This Korean artist has a unique way of creating enormous pieces of art and it’s hard to believe these huge masterpieces were created with just one tiny smoldering stick.
Park Ji Hyun is an artist that uses incense to take away from his canvas, rather than add to it. By burning countless points on his paper, he can create beautiful images of clouds, mountains, and trees. The concept of utopia inspired his works and he wanted to create a relation between this concept and the way he makes his art. Interestingly, “utopia” in Korean is “Yi Sang Hwang” and “Hwang” in Korean means incense.
“After reading the books Gulliver’s Travels, Utopia, and Erewhon and seeing the Japanese animated movie Castle in the Sky, I became inspired to develop a relationship between the concept of utopia and the materials that I use in my work.”
— Park Ji Hyun
The holes in the paper seem empty, but they allow the viewers to see new images. While the light reflects in the white spaces, the empty holes enable the eye to see shadows made from the holes. He considers this to touch on the concept of Yin and Yang as the use of shadows and light balances out to create his beautiful masterpieces.
“This balance of dark and light, emptiness and substance is the essence of ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’ and through this balance utopia is achieved.”
— Park Ji Hyun
By creating these drawings, he hopes to create a sense of utopia that brings harmony. He tries to capture these split moments in his pictures as the environment around us constantly changes.
Check out more works from his Incense Series: