Jooyoung Park Her art proliferates from life and extends itself through experimentation.
By Mary Truong August 10th, 2020
Jooyoung Park has an approach to art that can best be described as rhizomatic; every one of her projects arises from myriad influences derived from her interactions in the world. Her work ranges from commercial design projects to personal illustrations. She describes her approach towards her work as nebulous: inspiration can come from podcasts, books, introspection, and research. She often has an initial experimental stage of messing around before executing her final decisions.
She delights in examining the unconventional in experimentation. She has been recently fascinated by a pong game created by a creative coder.
“Our conventional ideas of the website is shifted by this person who made this tiny thing… they’re using the code as a playground.”
This creativity contrasts against the homogeneity of trends within the design world, and she nostalgically recounts times when people were making for the sake of experimentation: random HTML for Tumblr, useless graphics on MS Paint. Park has adopted a recent interest with today’s creative coders because “they break the idea of what a trend is.”
Some of her memorable past work grounds itself in this fascination. With several other artists, she created an installation using Google’s Posenet (a technology that can estimate human poses within the browser). She notes the excitement of building with this new technology; to use it, she had to let go of the fear of imperfection. Once installed and presented, she was interested in seeing how viewers interacted with the piece: how they learned from it subconsciously and if the technology could keep pace with human bodies.
Despite how experimental her art and design work is, Park also feels the limitations of the art world. She remembers that her past coursework presented a primarily Eurocentric/Western perspective in the history of design, and she believes that there were many more perspectives that students could learn and take from. She says even receiving an art education is restrictive; few students can afford the high price of a formal art education from a private institution, and because of this, design suffers from a lack of diversity.
“If you have a group of designers within a set bubble, how far can you really get?”
Although Park maintains an open approach in art and design, she once had an inflexible image of what her career would be. Through her exposure to different experiences with internships and schoolwork, this image has changed. She says, “I’ve had a set idea of where I want to go, but I’m not being afraid to let go of some of those ideas and see where things take me…. I’m letting go of the strict idea of ‘I need to go here.’”
No matter what she does, she wishes her art to enrich and make people’s lives better, whether it be emotionally or utilitarianly. When she was younger, she wanted to become a children’s book illustrator because she could take thoughts in her head and turn it into visual reality. Through this, she shared her narratives. “To speak without having to speak… art was catharsis for me.” For Park, art is meaningful because of the relationships, connections, and interactions that can be created through storytelling.
“We cannot articulate or define human relationships, but art and design helps us to understand.”
Park’s work is multitudinous: it proliferates from the life that she lives and extends itself through experimentation. Yet as extended as her work may be, fundamentally, it is connective: to create an accessible design world for others to know, to understand how technology relates to humans, to share stories through illustration. Like a rhizome, it is both spread out and rooted.
See more from the artist at