The Faraway Nearby


Artists in Dialogue 

  • Lipika Bhargava : Naho Taruishi

  • Jamie Ho: Junli Song

  • sooim lee : Xinyi Liu

  • Kazumi Tanaka : Jayoung Yoon 



©2024  The Faraway Nearby. All Rights Reserved.
Kyunglim Lee : Jahyun Seo 

June    July    August    September   October

Kyunglim Lee:

Perhaps the ultimate problem in life is ‘getting out of yourself.’

Problems that are not resolved until the end...
In relationships with others, in relationships with oneself...

What I feel from this object I find while walking down the street remorse!!

The self has become empty and distorted!

As if contemplating myself, I encounter this object.

Jahyun Seo: 

10.17, 2023 Talk

In the midst of adapting to the time difference and being busy with work and lecture preparations after returning to Korea, I began my October engagements by conversing with author Kyunglim Lee on October 17th. We share many similarities, such as being of a similar age, immigrating to the United States around the same time, and our children getting married in the same period, not to mention our deep Christian faith. Our conversations always start with the well-being, health, and faith of our families. In this meeting, we discussed wrapping up the '“Thefarawaynearby” exhibition and talked about the art fair and an upcoming resurrection exhibition planned for 2024. We reminisced about our joint exhibition in Chelsea in 2018 and explored the possibility of having a future exhibition that embodies the spirit of Easter at Saint Peter's Church. With the pressure of an impending lecture presentation and a tight schedule, I suggested that we get back in touch after my lecture had concluded.


Today's Zoom Meeting began at the home of Kyunglim Lee 's mother, with a painting by Kyunglim Lee in the background. She looked tired from her travels, and I knew we had to wrap up our conversation quickly, so I asked her how the exhibition "Thefarawaynearby" was coming along. She told me that she had recently been intrigued by the flat bottle caps lying on the streets and was planning to make a work based on them.  I, on the other hand, told her that I was going to stick to my original plan and use photography, painting, and media to show my thoughts on bridges in the form of travelling between New York and Seoul.

June    July    August    September   October

Kyunglim Lee:

Mom is a cushion that you can lean on and press on when you need to. When I looked at the heavily dented cushions, I felt like I was looking at my daughter who had immigrated to study and earn pocket money by working. While I was working, my daughter passed by and spoke to me. “Oh my, the work is so pretty, it has the feel of mom’s work. “It looks like mom is resting on the cushion.” I didn't explain my intention to my daughter, but I think she felt that way. Mothers cannot help but relax because their daughters become infinitely soft when they are comfortable, but change suddenly when times are difficult.

Jahyun Seo:

September Meetups

September 11 Online Meeting

Recent Art News
Before I left for the U.S. on September 15, we chatted online to catch up on our busy lives. We talked about our personal opinions of Frieze Seoul and Kiaf Seoul in Korea, artists' stories, and art world trends. We concluded our conversation by saying that we would meet in the US soon to talk more.

Conversation topics: buying artworks before the art fair starts, partying, toadyism, Cronyism, flunkeyism, fake sell stickers, lighting of Frieze Seoul and Kiaf Seoul, level of collectors, what is shown, why focus on performing artists and artists from 1960-1970, reasonable doubt, preparation, and work of galleries.

September 15 Offline Meeting

Unexpected meeting and meal
I arrived at JFK Airport in New York. When I got through the immigration process quickly an arrived at my hotel, I got a call from Mrs. Lee saying she was near my hotel. I had an early dinner with Mrs. Lee and her husband before unpacking my luggage. I ate so much that I was full. Sleeping gave me my half-day jet lag, which quickly disappeared.

Conversation topics: the cost of living in Manhattan, staying in a church, public library exhibits, installations, selling art in museums, the Korean economy and society, and their children.

September 20 online meeting

After the installation at the public library in Soho
We talked about next year's 'thefarawaynearby' exhibition. We discussed new works, their time to complete them, and how I plan to expand my digital and analog work and media practice. In the middle of the conversation, we talked about the Resurrection Exhibition that we exhibited in 2018 and shared various thoughts on what it would be like to continue working together on the Resurrection Exhibition in the future.

Conversation topics: 'thefarawaynearby' exhibition, Easter, work direction, common ground, week-long relay exhibition, an exhibition between two people, exhibition of four groups, curator, space, final work, space.

