In 1995, she moved to Europe and studied at the Kunstakademie (Academy of Art) in Münster in 1996. From 1997 to 2001, she was a student at the Kunstakademie (Academy of Art) in Düsseldorf, and she earned a master’s degree at the Chelsea College of Art in London 2004–2005.
At first glance, the paintings by Jongsuk Yoon seem to belong to the tradition of Abstract Expressionism. While Jongsuk Yoon is indeed familiar with the paradigms of European and American modernism, thanks to her studies at the academies of art in Münster and Düsseldorf, she is also influenced by the traditions of her home country and by an Asian sense of form, especially regarding Asian landscape painting and its specific two-dimensionality.
In Jongsuk Yoon’s work, traces of condensed temporality, corporeality, memory, and biography intersect and result in idiosyncratic pictorial worlds that display an impressive range of colors. Although Yoon’s color palette reveals a broad range, she only rarely uses black, white, or red, and when she does, they serve as accents or strong gestures. The paintings are structured by formal elements and layers of paint applied precisely on top of and next to each other, their deliberate arrangement evoking narratives and traces of implied landscape elements. Yoon calls her works, some of which are based on a meditative painting process, “mindscapes” or “landscapes of the soul” that allow her to articulate her inner emotions.
Yoon’s life story is occasionally reflected in her works. Kumgansan is the title the artist has given the pictures that are named after the Kumgang Mountains. These mountains have formed the arbitrary and invisible divide between North and South Korea for decades and therefore have a major geopolitical and symbolic significance. As Yoon says, “My landscape pictures symbolize the theme of reunification, and I believe that painting is a medium that is able to demonstrate the authenticity and symbolism of art as a powerful tool of change. All engagement with Korea has a political dimension – in other words, pictures that refer to Korea are politically charged.”
Selected solo exhibitions: Kestner Gesellschaft, Hanover (2021); Nordiska Akvarellmuseet, Skärhamn (2020); Wall Paintings, Art Sonje Center, Seoul (2018); Museum Kurhaus Kleve (2017); Osthaus Museum, Hagen (2015); Kunstverein Lippstadt und Parkhaus im Malkastenpark, Düsseldorf (2015); Künstlerverein Malkasten, Düsseldorf (2012); Städtische Galerie Iserlohn (2004); Kunstverein Heidelberg (2004).
Selected group exhibitions: Polke und die Folgen, Akademie-Galerie, Düsseldorf (2019); Irony and Idealism, Kunsthalle Münster (2018); Das Glück der Erde, Sprengel Museum Hannover, Hanover (2017); Idealism and Irony, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan, South Korea (2017); Über Schönheit, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2005); Ernst Schering Foundation Art Award, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin (2005); A Grain of Dust A Drop of Water, 5th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea (2004); The Beauty, Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul (2003).
Her works can be found in many collections, including Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf; the Jorge M. and Darlene Pérez Collection, Miami; the Zabludowicz Collection, London; Sprengel Museum Hannover, and Museum Ostwall, Dortmund, Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover.