Cho Sung Hee was raised in a traditional house surrounded by a beautiful garden. Her father’s passion was gardening, which sprouted Cho’s love of flowers. In his garden, where multifarious colored flowers are at abundance, Cho may have dreamt of the ‘Kingdom of Flowers’.
A long time has passed since, and Cho now uses the ‘Kingdom of Flowers’ as a theme for her art. If the garden in her childhood is a paradise, the work she makes as a mid 70’s old aged artist is the ‘Paradise Regained.’ Cho dreams of her lost paradise. And because she does so, her devoted series of current works are the long journey in search of her lost paradise.
The result of Cho’s tireless and repetitive actions is beautiful and unique. Cho’s monochromatic and polychromatic flowers are imbued with her energy. Through her process, she finds her way back to the idyllic garden of her childhood, and in so doing, transports the viewer there too. It has a healing, cathartic effect for both the artist and the viewer.
In tandem with a prominent historian, Johan Hizinga, Cho’s work is built upon a ‘play theory’ found in her cultural heritage. Cho could not have continued to endure such a long period of arduous labor without it. Above all, play has to be fun. Is it not the play’s constant excavation of ‘lost paradise’ that Cho constantly investigates into new works to broaden the boundaries of art? Despite her age of mid 70s, Cho constantly investigates to discover a stand-alone domain of Dansaekhwa through her flaming passion to step forward to this day.
– Excerpt from “The Volition to Return to ‘Lost Paradise’” | Yun Jin Sup • Art critic