September 22 offline meeting

Visit to the AIR Gallery
We watched two exhibitions that the curator recommended as must-sees and talked about the direction of the work for 'thefarawaynearby' exhibition. We talked about the small records in the work process and the various narratives left in the work through them and asked them to reorganize whether the current directions are correct and to think about the connection between the narratives they create. We asked them to think more about the intersection through communication for about six months to create works that could capture it.

Conversation topics: Canal Project, Guggenheim, Korean artists, works made by assistants and works not made by assistants, Tina Kim Gallery, corporate art foundations, supporters, artists being made, are they really great artists or are they being made to be great, new and unfamiliar works, expanding perceptions, the structure of the art world.

June    July    August    September    October

Kyunglim Lee:

Crumpled Cushion! The image of me that was pushed down to play the role of a mother, in
any human relationship before that
It's an endless concession that I couldn't do that.

On the cushions, things related to housewives and housework were drawn.
It seems to be gradually disappearing. I wanted to make it a bit more exaggerated.

In a way, from the time I open my eyes in the morning until I go to bed again, I wipe, make,
clean, and pile something up, make it, set it up, feed it, water it to keep it alive...

Jahyun Seo: 

June    July    August    September    October

Kyunglim Lee:

뉴욕에 산다는 점 중에서 정말 좋은 것은 교과서나 미술잡지에서나 볼만한 좋은 그림들을 본다는것과 멋진 미술관을 버스타고 지하철 타고가서 방문할 수 있다는 것이다.

Living in New York City gives me the opportunity to see great artworks in person that I would otherwise only find in books or magazines and convenient access to the best museums by bus or subway.

내가 좋아하는 미술관중에서 휘트니 미술관 8층 베란다! 
거기서 보이는 맨하탄 풍경이다.

Among my favorite art museums is the outdoor area on the 8th floor of Whitney Museum of Art!
The view of the city, Manhattan, from there. 

산으로 둘러싸인 서울에 살다가 여기 빌딩으로 둘러싼 맨하탄과 허드슨 강이 훤히 보여서
이곳에 서면 모든 걸 가진듯 마음이 확트인다.

I came from Seoul, a city nestled among mountains. But here, I can see Manhattan and the Hudson River framed by skyscrapers. When I am there, I feel liberated. 

Jahyun Seo:

사랑과 감정_부모와 자녀/ 신앙/병

Love and Emotion_Parents and Children/ Faith/Illness

7월, 이경림 선생님과의 대화에서 신앙을 중심으로 사랑, 감정, 부모의 사랑, 역할,  육체적 한계에 따른 시선의 변화 등에 대해서 대화를 나눴다.

In July, I had a conversation with Kyunglim about love, emotions, parental love, responsibility, and changing perspective by aging from a point of view in the faith of Christianity.

7월의 대화는 매주 한 번씩 한 시간 정도  줌 미팅을 했다. 많은 부분이  일상의 시시콜콜한 내용이었고 주로  감정적인 교류를 많이 하였다. 그 중심에는 기독교 신앙 속에서  삶의 모습과  환경은 달라도  주어진 상황 속에서 삶을  신앙 안에서 해석하고  감사하는 고백들이 있었다. 나는 이러한 일상의 감사함과  영육의 부모님에게 받는 사랑과 자녀에게 이어지는 사랑에 대해서  디지털 드로잉 작업을 주로 했다.

We had a regular Zoom meeting every week for an hour in July. A lot of it was about our daily struggles and exchanging emotions. We expressed our Christian faith and how it helped us see the beauty and meaning of life, even when things were hard. I have been working on some digital drawings to show my gratitude for the love and guidance we received from our spiritual parents and the love we gave to our children.

June    July    August    September    October

Kyunglim Lee:

엄마는 감정 쓰레기통! 
편한 대로 누르고 있던 쿠션 같다  

입체 골판지 쿠션 or 평면 작업.

Mom is an emotional-garbage collector!
It’s like a cushion that you’ve been pressing against 

Three-dimensional cardboard cushion or two-dimensional work.

서자현 샘과 나는 비슷한 시기에 뉴욕에 와서 각각 다르게 작업을 하다가2018년 함께 2인전도 했었고, 정기적으로 만나며 서로의 작업을 응원하고 있다. 비슷한 또래에 자녀도 있어서 공부하는 대학생 자녀를 두었으며, 얼마 전 자녀를 결혼시킨 경험도 비슷한 시기이다.

