Individuation Process

Personal psychoanalysis in writing, drawing and painting

In summer 2019, I had an extraordinary psychic experience during the road trip to the Rocky Mountain in Vancouver, Canada. In Jungian term, I confronted with the anima for the first time — the unconscious feminine side of a man, transcending personal psyche. It was the prime manifestation of the Genesis Trilogy which directly integrated with my psyche and body.

 

At first, I thought I died at some point I did not remember, but soon identified a strange feminine presence who possessed my body and psyche. I could still sense my consciousness, but merely as tiny portion of the whole universe within my body. Nonetheless, I had such a feeling of sublime harmony. Could this be the intrinsic

psychic balance that I had been missing? My ego kept fading with the illusion of free will and incorporated with overwhelming presence of anima. This primordial

existence was infinitely void and silent, utterly idle and purposeless. 

The manifestation of the anima was a religious experience like rebirth of the consciousness — waking up in a hyperreality, and my ordinary reality suddenly evaporated like waking dreams. The whole material world perfectly synthesized with the world of energy, fluctuating all physical matters. After for awhile, I got too exhausted to stay awake, and fell asleep. Everything returned to normal when I woke up. 

Later I found out this experience corresponding exactly to the Individuation Process of Jung's psychology — self actualization through the interplay and synthesis of opposites: the conscious and unconscious, personal and archetype, human and divine, life and death. 

Individuation, 2019

30" x 22"

oil, soft pastel and color pencil

Chapter II of The Legend

In the midst of individuation process, I was listening to music. Perhaps, it was really the music that put me in a trance. My whole body gradually felt like an empty vessel resonated every frequency within, and synchronized with delicate structure of the music. The progress of music slowly became incomprehensible which sounded like backmasking.

 

When the music turned off, my consciousness was extremely heightened and sensitive that I could stay awake in an instantaneous fraction of the present. I could realize this by witnessing the whole world coming to a silent halt. The enigmatic buddha Avalokiteshvara with thousands of arms was the realistic expression for the enlightened mind capable of infinite things by mastering the perception of time.  

 

I continued to pursue a deeper experience of individuation by means of inquiring the antagonistic personality of the anima. However, by the end of 2019, I had a nervous breakdown due to the submerged ego. I was losing the light of consciousness under the shadow of my ego, the anima. I was depressed and disorientated, gradually losing control of my life especially the relationship with others. The anima had

developed into a distinctive sub-personality of mine

Gazing the Moon, 2020

18" x 14"

oil on linen

In January 2020, I decided to move to New York with my girlfriend after graduating SAIC from Chicago. During the unexpected lockdown due to the Covid-19, I devoted myself in recovery. By taming desires of my ego and cultivating power of the anima, I endeavored to discover a way to harmonize the balance of my psyche again.

As a form of therapy, I produced roughly three drawings per day. I set my timer for 10 minutes for each drawing. This therapy became an intimate dialogue between myself and the unconscious. After two months spent on drawings, I started to make paintings in order to develop a deeper dialogue.

The Appearance, 2020

42 x 32"

oil on linen

Inspired by John Cage's chance operation, I took chance as a core discipline to integrate with painting. My aim was to take every aesthetic decision as random as possible to prevent the predominance of conscious intention. Nonetheless, consciousness was always interfering, helping, correcting, and negating. This psychological tension deployed a creative force to develop a painting. From this approach, I anticipated to acquire not only an archetypal symbol like mandala, but also deeply personal like self-portrait. 

The Rebirth, 2020

64" x 48"

oil on linen

During the individuation process, I could hear an extensive spectrum of noise

existed in the silence. The noise was somewhat meditative, but also disturbing since it was absolutely inevitable. It penetrated through my whole body, reminding me of conceiving the inner voice but as an abstract form of frequency. I focused on these noises as hard as I could to understand its way of communication and language. 

Each of my paintings seems to inherit the orchestral blend of these frequencies that  expresses a symbolic message from the anima. I come to realize that most of these communications are constantly produced in abstract forms creating a universal soundscape beyond the extent of my consciousness. My current inquiry in painting is to synthesize these images into a harmonic blend of noises to decipher the visual language of the paintings. 

Dionysian Fabric, 2020

30" x 30"

acrylic on canvas

"One does not alter place, but the place divides itself. This is incorporeal space where a thousand and ten thousand places are one place. One does not alter the time, but the time divides itself. This is immeasurable time when all the aeons are like a moment."

— The Secret of the Golden Flower

Walking God, 2020

48" x 36"

mixed media

"Woke up from a dream that was a long endless dream. I totally forgot that I was in sleep; when and how I fell asleep. I don't want to go back to sleep. Someday I won't. I will be awake all time and not getting tired. People from dream will think I am dead, but I am finally alive."

 — Manifesto in 2020

Manifesto, 2020

10.5" x 8.5"

soft pastel on cardboard

© 2020 Hosu Lee. All rights reserved.