Yi modernized a traditional subject as follows: a scholar retired to his hermitage in the mountains. While appreciating the blooming maewha flowers in early spring, his old friends come to see him from far away.
Critic's Note: There is a kind of secret rhetoric in the atmosphere that makes Hee-Choung Yi's work possible. He reinterprets traditional symbols and elaborately fills the canvas. There are familiar images like the mountains, fields, birds and butterflies; but sometimes they are seen as unfamiliar. The familiarity is our memories of hometown hidden within our mind, and the unfamiliarity is the vague shadow of our hometown that we longer visit. Hee-Choung Yi connects the familiarity and unfamiliarity on his canvas through a unique composition. Each color point gathers into a form and becomes the background. He links each form with the color section as if to embroider and connect the other parts of the canvas. The true nature of his formative languages lies in the connections.
Hee-Choung Yi's reinterpretation of Korean symbols proceeds to explore existence itself, which is the origin of symbols. He does not simply define existence but inquires into the meaning of it. His skillful brushwork becomes a story connecting the abyss to the past and the present.