Watercolor, gouache, pencil on Hanji paper on canvas
59 1/2 x 108 inches, 151.1 x 274.3 cm
"Jeon Tells Stories on Water Lilies" by Mee-yoo Kwon, The Korea Times, August 29, 2012
The three big pieces in her “Water Lilies” series are connected to each other and show playful interaction between boys and girls as well as scenes of swimming, performing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), spying on each other, and hugging one another on and around the lily pads.
Some of the lily pads have barbed wire on them because they symbolize the division between South and North Korea. A woman becomes tangled in barbed wire, while people from the South watch them. A huge column of water symbolizes the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and dragonflies above this evoke the B-29 bomber which dropped the atomic device on the Japanese city. Images from the movies “Titanic” and “Cast Away” can also be found in her “Water Lilies” paintings.
She read a lot of books on Pyongyang, watched documentaries on former sex slaves and war movies as a part of research for her paintings.
During her stay in Korea for this exhibition, Jeon had a chance to visit the DMZ. “When I was finally standing on the Freedom Bridge in the DMZ, there was a big pond of water lilies under the bridge and there were dragonflies everywhere. It was a really magical moment for me because everything was tied together like ‘There actually are water lilies here,’” she said. READ FULL ARTICLE
© Kyung Jeon