“Man is free, even if he were born in chains” (Friedrich Schiller, 1797). For the Korean artist Hyunsil Choi (born in 1980, lives and works in Daegu), physical, topographical or spatial restrictions are not a contradiction to the freedom of the spirit, but – on the contrary – its catalyst. Due to a foot injury that did not allow her to move in a large range of motion, Hyunsil Choi developed a meditative form of drawing. In small hand gestures, she puts serial, repetitive signs of various kinds on paper. Inspired by repetitive and meditative practices of Buddhist traditions of image making, the artist deliberately seeks a process of mental detachment from the executing body. In drawing, the mind detaches itself from its shell and falls into a mode of contemplation. Truth-finding and self-healing are her impulses, and she invites the viewers to lose themselves in her gardens full of signs as well. Hyunsil Choi mostly draws with charcoal, oil pencil and oil pastel on hanji, a traditional Korean paper. The use of oil pastels and charcoal results in smudges that break with the orderly structure of dots and lines, while open areas form white voids. Sometimes she works with several layers of patchy hanji, giving her works a sculptural quality.
She is currently working on the SIL Project, a kind of postal exchange format based on her drawings. She wants to create an interactive art experience for all participants and encourage them to express themselves. The results of her project are presented in the exhibition.