There are many artists whose work deals mainly with the theme of horror. What makes Silllda stand out from the crowd however is that in her work she gives us suspense and beauty.
It’s a subtle dread that sends a tingle down your spine, a reaction to the sound of nails on the blackboard rather than to the gory sight of blood. It’s like watching a two-hour horror movie and then feeling a bit off for the rest of the day. In fact, what horror movies do is awaken incubated anxiety as we move through our daily lives.
But the fear that this artist wants to express is far from the setting of your average horror movie. For her, fear is a familiar theme that touches her life, and in her work there is only that disquiet which can be perceived at any moment in everyday life as it silently creeps up on you. Silllda’s work is a tenuous ache that lurks just below the surface. Her iconography is more like the expression of a shy perfectionist than that of a mystic.
Nor has she been working for all that long. In fact, just as she had been admitted to the university she had worked so hard to get into, along came COVID 19 and stopped everything in its tracks. To this young artist it felt like the world was collapsing about her ears.
At the age of 21 she found herself forced to stay at home so she desperately wanted to do something. That was when she convinced her parents to buy her an iPad and started drawing. She had really worked so hard to get admitted to university that this had taken up most of her time but now, with the lockdown, she was able to focus more seriously on her artistic work and embark on a difficult inward journey of introspection. Very little is still known about this emerging artist. All that I have managed to come up with is extrapolated from an interview in the Korean language for the art and design magazine YCK.
Her career really took off when she finished her first year of college. She downloaded Instagram for the first time, and as a freelancer uploaded about 20 images. This immediately led to the first interview, plus her posts immediately showed an influx of overseas fans.
Her art has a distinctly Oriental feel about it but it can hardly be called Oriental painting.
It’s not just bold, but the colour scheme is also intense and full of contrast. During her academic studies, her work was often criticised for her use of colour and because it was seen as too similar to anime. So it met with the approval of neither the academy of design nor the academy of Oriental painting. She actually met with constant criticism for mixing various techniques in her paintings. Therefore her career is still in the bud but it is impossible not to be struck by the intensity of her work.
Inside her paintings we find ourselves in a sweet nightmare that continues even after we have woken up. The personality of these works often produces contrasting reactions in the eye of the beholder: intense love or hate. Silllda obviously delights in these juxtapositions. Most of the horror is dark, uncomfortable, and brutally expressed. And yet she wants to create a horror that is filled with beauty, the calm of the morning sun with the contradiction of a tragic, bizarre heart.
I want to draw a lot of scary and disturbing paintings, but sometimes my followers surprise me with their feeble reaction (laughs).
On the other hand, all this horror could be interpreted as a device that can alleviate some inherent desire. Sometimes it is like another world to escape from reality.
“I often fight terrible loneliness using my personality. Every time I have done this, I’ve thought that maybe I could be my own best friend. Even though there are times when everyone in the world seems to have turned their back on you, I thought that this friend would always be on my side. And so I started doing paintings full of girls who look like me. Well, even though it’s a horror genre, you have to admit there is something quite loving.”
On a technical level, her works are admittedly digitally produced on her iPad. Trying to create an Oriental feel as if using the original paint, choosing and using digital brushes which correspond to the real traditional ones.
Silllda’s paintings have a strong feel for the colours of the Japanese style and mood. The artist was in fact born in Japan where she lived until the age of four so perhaps that is why there is an almost unconscious Japanese touch about her work.
“I am a horror fanatic and I like to feel bad and creeped out by all kinds of fears. The unique atmosphere of the Japanese style seems to be suitable for capturing the feeling I am after. On the other hand, the general atmosphere of Korea has more of a clean and elegant dimension.”
The first manga inspiration comes from Japanese anime movie “Spirited Away” by Hayao Miyazaki. Her apathetic expression also matching well with traditional Japanese yokai in animation. What remains is therefore always contradiction and above all contrast.
Just like transparent is sexier than naked, it is more effective to play on the unimaginable rather than give it direct cruel expression. Bold actions like biting hands, scratching bleeding skin and cut tongues appears in the images. Strolling by night and catching sight of people hanging from trees looking down at you, or the half-open door through which monsters can enter to kidnap you. We might imagine that scary things are generated by many worries. On the other hand, it is precisely these concerns which inspire her and give birth to the ideas for her works.
“Whenever I have a scary thought I take notes on my phone. Most of all I like to draw sensitive pain that people can empathise with. It’s fun to stimulate and stress people’s imaginations with a thin glass that is utterly broken and bleeding.”
As regards her preferred palette, she makes use of many primary colours, particularly black, white and red. It has been such a short time, but it seems that Silllda has already established her image marked by a definite personality. And still, her identity is moving through various expressions, from fine arts to media art and animation to then combine programs such as 3D and VR with her work. One of the projects that the artist would like to carry out is to plan an interactive exhibition with the concept of a house of horror.
Otherwise she hopes to continue to work as a freelancer and become the art director of horror films, music and videos. Above all, she wants to work with artists who encompass all sectors of art rather than being relegated to one only sector. The road seems to be long but well paved and I am sure we will hear more about her.