For this week’s artist conversation, I had the pleasure of speaking with the talented and bubbly Sery Kwon. She and two other artists, named Laura Lopez and Alice Andreini, displayed their abstract paintings together in a show named “Site Lines.” Their show was displayed in the Max L. Gatov Gallery East.
When walking into the gallery, bright bold colors immediately caught my eye. Random lines and textures filled each painting that Sery made, creating a sense of wonder and interest with every glimpse. The paintings were very abstract, making people guess their meanings/purposes. Even without knowing these purposes, Sery’s painting were beautiful and, in a sense, both fun and whimsical. Acrylic paints and rice paper were used in the making of the paintings.
Sery, who is working towards her BFA in drawing and painting and is graduating this semester, said her inspiration for her paintings was colors, especially saturated/bright colors, with her favorites being coral and purple. She also said that her paintings were based off of open cities, which she creates or portrays, with the help of Google Earth for inspiration. Two out of the four of the paintings displayed were based off of two actual cities. One was to portray Los Angeles Traffic, and the other was to portray the city of Dublin, Ireland. The one of the other two paintings were said to be what happens in someone’s mind, and the last being a random city she created herself. All four paintings took her two months to complete, and have the common theme of how control and order, shown through maps and geography, are built up and ruptured. Besides the destruction of order, Sery interestingly began to paint abstract only recently. She used to paint figures before, but became tired of it in her junior year of college since there was always an answer to the classical art type. Abstract, instead, could have many or no answers, which Sery enjoys very much.
Born and raised in Korea, Sery came to the United States at age fifteen, along with her brother, to study art, since, in Korea, the art is traditional and skill orientated. She wanted a freer representation in her art, and her parents were very supportive for her to move over here. Hopefully, they are able to attend her graduation ceremony.
Personally, abstract paintings can be a hit or miss for me. Yet, for Sery’s, I enjoyed her paintings very much. Being someone who has lived in Los Angeles all her life, I tend to love cities over the countryside. City life is just more familiar, and Sery’s portrayal of Los Angeles traffic gave me a nostalgic feeling since I have encountered it many times. Also, her painting that shows how much goes into the mind is great considering that the human mind is not simple, neat, and organized easily. The mind is simply all over the place.
Overall, I really enjoyed Sery’s paintings and speaking to the artist herself. She was very outgoing and open, and I am amazed at how well she speaks English, considering that she came to the states at age fifteen, and said she did not know how to speak as well before moving. I hope to see more of Sery’s work in the future.
To see more of Sery’s work and works in progress check out her website: http://serykwon.weebly.com/