JONG H. RO

Photographer

I think of my paintings as visualizations of feeling, the chromatic expression of my self-perception. I paint to convey mood and state of mind, and find that the lines, shapes and areas of color I lay out on a canvas create a mirror that reflects who I am or how I feel at a particular point in my life.

I am an introverted person with an extrovert’s penchant for expression. Born and raised in a Korean culture that historically emphasized conformity and the collective, I always knew myself to be innately individualistic and acutely aware of how “different” I was. This awareness desperately needed a voice and I found it in art, first ceramics, which I studied as a fine arts major at Hong-ik University in Seoul, Korea. As I developed as an artist, I quickly found that abstract expressionist painting was an intuitive artistic language for me, a style in which I felt effective at finding the right bold strokes and lines to convey the non-conformity that characterized many of the middle years of my life, both in Korea and as an immigrant to the United States.

As my self-perspective has evolved and I’ve found greater inner-peace, my expressions of self have changed correspondingly. Many of the bold lines that characterized my painting in earlier years have been replaced with areas of color that evoke a less jagged and more balanced feel. When I assess my own work, I find that the merit I see in it is less about the true aesthetic than its accuracy in capturing my state of mind. I imagine that the level of impact the painting has on its viewer has much to do with whether they share or relate to the feeling that gave rise to it.