Yoonjoong Cho (b.1991 in Seoul, South Korea) is an artist based in London and Seoul. She is currently pursuing an MA in Painting at The Royal College of Art, London (2021-2023).
Yoonjoong has lived almost her entire life in the big city and is interested in observing urban objects and enjoy spending time with them. The small plants in her paintings symbolise city dwellers. People often cannot resist the huge capital and power of the city, so, they try to modify or control their own words and behaviours. Sometimes the process of change is so sudden that we somehow encounter strange unexpected results. Nevertheless, she enjoys finding those strange and unfamiliar things. As she continues to live in the city, she often encounters beings that have similar experiences with me.
The surfaces she describes through images of urban plants are about her own experience of the uncanny. Planting is designed for their function as decorations, with their size is so finely trimmed that the planted places are appropriate and feel familiar and comfortable to urban people. Due to the visual stability they generate, we sometimes become unconscious or even ignore these examples of urban nature. Trees lined up on the edge of streets, different types of plants tangled in artificial pots, gardens and parks do not function as the main roles in a city place. Whenever she thinks of their heads, arms, and legs, which have been cut off through pruning on a regular basis, she feels creepy, and the appearance of them standing awkwardly feels more like ghosts drifting through space. Plant : put (a seed, bulb, or plant) in the ground so that it can grow. This activity, allows plants to live in the city constantly, but at the same time makes them remain not a subjective one. Born, growing up in a limited place and transformed appearance by others. The plants metaphors Yoonjoong herself living in the city.
Yoonjoong refined the words, thoughts, and appearance through other people, eyes or words to build social relationships. Pruning herself which allows her to continue living in the city, she, however finds that it may lose her subjectivity and then reduce to an unnoticed insignificant being, like being a ghost. Looking at even uncanny and uncomfortable emotions, and making her own self-portrait through explaining these living ghosts is her goal.
In 2022, Yoonjoong was awarded winner of British Institution Awards for Students by Royal Academy of Arts (UK).