and the power of art to capture and express these emotions. It was at that moment that I felt a calling to pursue an artistic career.

How has your experience in Ireland shaped your artistic perspective, and what inspired you to create the Passersby series?

JH: Moving to Ireland offered me a new perspective on life and art. I was inspired by the diverse faces of passersby on the streets, and the Passersby series became my way of capturing the essence of humanity in its most vulnerable state.

Can you discuss the artistic choices behind depicting "faces without faces" in the Passersby series and the emotions you aim to evoke?

JH: In the Passersby series, the "faces without faces" represent a sense of loss and the struggle to rebuild one's identity after a disaster. I wanted to evoke emotions of empathy and understanding from my audience by focusing on our shared human experiences.

How does Goethe's Theory of Colors influence your work, particularly in the Passersby and Bystanders series?

JH: Goethe's Theory of Colors has been a significant influence on my work, particularly in the way I use colors to convey emotions and narratives. By understanding the relationships between colors, I can create more profound and dynamic paintings.

What role do the themes of politics, history, and humanity play in your artwork, especially in the Bystanders series?

JH: The themes of politics, history, and humanity are intertwined in my work. The Bystanders series, for example, is a reflection of how we collectively bear witness to events that shape our world. I aim to raise awareness and spark conversations about the societal and political implications of these moments.

In the Gathering series, you modify and rearrange images from disaster archives; can you discuss the process and intention behind this technique?

JH: In the Gathering series, I use images from disaster archives as a starting point. By modifying and rearranging these images, I aim to challenge our preconceptions and provoke thought about the consequences of these events on our collective psyche.

How do you balance the political and historical aspects of your work with the emotional and sensory impact on your audience?

JH: Balancing the political and historical aspects of my work with the emotional impact is a delicate process. I strive to create paintings that resonate with my audience on a personal level while also raising awareness of the broader social context.

What advice would you give to aspiring artists looking to develop their unique artistic voice and style?

JH : For aspiring artists, I would advise them to stay true to their unique vision and never be afraid to push boundaries. Experimentation and self-discovery are essential for artistic growth, and remaining open to new experiences will inspire your work in ways you never imagined.

Can you share any upcoming projects or future directions you'd like to explore in your art?

JH : In the future, I'd like to explore new techniques and mediums, pushing the boundaries of my artistic practice. The Passersby series has been going on for 10 years, and last solo exhibition was kind of a wrap-up. The Gathering series has started anew, and the interesting part of that transition is that I had this idea that the faces in the Passersby series wanted to have their own bodies, and I'm going to extend that in my next project. Passersby project was drawing faces and making somebody to nobody, so that they can become anybody. In my next project, I plan to erase the narrative from the found-footage and allow the viewer to embed their own narrative. In doing so, I am attempting a fundamental and universal approach.  

April 2023