“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself,” said Friedrich Nietzsche. Submission and obedience are concepts that both Abrahamic religions and Asian cultures have in common. It is the norm in Korea that the community as one takes priority before the individual, so much that individuality is oftentimes looked down upon and viewed as a form of rebellion. In other words, one must become a sheep in an act of collectivism and shun the individuality of the goat. I am a personification of inner conflict – the silent pacing between the right and left hand, which is the culmination of religious pressure and the uncertain pacing between the collectivism perpetuated by Eastern values and the individuality perpetuated by Western values.
The unhealthy nihilistic enthusiasm for Armageddon in the religion I was raised in was the source of my interest in the downfall of man through futility, despair, evil, decadence, and death. It also sparked my admiration for the human spine, which is a symbol of individualism, authority, and potency. I use elements from religious art and contemporary culture to create ironic, morbid imagery using the human body and its distortion, with emphasis on the human spine, as a subtle and silent passive-aggressive defiance against the sheep I am expected to be.