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Max J. Yoon
(Korean, b. 1944)
Max Yoon, was born in Korea in 1944. Early in life he was fascinated by art. The understanding and support of his mother, who loved art, enabled him to concentrate on drawing. In addition, he was fond of music. He organized a band and gave many performances. All art has something in common, influencing other field of arts mutually and causing synergy. For this reason, he was able to do two things at the same time, even though troubled by insufficient time.
After graduation, however, Yoon had to choose between these two loves, and decided on a career in music. He had had jazz performances on the stage of the 8th United States Army for 12 years, and played the bass, as a Jazz musician for Pattie Kim, a famous Korean singer. However, as he said "God did not allow me to keep doing ‘this’. In 1975, I had my left hand injured, and seriously. With this accident, I started to draw a picture. The past activity with music has had so considerable effect on my drawings that some people told me they had felt soft jazz in my pictures.
Sometimes, Yoon would watch programs showing families whose descendants had succeeded their fathers in the family occupation for generations, and could not help but envy them greatly for it. The envy resulted from his desire for his family to be like that. In the meantime, a few years ago, his second son, of two sons, told Yoon that he had made up his mind to devote his life to drawing. "I did not express how I felt, but got very excited at his decision. I am very aware that life as a painter is not easy at all. Nevertheless, I felt like leaping with joy because I can help him as a father and senior in the future".
Yoon’s main interest is gardens, reasoning "A garden is an artificial space which men make to feel nature in their possession. It might sound strange, but I regard artificiality as an action of a human’s searching for long lost natural. This is because the nature around us was deprived of its substance long, long time ago. Accordingly, I want to contain the following things in my drawing: the green world we long for, the intensive part of the wild nature, the peaceful touch of light and the warm world of life by using a garden, even though it is a transformed and artificial type. Indeed, I would like to convey my message which world still has hope and a lot of beautiful things to others.
Yoon was formally educated at the Seo Ka Beol School of Art, presently known as Jung Ang University. His work is appreciated and widely sought in Europe, Asia, and the United States.