Sola Yang

I am obsessed with the past, rather than the future. My past was surrounded by mountains; I lived and learned amongst them. Mountains are not just part of nature to me; they make up my memory, identity, and personal space. My paintings specifically refer to my own monuments, the Korean mountainscape.

I am inspired by the flattened space and depiction of the landscape as seen in numerous 19th-century Korean Minhwa folk paintings produced by untrained and unknown artists. In my paintings, I intentionally create a similar flattened space with abstract shapes and unrealistic color palettes to question the idea of a common landscape. The paintings come from my memories, my thoughts, and feelings toward the mountains I grew up with. The mountains as symbols have inspired experimentation. My first painting has a clear sense of ground layers, while my second investigates abstraction further to convey a clearer sense of movement and memory.

I love the physicality of thick brush strokes, textures, and abstract shapes that allow me to create. In the same sense, my color choices represent this same sense of play and vibrancy, and a challenge to the traditional idea of a landscape. The color palettes and brush work represent my feelings about peaks from different regions in different seasons. Bright orange and cool blue represent the mountains and summer sunsets, and vivid pink and light green recall the azalea flowers that are commonly found in the Korean landscape.

Through my creative process, I recall my memories and indulge in reminiscing about my past. My hope is for viewers to have a similar sense of meditation when they look at this body of work.

-Sola Yang

Margeunsol Yang, Reminiscence #1 & #2, Oil on Canvas, 2020