Narcissism Red

Seunghwui Koo

Year:

2017

Media:

Resin covered with crystals, mirror on wood

Size (cm):

37 x 36 x 36

London 2018
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Other works

For the Love of God

Seunghwui Koo

Year:

2016

Media:

Resin covered with crystals, mirror on wood

Size (cm):

46 x 46 x 42

London 2018

Piggies

Seunghwui Koo

Year:

2017

Media:

Acrylic on terracotta pigs on wood panel

Size (cm):

31 x 31 x 8.5

London 2018

Biography

Seunghwui Koo creates her works drawing inspiration from the daily happenings and intricate moments of her life in NYC. Her work is a commentary on the lives of New Yorkers as she has witnessed. She was born in South Korea, where she first had the idea of combining the pig’s head and human body. The significance of the pig’s head lies in the different symbolic meanings from the Eastern and Western cultures. Good fortune (Eastern) and greed (Western), two very different connotations of the pig, are themes that are a part of her works. She uses resin, acrylic, plaster, clay, and mixed media to create her works. She is one of the artists in the Chashama organization in NYC.

Live and work in New York, U.S.A

Artist statement

"Pigple"

When I was young, my parents owned a butcher shop. During that time, I saw a lot of butchered pigs. In Korea, when one opens a new business, buys a new car, or starts a big new endeavor, it is tradition to have a celebration with a pig's head in the center of the room while money is put into its mouth. The person then bows and prays for a good and comfortable life. There is also a belief that when one dreams of a pig, it is a precursor to material wealth. In Korean culture, people will buy lottery tickets and charms of pigs to compliment these beliefs and traditions.

As an adult now living in the United States, I have experienced and observed many new cultural things. I have discovered there is a completely different connotation associated with the pig. The pig can also symbolize greed. This new world is a place where money rules, the distinction between good and evil is blurred, love and happiness are small things, philosophy has no place, and only material beauty matters. I have observed people curse the rich for having monetary wealth but at the same time be envious. In today’s competitive society everyone appears to be running to win a race but not realizing you cannot win away your loneliness when the people you have ignored or mistreated in your pursuit are not there for you at the finish line.

My pig figures are symbolic of the different kinds of people I encounter in my own everyday race of a life. The bright colors and satiric images used on my terracotta clay and mixed media “Piggies” have been purposely used to create a whimsical urban vibe to my work but upon further inspection represent a deeper and sometimes critical commentary on today’s society with the end goal of connecting with the viewer to inspire thought, forgiveness, solace and hope.