What kinds of image pop up in your mind, when you hear the word 'artist'? It's whether a highly fashionable man or a man away from secular life. This is a story about my brother whose image is much closer to the latter. He is now 28-year-old. He is a tall skinny man. He has a pretty long hair that comes near to the shoulder which he sometimes he ponytails. He walks with his shoulder crooked a bit, swinging his long arms in the air, giving off a stingy smoke smell. I could notice him in 10 meters only with the smell. He is a bit of a freak artist.
He had been a good obedient kid until high school. One day he talked to my mother that he wanted to study art. He actually had a sense of art since he was young. Majoring in art not only costs considerably amount of money, but it does not also guarantee a promising future unless he is a brilliant genius. It took a couple of days to persuade my mother. She allowed him to do so in the end.
After graduating high school, he got admission to Jung-ang University, which was pretty a fine one, so to say. Spending a semester there, he figured out that it wasn't the right place for him to pursue his future with. The highest standing university in art in Seoul is Hong-ik University. For that matter, he dropped out Jung-ang University and studied half a year for Hong-ik. Dropping out must been a hard decision, which meant there's nowhere to go back even if he fails to go to where he aspires. Leaving no options behind but to study hard really impressed me in a way. This revealed his persistent attitude toward life 'to achieve what he desires to, no matter how much it takes'.
Although he could not make it to Hong-ik, he entered Korea University. Entering there, he seemed to do a lot of things. He had done different kinds of part time jobs from teaching young children art to cleaning a coffee shop at dawn. In terms of his works, they are really both eccentric and grotesque. Once I got to see his filmed work from a computer. His head is gotten covered with a plastic bag, and he walks all places with it: in the bus, on the escalator, on the street, on the bridge, passing by all people. This short film is titled 'dumbness'. He said "I wanted to portrait how the world and people are. We all cover our eyes and ears with something else and try not to see each other." He once had a chance to hold an exhibition sponsored by some institute. I still remember how grotesque and gloomy it was for a normal person like me.
He still is working hard to deliver his view of life into his work in a different and unique way. And I'm watching his works developed as getting older together with him.