JIN HAN LEE — You’re My Spring, I’m Your Rainbow

You’re My Spring, I’m Your Rainbow,  2015

Oil On Linen

200 x 180 cm

Lee :  ” My sorrow and my heavy thoughts on love that I kept inside of myself didn’t spill outside of my body. But the sunshine outside my window facing Cremer Street, full of people on their way to the Sunday flower market, slipped into my studio. Spring has been my favourite season. My birthday is in spring and I fell in love with you in spring. Cherry blossoms never fail to impress me.


I went to see the special kind of cherry blossom in Kyoto. The lyric ‘You are my spring’ comes to me. Winter turns to spring, but he’s not my spring and I’m not his spring anymore…


I remember the time when the song ‘You’re my Spring’, which is sung by a renowned singer, Sung Si Kyung, was released in Korea in 2011. It was immediately a hit and its title ‘You’re my Spring’ became a common metaphor for love amongst young people in South Korea.


One day when I was sitting in my studio alone and thinking about my own fading love, the lyrics of the song ‘You’re my Spring’ came back to me and I was moved. Then I realized I am one of the audience; I am sharing feelings with more people and becoming friends with people who felt the same way; I found I was completing the missing part of the metaphor with my own feelings; we complete metaphors by ourselves.

While I was painting, I was not only thinking about the feeling of togetherness or comfort for one of many broken-hearted lovers, but also about the very moment when the lyrics all of a sudden became meaningful for me. I was trying to capture and articulate the moment that I privatized the lyric through feeling my way. Therefore, the way in which the figure stands out from the dream-like pictorial space in my painting, you’re my Spring I’m Your Rainbow (2015) corresponds to my own reflection, and the way language can be adopted and reconfigured, allowing me to occupy the painting both as protagonist and subject. My painting brings language into the light to articulate a language and emotion of my own that communicates and functions ‘in my painting’. I had made my first self-portrait.


In the making of this painting, I became my feelings.”


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