The Breathing Universe 0.5 project is a series of textile installations that explore the organic interaction between technology and humanity, inspired by Chinese philosophy and set in a near-future society. Rejecting the notion of technology and humans as separate entities, this project portrays them as interconnected and interdependent. These concepts are embodied through textile objects created using layered images and textile techniques. Through the medium of textiles, it provokes contemplation of our interconnected existence, blurring the boundaries between the human experience and technological advancement. The installations serve as a metaphorical representation, inviting viewers to delve into the harmonious coexistence between humans and the ever-evolving technological landscape.
Current Obsession: What ideas or themes inspire your work?
Hyewon Jeong: Fantasy narratives, mythology, accompanied by vivid figurative language and symbolic elements that take on meaning within specific contexts. They ignite my curiosity, particularly when exploring the fascinating creatures and intricate relationships between humans and non-humans. This curiosity has been fueling my imagination since my childhood. These narratives exist on the threshold between spiritual realms and reality, offering deep insights that guide my perspectives and shape the visions of the future.
CO: How do you envision the future of the field you have chosen and your practice within it?
HJ: I envision a future for my chosen field where the power of materials to communicate with viewers is fully realised. I believe that these materials have the ability to bring my imaginative world to life, creating a harmonious contrast and conveying meaningful iconographic interpretations. Currently, I have been working on creating jewellery made of beads, drawing inspiration from textile objects and translating their imagery into wearable art. Additionally, I have been using these jewellery pieces and textiles as part of fashion photography sets, creating cohesive and visually appealing scenes. Moving forward, I aim to further explore the transformative identity of textile work, pushing the boundaries of both function and beauty.
‘I believe that these materials have the ability to bring my imaginative world to life, creating a harmonious contrast and conveying meaningful iconographic interpretations.’
CO: Could you describe your approach, and how does it reflect tradition, current trends or push boundaries within the field?
HJ: My approach draws significant inspiration from creatures found in Korean-Chinese mythology. I find great fascination in creating metaphorical connections by infusing philosophical contexts from mythology into the process of crafting my objects. To begin, I delve into thorough research on symbols, figurative representations, and fairytales, carefully extracting the pre-existing colours and imagery inherent in these sources. By combining these elements, I am able to transform them into cohesive scenes.
Throughout this creative journey, I deliberately weave narratives that persist within each figurative object, further reinforcing and enhancing my conceptual framework. In doing so, I aim to offer a compelling perspective on how to navigate the future of human society through my artistic expression.
At its core, my process represents an amalgamation of traditional textile techniques and a deep appreciation for the philosophical narratives that accompany them. By harmonising these elements, I aim to breathe new life into ancient mythological creatures, infusing them with contemporary relevance while exploring the interconnectedness between past, present, and future.
To explore Hyewon’s portfolio and stay updated on her latest projects, you can follow @_hyewonjeong_ on Instagram.