Trans-Artist ▶

History of the Artist

Slide 1 Slide 2 Slide 3

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

Sewon Shin

Seoul Korea


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)




History (Art of Enlightenment and Awakening Official website)

Shin Se-won (Naver People Search)

Shin Se-won (JoongAng Ilbo People Search)

Shin Se-won (Chosun Ilbo People Search)

Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Iraq in Seoul Official website



Art Focus : The art of Sewon Shin, a 17 year-old genius 「Monthly Art World』 , August 1990 issue p.88-91

17 year-old Genius artist’s Solo exhibition grabs attention, The Success of Sewon Shin’s Solo exhibition at Kyungin Art Gallery 「Kukmin Ilbo」, August 22, 1990.

High School Student Shin Displaying 50 Paintings 「Korea Times」, August 21, 1990.

Art Exhibition by High-School Student, Solo Exhibition by Teen Age Painter Sewon Shin After 3year of Studying in the US 「JoongAng Ilbo」, August 22, 1990.

Boy’s imaginative oil painting hit gallery row. Shin Se-won, attending high school in U.S. shows talent at Seoul exhibit 「Korea Herald」Sunday, August 26, 1990.

In Tokyo Debut Shin Se-won To Present Fantastic Paings 「Korea Times」, July 18, 1992.

Shin's Art Beyond His Biological Age 「Art News」 p.126-146, August 1990 issue Volume 6.

Teenage Artist Se won Shin Solo Exhibition in Japan 「Maeil Business Newspaper 」July 13, 1992.

17 year-old teenager makes his art debut-Se Won Shin's Solo exhibition at Kyung In Art Gallery 「Dong-a Ilbo」 August 17, 1990



Hanol-gyo official website

Hanol-gyo 「Encyclopedia Britannica online Korea」

Hanol-gyo 「Encyclopedia of Korean Culture」

Hanol-gyo 「Doosan Encyclopedia」



Hanol spiritual and cultural movement of Art

Revolutionary Integration of Art and Spirituality, Optical Awakening attracts attention as an evolution of religious art 2017.08.05 [Kyunghyang daily]

Art expressing religious principle, Optical Awakening presents the essence of the truth through art 2017.08.06 [The Korea Economic Daily]

New Religious Paradigm initiated by Art in Korea: Hanol Spiritual Movement of Art 2017. 08. 04 [SBS CNBC]

A Quantum Leap in the religious sector by the integration of Art and Spirituality 2017. 08. 07 [Hankyung (Korean Economy) TV]

Introducing Spiritual Evolution, Optical Awakening, reinterpretation of The Gates of Hell, an incomplete masterpiece by Rodin 2017.08.06 [News 1]

Optical Awakening, a new spiritual culture stemming from the new form of spiritual art. 2017.08.04 [Kuki News]

Optical Awakening, New Spiritual Innovation, Religious Revolution by Trans-Art Trans-Art as a driving force of Religious evolution 2017.08.04

A New paradigm in Religious culture, Hanol Spiritual and Cultural Movement of Art- Optical Awakening, Religious Innovation and Spiritual Evolution led by Art in Korea 2017.08.05 [Daily Grid]

“Awakening by Art” - a new possibility of spiritual culture in the face of Intellectual Singularity 2017.08.05 [KNS News]



Shin Jeong Yil, the founder of Hanol-gyo (Hanol-gyo official website)

Shin Jeong Yil 「Encyclopedia of Korean Culture」

Shin Jeong Yil 「Doosan Encyclopedia」

Shin Jeong Yil (Naver People Search)

Shin Jeong Yil (JoongAng Ilbo People Search)

Shin Jeong Yil (Chosun Ilbo People Search)



The Art of Enlightenment & Awakening Official website

Shin Se-won (Naver People Search)

Alumni of the University of Oxford (Wikipedia)



Invitational Solo Exhibition of 19-year young artist Sewon Shin, in Japan 「Kukmin Ilbo」, July 15, 1992.

The Spiritual Expression of Transcendental Inspiration 「Monthly Art JAPAN」 1992 August p.150~155

Overseas Exhibition – Se Won Shin Exhibit - Super Individual Art 「Monthly Atelier」 August 1992 issue Volume 17 p.68~69

19-year young artist's surprise, Expression of metaphysics into canvas... Art Issue, a Painter, Sewon Shin, Holding Tokyo Solo Exhibition 「The daily Sports Seoul」, July 14, 1992.

1 2 3 4 5