Location: Chicago, IL
Featured Work: “Receptor”
Describe your featured work:
“Receptor” is from a recent project titled “Radiator” which is comprised of a group of seven paintings, each of which might be seen as reflecting on various kinds of meaningfulness and/or agency manifested by Temma. With “Receptor,” the painting suggests the way that Temma is frequently attentive, waiting, listening, receptive. The other paintings reproduced here are also from the Radiator project. I’ll leave it up to you to fix their meaning.
The central subject of much of my work is my daughter Temma. Shortly after Temma was born she had a cardiac arrest which profoundly damaged her brain. Life with her has been a persistent mystery. My work has been influenced by the Minjung Art movement in South Korea. The central tenet of that movement is to make art that focuses on the Minjung: the poor and others who exist on the margins of the culture. As a member of perhaps the most privileged sector in the world—white, male, university educated, wealthy (by world standards), north American—I feel fortunate to be in the company of someone who daily takes me back to zero. Jesus seems to suggest that to love is to deeply and empathetically engage the other, towards giving the other agency. My hope is to—in some way—do that with Temma.
What are you making now?
Currently my teaching schedule and other commitments and distractions are keeping me fairly occupied, but I’m working intermittently on something of a self portrait. I have close to zero interest in making a self portrait, but there is a collector who has a substantial collection of drawn self-portraits and he wants me to make one. It took quite a while to figure out what approach to take with the project that would be sufficiently meaningful for me. Ultimately it’s turned out to be more like a triple portrait that I think will be titled: “Amy’s Quilt, Temma and her father”.
Drawing that gorgeous quilt will hopefully not drive me bonkers…
I belong to CIVA because…
An organization like CIVA is a rare bird: its membership is remarkably diverse theologically, politically, stylistically, vocationally and (to a lesser degree) ethnically. In what seems to be an increasingly divided world, CIVA has proven to be something of a harbor for an eclectic cast, including oddballs like myself.
I grew up in South Korea. Our family relocated there in 1961 at the behest of the Southern Presbyterian Church. My father administered a hospital and my mother taught at a women’s college. When I eventually returned to the USA to attend college at Calvin, I felt like a stranger in a strange land. I still do. My wife Rev. Sherrie Lowly, daughter Temma and I have been based in Chicago since the late ‘80s. Since the ‘90s I’ve been affiliated with North Park University as professor, gallery director and artist-in-residence. I am represented by Koplin Del Rio Gallery.