Artist StatementI am interested in the exploration of drawings as a medium for recording. I record in order to learn about myself and the drawings are a result of the investigation of my life as a woman and immigrant who plays a unique role in this society. One’s life, of a mortal being, inevitably goes with time. Examining my time in both quality and quantity allows me to understand who I am and what I am. I record the quantity of time that I spend to find the meanings of my life. The quality of my time is revealed in my repetitive marks, written words, and symbolic images. Quality of time and quantity of time are inseparable. They are intertwined in my drawings, even though one is seemingly more emphasized than the other in each drawing. 1. Quality of time Time is condensed, especially to a woman, who has the multiple roles: a mother, a wife, an artist, an educator, and a member of the community. In the density of time, I look for meaning. Words that are never spoken loudly, emotions that are never expressed clearly, and desires that are never satisfied, are found there and transformed into images, texts and marks on the paper. I draw them obsessively, sometimes with very thin frail lines, and other times with bold letters. In the midst of time, I, as an immigrant, also look for home. Time transforms the space into place where I finally feel belonged. My drawing series ‘I am here’ and the sculpture series ‘Wingless birds’ investigate the common feelings of immigrants, such as the desperation of being forgotten/denied and the fear of isolation. 2. Quantity of time I log the quantity of time in the drawing. Life is sustained only for a limited period of time. My interest is to record this kind of time, life-ridden but limited. In a daily life, time is segmented. Each segmentation has a different length. What I do, what I think, and what I feel are replaced with the empty-minded length of marks, in the same way as the landscapes are transformed to repeated pencil lines in the Agnes Martin’s drawings. I begin with a dot(a line), and repeat dots(lines). A dot(A line), drawn with dark graphite or red paint, marks a ‘moment’ on the paper. By repeating dots(lines), the moments grow into an ‘occasion’. The occasion, accumulation of moments, is finally reborn as a metaphorical entity. The impulse for tracing, recording, and marking moments is inescapable. So I draw.
Erin Chon is a painter/drawer who has worked individually and collaboratively on the current issues of identity, gender, and domesticity using symbolic images, marks and texts in daily life. Recently, she expands her interest to the relationship between time and space which are the fundamental physicality of the life. Born in Seoul, Korea, Chon moved to the United States right after she received her BFA from Seoul National University. With her multidisciplinary studies in the University of Wisconsin, Madison, she received her MA in Sculpture from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa in 2007, and her MFA in Painting/Drawing from the University of Iowa in 2009. Currently she lives and works in Maryland.