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Born in Busan, South Korea in 1983, Dana Ysol received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016 and a MA from Royal College of Art, London in 2019.
In 2006, for a period of one year, she was not able to walk due to unidentifiable pain that had put her in a wheelchair. X-rays and MRI results were all unable to explain the pain. This event eventually led her to study Eastern Philosophy such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sufism. Through readings and retreats, they taught her how to look within rather than out, to see beyond physicality rather than its surface. Her focus on capturing the intangible yet concrete in her practice has originated from these experiences.
From zen masters’ relics to everyday objects, from critical social incidents to fleeting moments, her practice attempts to capture the presence of consciousness, the invisible, subtle yet powerful inner phenomena and express them through various types of media such as photography, video, sound, drawing, painting, and printmaking.
She has participated in numerous group shows in cities such as Chicago, Notre Dam, Osaka, Gimpo, London, Seoul, and Arles. Her recent solo exhibition was held at Postal Museum Art Gallery in Cheonan, South Korea in 2019.
My practice grew from my personal experience of intense, chronic pain, and the subsequent paths I travelled to find the inner strength within myself. My work focuses on the experience of inner silence, of emptiness.
From the very beginning of my art practice, I have been seeking a way to capture the presence of consciousness, intention and its history embedded in space. In my experience, certain places hold greater presence compared to others. Each experience is unique. It can be unanticipated, instantaneous, enthralling, as well as heart-stopping, and painful. What is it that contributes to creating these different experiences, different (inner) dialogues, and different awarenesses? Is it possible that space holds consciousness that is not isolated from its history, current events, and its intention; and that these affect the physical qualities of the space? Maybe even to the degree that when we enter the space, we physically and emotionally feel the difference? How to capture my experience in certain places is an ongoing quest that I am still working on.
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