September 2, 2020

Nature Behind a Curtain Wall

Clear air, born from the trees, the land. White steam that murmurs from a kitchen. Plants that sprout from the earth, and flowers floating in a vase. The pigments in the sky at sunset, primary colors in an LCD TV.
Human lives and nature are tethered at the window, where a multitude of colors merge and mingle. From Korea, Japan, India, Thailand, and one realm of the imagination–––––these are multicolored stories about windows written and painted by Korean watercolor artist Byun Young Geun.

This is something that happened while I was walking around Tokyo. Iʼd passed the front of this brand new building where theyʼd installed an art piece on the ground floor that looked like a big waterfall. Around the waterfall there was a line of trees about ten metres high, creating this scene as if an oasis had suddenly materialised in the middle of the city. I got a bit closer and tried peeking through the glass of the curtain wall to see inside. Tokyo, its trees and buildings, were reflected back at me. And beyond that, inside the building you could just make out the oasis. That weird scene, at once nature ʻexternalʼ and nature ʻinternalʼ, stirred something inside of me, something deep down. I guess weʼve entered an era where you can start putting anything inside a building.

 

 

Byun Young Geun
Korean watercolor artist, illustrator, and graphic novelist. Currently based in Tokyo, Young Geun continues to produce illustrations for numerous publications, including book and CD cover art. Every year since 2013, Young Geun has released a graphic novel within which his unique perspective captures the existence of our everyday, enveloped by the cities and natural world around us. Utilising the techniques of a graphic novel, these stories develop without a single word, using only illustration.