• Breaking through the Deserted
    Acrylic/Ink/Watercolor on Paper
    39 x 54cm
    January 2014

    This piece captures an impoverished man who is escaping from the peak of water scarcity in deserted Africa. The idea of "global issues" is often deeply discussed around me, especially during my participation in summer internship at Asian Development Bank and SIP conferences at ISM. White acrylic paint is used to add minuscule points of perspiration and streaks of highlights surrounding the water dispenser for focal emphasis.

    Sinking Treasures
    Acrylic/Watercolor on Paper
    39 x 54cm
    February 2014

    Driven by Industrial Revolution, this piece unleashes the surrealism behind environmental degradation at the zenith of the Anthropocene. Underwater buildings and oil stains on the paper wall show the ecosystem is disrupted by pollution in the ocean. However, the purpose is to say that disposed waste—shopping carts, old car tires, tofu plastic containers (common objects found outside E-mart, a shopping mall in Bucheon)—should still be valued; thus, depicted through the use of color contrast and form. Staccato rhythm is applied to the ocean splatter, symbolizing chaos and disorder caused by humans.

    Hidden, yet Preserved
    Acrylic on canvas
    50.8 x 40.6cm
    September 2012

    This piece shows the concealed beauty of a Filipino woman despite the unresolved gender inequality in the Philippines. In order to clearly show the background, I added more color and details on the homogeneous buildings that illustrate a lively night of Taguig city—known as the globalized city. Lapu-lapu fish are wandering in the open water of Manila Bay as it feels freedom, as opposed to the Filipino woman who is exhausted from daily chores and labor.

    Enlightenment via. Defense
    Jewelry (beads & wires)
    35 x 18.5 x 4cm
    November 2012

    This jewelry piece all started with my latest text message that read “ready”. This led me to brainstorm possible connotations of “ready”—protection, shield, security, action, military and weaponry—which helped me establish the context of medieval time period as the historical background of this piece. I used an array of wires where the thickest ones built the contour lines of the shield necklace and the thinnest ones joined the wooden beads. Filipino jewelry designer Rencie Santos taught me the basics of making accessories, which are looping and parallel twisting.

    Calm & Collected
    Jewelry (beads & wires)
    (size unknown)
    October 2012

    Count Olaf, the Devious
    Acrylic on Paper Mache
    40 x 41 x 26cm
    November 2013

    One of the many films/novels I have read that thrillingly entails great challenges in escaping from horrid realities is Lemony Snicket’s The Series of Unfortunate Events. Based on this series, the sinister personality of antagonist Count Olaf is painted by the highlights on his eyebrows, high cheekbones, and dark shadows on his shoulders. The twisted hair represents his menace spiraling around his targets—the Baudelaire orphans. He is eyeless, because these orphans cannot easily predict his fiddly actions.

    Delicate Prophesy
    Beads, Wires and Strings
    37.5 x 37.5 x 3.5cm
    October 2013

    Behind Count Olaf is a sculptural dream catcher that reflects the symbolic open glass window captured from the film series. The theme of ‘hope versus despair’ is expressed through the use of ominous black beads of misery pulled by the golden sun rays of hope. This juxtaposes Count Olaf’s significant trait—courteous on the outside, devious in the inside.

    Seek the Microscopic
    Acrylic/Watercolor on Paper
    39 x 54cm
    March 2014

    This piece illustrates the challenges in discovering the tiniest building blocks of matter in shells. The distinctive features of the shells I have collected from Palawan and Puerta Galera are painted in watercolor. As a keen visual learner, I tend to compare the uses of various lenses in magnifying glass, digital camera, and my own pair of glasses. Utilizing filters in cameras, shown on the ribbon-like film strip, is a popular trend to spark realism, as opposed to magnifying lens.

    Tea of Worship
    Watercolor on paper
    66 x 51cm
    January 2013

    As a workaholic, I drink tea and meditate in a daily routine to keep myself warm from ‘sweater weather’ which is why I thought of painting a soft cotton-made blue scarf—eventually symbolizing a scared waterfall from Villa Escudero to encompass the tea as a healthy, aromatic beverage for many Korean families. As a mixed media piece, the background is done in pencil as the cross-hatching lines and dark values demonstrate academic and family pressure while the portrait of my younger sister is painted in watercolor to denote peace and serenity.

    Electrify Sustainability
    Color Pencil/Watercolor on Paper
    39 x 54cm
    February 2014

    I dreamt of an exciting possibility of living in a sustainable home. In watercolor, I painted some daily-used objects (pencils, glue, eraser, etc.) in an arrangement of a Chinese character “村” (Village), since the origin of Korean language involves traditional Chinese language. Electric cords and transformers in the background are drawn to increase awareness on energy consumption, while the organic lines of the plain field on the map symbolize ‘go-green’ movement.

    Unchanged Home
    Pencil on Wood
    40 x 60cm
    September 2013

    Drawn on wood, this piece describes the heavy responsibility my father takes to keep my family safe and sound. Although my father is busy working long hours in Cavite, he protects my mother, my two sisters, and me very well—metaphorically, we are the kitchen utensils possessing family values. As every life of a foreigner is risky, he carries us in a tricycle basket made of dried banana leaves to help us adapt to our new home in Manila after migrating from Seoul.


    SUNG YUN BAE, artist
    IBH1 & IBH2 VISUAL ARTS, program

  • International School Manila
    International Baccalaureate Diploma Program
    Higher Level Visual Arts
    August 2012 - May 2014