Making space for other people’s spaces.
Getting off at Latimer Road, I head to artist Sooyoung Chung’s temporary studio in Elephant Lab, where she settles the mood with The Eddie Higgins Trio, K-Pop and classical music. I can feel the busy working energy in her residency space, filled with meticulously organised paint bottles, brushes and ‘colour test’ papers. Sooyoung uses her Elephant Lab residency as an opportunity to explore how different nuances of colour can affect one’s mood. Her permanent studio in South London has a different, more domestic vibe. Dried plants, tea and coffee cups are scattered around, hinting that Sooyoung is now settled in. Here, the artist spends her time painting various domestic spaces and everyday objects. I feel like we are in an in-between place where the studio meets the home, as I look at the surrounding depictions of different personal spaces: the bedroom of the artist’s sister, the studio of a hip-hop musician and the library shelves of her friend who collects souvenirs. Regardless of how homely her studio is, Sooyoung’s strict routine is very similar to that of an office worker. She starts her day at 9:30, reviewing what she painted last, and picks up from there, working on different projects simultaneously until 19:30. Sooyoung’s schedule allows her enough time to think about the meaning of the objects she and others use in their everyday lives.