Police Place Presence


“The police officers in fluorescent uniforms are always in the square. Sometimes scattered, sometimes densely packed, they shimmer above the gray city. They patrol, encircle, and create space in the square. The fluorescent dots constantly alter the shape, texture, and feel of the space, as well as the sensation of the air. Depending on their mode of existence, the atmosphere in the square can become tense, loose, thick, or light. They are both subjects exercising power and objects subject to the dominance of power. They serve as observers and, at the same time, are observed subjects. They are human yet also part of the landscape.” from the artist's note

The area around Gwanghwamun Square is not only an important place that preserves the historical pulse of South Korea but also an intriguing space that gives the impression of having no specific owner. After gazing at the space for a long time, the police officers, who stay there the longest, emerged as significant subjects of observation on the screen.

The fluorescent uniforms of the police shine even more vividly in the grayish Seoul, and their distinct visibility, paradoxically, provides a fresh visual perspective that can freely transform the nature of the space. Depending on the intentions of the police, as well as the nuances with which they control and configure the space, the character of the space unfolds as a stage with countless possibilities for change.

Despite the vivid visual presence implying law enforcement authority, the police are lightweight and replaceable anonymous figures when viewed as individuals. Their existential attitude, dominating the space for a long time but not actively engaging in everyday life, is a characteristic unique to the figure of the police in urban space. Therefore, the color of the police uniforms in my paintings manifests with a level of intensity that blends into the space, absorbing and expressing a subtler atmosphere, allowing for a more profound function.

In my paintings, the fluorescent color of the police is subdued and absorbed, taking on a hue that permeates the space and transforms into a more nuanced function, acting as a mediator that brings poetic, metaphorical, and sometimes external situations into my artwork.