Seo and I moved to New York around the same time working on different projects. We had a two-person show together in 2018 and we meet regularly to encourage each other’s work. We both have children who go to college and one of our children got married recently around the same time.

세상에서 제일 어려운 일이라는 엄마 되는 일!

Being a mother is the most difficult job in the world!

대학생이 돼야 하는 딸과 둘이 먼저 와서 보낸 시간이 어쩌면 가장 많은 감정노동의 시간이었다. 둘 다 새로운 환경과 실제적인 여러 가지 어려움으로 서로의 감정을 헤아리고 배려할 여유는 없었기에 엄마인 나는 엄마 노릇 하느라 내 감정과 억울함을 누르고 눌러서 찌그러진 모양의 쿠션 같았다. 누르는 대로 찌그러져 있을 수밖에 없는 내 모습!

It was the most emotionally difficult time when I moved to the United States with my daughter who was about to go to college. It was quite challenging for us to adapat to the new surroundings and there were many obstacles we had to face. We were just too overwhemed by many obstacles and we were not able to allow each other. As a mother, I had to suppress my feelings and frustrations while caring for my daughter. I mirrored myself to the saggy cushion that took any external forces.

주님 앞에 나가 나를 비우고 기도할 수밖에 없는 시간이다.
나를 초월하는 것은 인생의 궁극 과제이기도 하고, 선생님과 대화하면서 그런 문제들이 모두가 어떤 형태로든 겪고 있고, 성숙해 가는 과정이란 생각이다. 엄마는 저절로 되는 것은 아니라는...

I had to put myself in a position of humility before God and offer up a prayer.
Going beyond my boundaries is one of the most challenging aspects of life. After I talked with Seo, I believe it's  a natural phenomenon that occurs in everyone’s life in different ways. It would be a process of being a mature person. Being a mother is not something that comes naturally...

지난 6월 아들 결혼식이 있었는데, 결혼식을 주제로 제작한 작업이 하나 있다. 2014년 탄생과 부활이라는 전시에서 예수님의 이야기 12점을 제작했었는데 가나의 혼인 잔치는 빠져 있었기에, 아들의 결혼식에 기적을 바라는 마음으로 작업했다

My son's wedding was in June, and I made a work of art based on the subject matter at hand. I previously worked on 12 pieces for the exhibition Birth and Resurrection in 2014. However, the Marriage at Cana was not part of the  series, therefore, I wanted to work on the piece with the desire for a miracle to occur at my son’s wedding.

결혼시킨 자녀와의 거리는 얼마나 두어야 하는가를 두고 대화하였고 서로에게 오픈된 마음으로 적당한 거리를 두어야 하지 않을까 생각했다. 이민 와서 언어 안되고 한국에서처럼 전시할 기회를 찾기 쉽지 않으나, 뉴욕 와서 많은 명작을 마음껏 볼 수 있어 행운이다.

We also talked about how much distance we should keep from our married children. I also thought that we should respect each other’s space and be open-minded. Immigration brought me not only a language barrier, I found less opportunities to show my work in the states. However, I am grateful to be able to see many masterpieces in New York.

요즘은 휘트니 미술관에서 바라다본 뉴욕풍경 작업 중이다.

I'm currently working on a work that I observed New York from the Whitney Museum.

Jahyun Seo: 

June 2023 meeting

1. Catch up with each other
2. Lee was busy with his son's marriage. I was occupied with business (hand over jobs), publishing AI book, and giving classes (SAGA).
3. We discussed our plans for the project. I would be working on "Bridge," a theme that I've been working on since 2016, and Lee would be working on "Butterfly."


Thoughts on "Bridge".
I am a permanent resident based in New York, but due to my husband's business in Korea, I often travel between New York and Seoul while pursuing my career as an artist. On a 13-hour flight, I wondered (asked myself): Why? What for? What am I looking for as an artist? I sometimes find the answers from the place I am arriving at or in the process of making the work. I get sometimes overcome by the heavy air that makes me cry.


"Bridge" is about the transcendent temporality that connects two spaces. They coexist at the same time but their existence in  different spaces. If it doesn't transcend time, it can't connect the two spaces

Developing work:
Seeing and being seen - bridge

How to proceed:
1. Start the original work
2. Digitalize it 
3. Print the digitzed image on a fresh canvas and  creat a new analog work (on top of the print)


4. Connect the two images on the canvas. The bridge image will be shown as a line. Show it differently with color.