Kwak’s work explores humans, through identity, memory and experiences inert to each one. The artist attempts to link this individuality to collective memory, specifically that of their native culture.
Employing aesthetics and symbolism from South Korean culture, the artist bases much of their work on the Korean concept of “Han”, which implies the havoc of facing adversities whose overcoming surpasses the individual or nation itself, encountering accumulated pain and resentment.
Following the idea of “Han” Sooyoung Kwak’s characters often seem trapped in an instant of restlessness, crisis or transformation. The sense of discomfort or conflict presents the contradiction between experience and the inert.
The pieces are generated through stylized and often abstract bodies, which add dynamism and drama. The overlapping of patterns and textures, as well as the saturated and vibrant colors, add depth to Kwak’s work.