Circling

2019

Acrylic, pen, and latex on canvas

30(W)x40(H)

This work was derived from Korean traditional performance, ‘Circling the pagoda’, which was originally Buddhist ritual praying rebirth in paradise. ‘Circling’ is the general worshiping performance observing from majority of religions. I extended the conception of ‘Circling’ into people’s daily life in the modern society, namely, how people cannot escape from the system of money. According to John Calvin (1509-15640), a French theologian, it is crucial to acknowledge the role of God plays in the process of salvation. When it comes to the concept of ‘Poor but honest living’ in Christianity (specifically, Protestant), he emphasized that we have to set us free from our internal desires of possession by relying on God. Furthermore, he claimed that ‘Greed’ is a sort of idol, namely, obsession with greed is equivalent of idolatry.  I combined the fundamental idea of Calvin related to possession and materialism with the features of the character (Nolbu) whose lumps symbolize greed in Korean traditional fairy tale, ‘Heungbu and Nolbu’, in order to manifest figures hanging lumps on their faces are circling around the subject of their worship (money or desire). 

 © 2020 by Jihye Baek.