companions, product, 2015
there is a beautiful theory of love in the work of jungyou choi. we often wonder what true love is; this artist invites us to think of love as kind of companionship, someone who can be generous to our faults and help to educate us to be better versions of ourselves. what goes on in love? in part, a good dose of admiration for qualities in the lover that we crave but do not yet possess, holding out a promise for us of growth and completion. but love is also, and equally, about weakness, about being touched by another’s fragilities and sorrows, especially when (as happens in the early days) we ourselves are in no danger of being held responsible for them. seeing our lover despondent and in crisis, in tears and unable to cope, can reassure us that, for all their virtues, they are not alienatingly invincible. they too are at points confused and at sea, a realization which lends us a new supportive role, reduces our sense of shame about our own inadequacies and draws us closer to them around a shared experience of suffering. love reaches a pitch at those moments when our beloved turns out to understand, more clearly than others have ever been able to, and perhaps even better than we do ourselves, the chaotic, embarrassing and shameful parts of us. that someone else gets who we are and both sympathies with, and forgives us for what they see, underpins our whole capacity to trust and to give. love is a dividend of gratitude for our lover’s insight into our own confused and troubled psyche.
words by alain de botton
commissioned by cheongju international biennale
special exhibition curated by alain de botton ‘beauty &happiness’
cheongju international biennale, beauty &happiness, 2015.09 -10, korea