Sungsook Setton: Dancing in Silence presents lyrical and vibrant paintings that incorporate Asian ink painting and contemporary subject matter to create modern interpretations ranging from full abstractions to partially abstracted urban and natural environments.
Setton follows a long tradition of East Asian ink painting, a practice that is brutally sensitive to the artist’s state of being. Every breath affects the brush stroke that reveals the artist’s state of body and mind. There is no forgiveness once a mark is made, and the perfect harmony of the mind and body is crucial in producing a satisfactory image for the artist. According to Setton, “[by] enhancing my sensitivity and self-awareness, I am gradually learning how to improve my mind/body coordination and I think that this brings me to a higher plane of spirituality.”
Setton observes and interprets her surroundings, both man-made and natural, using this tradition of mindfulness. She beautifully choreographs elegant and restrained compositions filled with exuberant colors and splatters, gestural swipes and dancing dots to convey a sense of peace and stillness in her work. Her abstract paintings are reminiscent of action paintings, capturing every spontaneous dynamic movement of the brush as it dances, attacks, and glides over the surface of the mulberry paper. Her more representative works seem to enjoy a slower rhythm that captures the quiet stillness of a timeless moment.
Sungsook Setton is a Korean American artist based in New York. Setton was trained in traditional brush painting and calligraphy under Korean and Chinese masters, and also studied Western art in Germany, the UK and the United States. She holds a BA in Studio Art from Stony Brook University and an MFA in interdisciplinary art from Goddard College. Setton has held over twenty internationally solo projects and her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Queens Museum, Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Islip Art Museum, Long Island Museum, and The Third Taipei International Modern Ink Painting Biennial at the National Museum of History in Taiwan. Sungsook’s multimedia collaboration with musicians have included live painting performances at Charles B. Wang Center at Stony Brook University, Synergy Art Gallery and Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery. She has received numerous awards for her work, including twice Best of Show at the National Juried Exhibition by the Sumi-e Society of America. Currently she serves on the faculty of Westchester Community College, the China Institute and the Art League of Long Island.
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