An abstract digital painting featuring a blend of painted patterns in electric blue and water-like textures.

Ram Han, Incubator, Digital Painting, 2022.

Commissioned by Hyundai Artlab, © Ram Han

On the occasion of Artlab’s first Digital Commission, our editors chat with artist Ram Han about her creative practice.

Dreams are bridges between reality and the subconscious. At Hyundai Artlab, we build bridges between global audiences and new ideas. For our first Digital Commission, we invited Seoul-based artist Ram Han to create an original work imagining Artlab’s digital ecosystem and its engagements in the spatial world, through the lens of Han’s unique vision of dreams as reality’s crutch. We spoke to Han about her process behind the piece, the interpretation of dreams, and how art makes us think differently about the world.

Take us through your thinking behind this piece.

I am interested in the kind of ripple effect art has on non-artists. In the midst of our daily lives, art gives us a sense of temporary deviation and creates a brief crack in reality. These experiences are stored in people's heads and are sometimes evoked as they go about their daily lives, and eventually, if such stimulation is repeated, your view of the world will gradually expand. Just like walking is the best exercise for modern people.

The surface of the machine that looks like an island is an iteration of our daily life, like grass and the natural world. It is a tool and means of transportation that allows us to escape from our daily life for a while. And it contains ideas, thoughts, and new technologies from writers and the companies that support them.

A colorful abstract painting with space themes, featuring liquid-like circles and patterns.

Detail from Ram Han's commission for Hyundai Artlab.

Courtesy of Hyundai Artlab. © Ram Han

A vibrant painting showcasing nature-inspired patterns with swirling green and orange paint strokes.

Detail from Ram Han's commission for Hyundai Artlab.

Courtesy of Hyundai Artlab. © Ram Han

A vibrant painting featuring symmetrical patterns, detailed plant growth, and a bright sun.

Detail from Ram Han's commission for Hyundai Artlab.

Courtesy of Hyundai Artlab. © Ram Han

Your illustrations often have a dreamlike quality to them. What is the significance of dreams in your practice?

My fantasy stems from the unfamiliar sensation I feel when dreaming of scenes that are opposed to reality, like the destruction of the world. As an anxious person, usually the scenes in my dreams come from the fears I feel for the world and my loved ones. Alternatively, sometimes the dreamlike quality in my work comes from tapping into the unconscious, and looking into desires.

What was the first artwork you experienced that made you think differently about the world around you?

Hieronymus Bosch's "Garden of Pleasures" seen on a trip to Spain, 2010.

A digital print in a light box shows a vibrant mix of elements, including a volcano, a keychain, white flowers, and an abstract representation of an organism.

Fantasia (loud sing), 2019. Digital print in light box

Courtesy of Ram Han

Describe your creation process. Do you have a set routine? What are some aspects of your creative process that are most important to you?

All my work is done on a computer, using a Wacom Cintiq and Adobe Photoshop. The important aspects subtly change for each piece and process. For some works, expressing highlights and shiny texture is more important, for others it’s more about the crisp and sharp effects. One of my favorite things to do during the drawing process is to create a new brush for each project.

A crowded room featuring a central hot tub, a glowing TV, a pegasus decoration, multiple house plants, a chandelier, and a telephone repurposed as a showerhead.

Roomtype_03, 2019. Digital Painting

Courtesy of Ram Han

What role does collaboration and/or community play in your work?

I am an artist who is greatly influenced by the way others consume my artwork. I work to express myself, but ultimately, I look into the hearts and expectations of people who want my paintings as the starting point of my work. I think about their expectations, and sometimes I play to betray them. That balance affects the outcome.

What are your inspirations and motivations?

It is everyday life itself.

Person crouched next to their art, with monitors displaying abstract designs around them.

Artist Ram Han

Courtesy of Ram Han

Related Content