Trans-Art is a new form of art introduced by the Korean artist Sewon Shin.1)
Sewon is a former young spiritual leader from Korea expressing ‘Enlightenment and Awakening’ based on his own experience, through a new way of art called Trans-Art.
He was well known in his youth as a prodigious painter2) until he discontinued his art and majored in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University.
However, the unexpected and sudden passing of his father, who was the founder of the Hanol religion (the religious re-establishment of the Korean national founding principle based on the philosophy of Spiritual Transcendence), eventually led him to return to art expressing 'Spiritual Transcendence' based on his own experience.
Trans-Art is Art that transcends the conventional form of art in order to express and experience the formless 'essence of art' which shares one and the same nature with our ‘true essence beyond form’.
In Part 1 ‘Optical Awakening’, he integrates 'Spiritual-meditation into Art'.
In Part 2 ‘Tasting-Art’, he integrates 'Taste with Art'.
In Part 3 ‘Mobile Art’, he combines 'Technology with Art'.
Trans-Art provided a basis for the 1st and 2nd reformation of the Korean traditional religion Hanol-gyo.3)
Furthermore, Trans-Art served as a driving force of ‘Hanol spiritual and cultural movement of Art’, a new way of participating in Hanol spiritual teachings without religious obligation. Hanol spiritual movement of art, the integration of art and spirituality, can be considered as a revolutionary approach to the religious innovation and spiritual evolution in the face of an intellectual and spiritual singularity.4)
The Artist’s Background
His father was the founder of the Hanol religion5) - the religious re-establishment of the Korean national founding principle based on the philosophy of spiritual transcendence, which foresaw the possibility of evolution in human consciousness from the ego-state to the transcendental enlightened-state, 5000 years ago.3)
As a son of an unconventional religious founder, Sewon experienced religious prejudice and discrimination from very early on in his childhood. As a little boy he attempted to extricate himself from his given reality by becoming obsessive in painting ; it was his only means to escape from the mental suffering caused by unbearable religious upheaval, inevitable personal sacrifice of freedom, as well as religious discrimination.
Based on the refined painting skill acquired through his compulsive habit of painting, he was able to escape from his surroundings and study abroad as a reward of winning a National art competition.
He held two solo exhibitions as a prodigious painter in high school, but the failure to perform his new concept of installation art discouraged him in such a way that he eventually gave up his art and majored in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University (he graduated with a B.A. and M.A. in PPE).6)
However, after the sudden passing of his father, he was back in his religious destiny, imprisoned by the inextricable reality which forced him to make painful personal sacrifices. He inevitably took on insurmountable financial liability and the responsibility of restructuring his father's legacy, which eventually led him to return to art, expressing the sacred teachings on Spiritual Transcendence, not only based on his father's teachings, but from his own self-confirmation of the spiritual awakening experience.
• Grand prize in the 28th Korean National Youth Art competition
• Georgetown Preparatory school, Virginia, The United States
• Oxford University, Politics Philosophy and Economics (PPE)
• (Former) CEO of HI&T Inc.
• (Former) Chairman of Hanon Group
• (Former) Premier Representative of Hanol religious foundation
• Honorary Consul of Iraq in Korea
Early experience & exhibitions
Sewon Shin studied in the United States as a reward of winning 1st prize in the 28th Korean National Youth Art competition at the age of 13 (At that time, Korea was under a strict military regime and studying abroad was prohibited).2)
He held two solo exhibitions in Seoul and Tokyo while he was in high school.2)
● First Solo Exhibition in Seoul, Korea at the age of 17
Sponsor: Seoul Kyung-in Gallery, Monthly Art World
Support: The Chosun Daily Newspaper
● Second Solo Exhibition in Tokyo, Japan at the age of 19
Sponsor: Tokyo Odakyu Gallery, The Korean-Japanese Cultural Exchange Association
Cooperation: The Sankei Newspaper
At the Tokyo exhibition, he introduced a new concept of art called ‘Super-individualism art (i.e. Trans-Ego art)’.7)
In conveying Super-Individualism Art, he combined music, scent, optical illusion and time & space factors, and proposed the use of an orchestra, a train and train station and even a whole mountain in the performance of his art.
However, after his attempt to use Seoul Namsan Tower to perform his ‘Super-individualism art’ failed (due to city regulations), he was seriously discouraged in a way that he decided to give up his art. After graduating from Georgetown Prep school, instead of pursuing art, he majored in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, and received B.A. and M.A. degrees from Oxford University.6)