Eva Armisén exhibit “Home” in Seoul

Saturday I went to the Eva Armisén exhibit, “Home” at Hangaram Art Museum in the Seoul Arts Center. I’ve loved her work for many years, and she is quite popular in Korea, as evidenced by the masses who also decided to see her that day. This was the first exhibit I’ve been to with so many families and young children also present. I can see why parents would want to bring their kids to see her work; it is bright and colorful and heartwarming. And yes, hoorah for exposing children to the arts, but… being sardined between hoards of young children, and people in general, did make for quite a draining and loud experience. I ended up walking through the exhibit much faster than I would have without the masses.

When I did get close enough to read the explanations of pieces, I did enjoy the glimpses into the hows and whys. I think before I just enjoyed her work because it was lovely and pretty and made you happy. I didn’t give much thought to the meaning behind the paintings. After having seen her work in person now and knowing more about her, I can appreciate her art more.

My takeaways from “Home”

“Love” and “Hug” by Eva Armisén (from Gana Gallery book)

Family. She depicts her family a lot and in this article about “Home” she explains, “I get inspired from anything that provokes an emotion in me. Many of my paintings depict family because I feel comfortable, relaxed and protected around them.” There was one caption to a piece that was something to the effect of, “family is the most important thing in our modern world, and the easiest thing to neglect in the modern world.” That hit home. This year I’ve been trying to take more steps to connect with my family. Because I miss them. And they’re mine.

Eva Armisén’s family in Seoul

Appreciation for Seoul. There was an entire room in the exhibit devoted to Korea and Seoul, It was pretty cool to see the city depicted in the background of her work. In one of her captions she expressed how grateful she was to Seoul for allowing her to spend quality time with her family. Lately I have been feeling a bit… disenchanted… tired of Seoul (in large part because I’m away from family), but seeing my city depicted in her work reminded me that this is still a pretty cool place. I’m able to see the work of an artist I love because I live in such a metropolis. I also live near a semi-tourist attraction, and I’ve decided that from now on, instead of being annoyed at the number of tourists at times, I’m going to use them as a reminder that I live in a cool place people travel to visit. And a sometimes quite beautiful place, in its own right.

Related to this thought, my first RAOC card arrived today, a lovely Norman Rockwell art postcard with a quote by the artist in the message:

When I go to farms or little towns, I am always surprised at the discontent I find. And New York, too often, has looked across the sea toward Europe. And all of us who turn our eyes away from what we have are missing life.

Norman Rockwell

Ideas. My favorite piece was actually a small painting titled, “Ideas.” There was no photography allowed inside, and Google didn’t bring up the exact piece, but it was of her holding a bouquet of paintbrushes and there were windows of ideas opening in her hair. It rang true with me because I’ve so enjoyed my little bursts of ideas as I pursue my own creativity, albeit at a much more humble and amateur scale. Planning a little art postcard, cutting and pasting bits of paper, this gives me flow. And I love seeing how a project evolves from the initial idea stage to the final result. In some cases, I end up preferring the WIP, but that’s all part of the process, I guess. And I’m only just starting, I’ll get better at all the things the more I do them. Anyway, I saw her piece “Ideas” and I was like, Yes! I know that bubbly feeling of excitement and possibilities, of striving and flow. I know that serene smile, I have it too when I’ve created something I want to share.

I’d like to show people what painting means to me. For me, painting is really like a home and a shelter. I can go back to it every time I need it. I’d like to deliver the message that when you find your passion, you’re able to live from that. In a way, you have a responsibility to share that with others. I’d like to share that passion that I feel for painting with the visitors of the exhibition.

Eva Armisén

I’m not a professional artist, and I’m not even sure my crafty phase is a passion, but I think it might be. And while I don’t earn a living from it, right now it does fuel my life. So going forward, I’d like to share more of the why behind the projects I make. I usually make something for someone, so at the very least there’s a little bit of intention behind the projects. Now, it’s a matter of sharing that with the wider world.

My insta can die happy and fulfilled

P.S. I’m taking an Instagram break to see if I can undo the baffling shadowban, but my last picture posted was from the exhibit, and I woke up the next morning to this notification!! I wouldn’t mind letting that be the pinnacle of my short Instagram life.

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