Published On: May 19, 2018 10:11 AM NPT By: MEGHA RATHI

Exhibition at Image Ark frames ‘Sketches in the Margin’

Exhibition at Image Ark frames ‘Sketches in the Margin’

Have you ever thought that the receipt you just got handed from the supermarket could be your canvas, and even an exhibit in an art studio, framed and all? Me neither. Luckily for us, Yoon Sinmo, thought the less common, more creative idea! Born in Korea, Sinmo, now 36, has always been passionate about drawing.

Using up all the blank spaces and margin areas in his notebooks was second nature to young Sinmo who, in a tête-à-tête with My City, recounts that it was definitely the said habit that made school bearable for him. Now his work that illustrates no discrimination between a canvas and a napkin adorn the walls of Image Ark, a contemporary art studio in Patan Durbar, in an exhibition titled ‘Sketches in the Margin’ that started on April 27 and will continue until May 28. 

On entering the studio and at the very first glance you realize that Sinmo’s art work screams minimalism and simplicity. The majority of exhibits have been created with commonplace tools like gel pens in blue and black and the first unused paper Sinmo could find – if it’s a visiting card or a bill, then that be it! A similar message is conveyed via the choice of subjects in the drawings as well: the back profile of a father-son duo sitting on a field, two goats seated in close proximity, a man stepping out of a taxi. In a nutshell, the things we see but don’t notice – the mundane, the regular and the invisible. 

However, it hasn’t been an easy journey for Sinmo who once succumbed to the societal and parental pressure of earning a living the normal way for which he studied, and for a short while practiced, engineering. It was upon his best friend’s insistence and support that Sinmo gathered the courage to quit and restart life at 26. In the years that followed, he struggled and succeeded in working part-time or as per the demands of the situation, honing his drawing and painting skills and traveling. Between the 10 years that have passed, Sinmo has traveled to Egypt, Japan, Netherlands, Thailand, Belgium, Turkey, Cambodia, India and Nepal.

The bohemian minimalist interiors of the studio not only allow the pieces to stand out but also add to their value and meaning. Marie Ange Sylvain-Holmgren, founder of Image Ark, when asked to comment on Sinmo’s works, said that she knew the very minute she saw his notebook that his doodles were unique and special, “because I doodle too and it does not look like that!”

‘Sketches in the Margin’ is the artist’s first proper exhibition experience and he claims to be very pleased with the audience. In the March of 2017, he had collaborated with a Tibetan photographer friend in McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh, India. Sinmo claims that it was less a collaboration and more his kind friend removing his displayed photographs from a wall to accommodate Sinmo’s drawings. The two had agreed on a 50-50 partnership but Sinmo decided to donate all the money for the welfare of the children of the locality.

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