by Kim Baik Gyun(Prof. Chung Ang Univ.)
Kim Sun Hyoung’s works deliver the views of nature and life in a manner that is not intended or planned. The style and expression of his works are outside tradition, but his way of artistic entertainment follows traditional rituals. For him, oriental things are limited to the attitude of viewing the world, way of recognition, and style of expression.
His works do not directly show mountains or waters. There are creatures that rely on mountains and waters to survive, especially plants that are rooted in soil, which implies the notion of peace, silence, and stillness. Still, he does not have a certain plant in mind, but he is expressing impromptu images that are freely manipulated in his imagination with the general characteristics of plants. His nature is not a landscape seen through the eyes, but a garden in his heart. With the sheer images of nature that come from his heart, the artist begins to play with his brush on a canvas. In his artworks are the traces of brush strokes and countless images of plants that are associated with such traces. His plant images dilute the images of aggressive competition and guide you to a peaceful world. Therefore, you can associate them with other worlds. You can enjoy the entertainment of his brush in the world of chaos that is not defined by human awareness; a garden of heart with absolute freedom where birds, grass, and moss harmonize.
His images are new sections of nature created by the entertainment of brush. They are not really in nature, but can easily relate to any subject to create new objects. His works go beyond recreation of objects and explain new relations and order of the Universe with sheer brush that moves liberally and rhythmically. Nothing there has purpose. When unintentionally created images are shown to the audience, however, the audience creates new meanings. The artistic experience is not completed by the artworks themselves, but in the perception of audience. His works contain the principle of nature in between experience and concept, and reality and signification. As if it is spontaneous without purpose or rule….
This exhibition is an alternate solution of an artist’s thoughts about identity and contemporariness. The reason why the artist seems to express the mind of the contemporary time is because I was able to feel their contemplation of this issue at the exhibitions.
by Kang Sun Hack (Art Critic)
It would be a very narrow, limited understanding that cursive handwriting is just a part of the style of Eastern Asian calligraphic practice. There are some aspects in writing a cursive character, one is performing an art practice, and another is to keep the meaning of the letter and to produce further more of the signification itself. The lines of Kim Sun Hyoung reminding the style of cursive writing are hitting and running, lifting its energy to the pinnacle and then sharply dropping to the ground. His lines are getting closer the object and then, all of sudden, it stops at the moment of the representation of the one, and at times, it gradually reduce speed of the strokes to become ingrained into the surface of the object. Furthermore, the lines that he is creating let all the elements applied in his painting leave the meaning open in-betweens accepting and the denial of it. That is why we may see certain aspect of the wild cursive handwriting in his work. It belongs to the world in which it is neither the letters nor the non-written-letters; it is the image released from the literal sense of the word as well represents the image not denying the signified; it is a practice to convey the meaning, at the same time, it is a writing taken the signified. Therefore, his practices in which he is interpreting the object with the lines and the work of strokes let the viewers sense it rather than see it.
His gesture of heading straightforward to the rice paper carrying the long stick on which he puts blue paints mixed with some pigments leaves no evidence but a performance of drawing a line on it., The moment he was about to take his brush off from the papers, some of the paints were sloshed out of the pressure and the lines were spreading out leaving the droppings and broken lines. The final result is remaining on it. The moment going back to the point where it starts would leave the same consequences. The artist’s moves and turns traverse the canvas, turning back to it and eventually the brush is stopped diagonally at a certain point. Finally, the performing a wild cursive writing ended up with the massive field, where it leaves the independent image far from the letters, representations and even simple performance.
With the passage of time there are effects of the absorption and the texture of surface after the application of water, color and brush on the paper. In the meantime the water puts on the surface of the painting right after the practice joins the artist’s practice, water, color and the materialistic attributes in the rice paper together. The joints between the elements of practice eventually come to the surface through the influence of the interrelationship with the materials and the change over time. But rather setting up the surface that is entirely nothing to do with the artist’s intention.
The tension forces to put brush on paper and the resistance forces on it, a property of matter in water color are combined with the pressure of the brushstrokes. Besides, all the traces of the stroke crossing a line quickly falling down are more of a performance rather than simply draw a line. His obvious performance, the application of color get subside its wildness, aggressiveness, soften up the angles little by little, spread out the colors by the spitted water right after the practice. The lines and color are very naturally occupying a place and getting to be settled on the paper with the effects of the running, absorption and setting up. That is all he can do in the course of art making. Now, the thing the artist should do is to dry it in a good condition and then put the paper on the panel as a final process. Only a stroke of brush his idea would be reflected enough, and since the moment he decelerates the stroke of brush and finishes the practice, the passage of time determines the rest of the quality and at the last moment it reveals all the aspect of the work.
In wild cursive writing, which is even more cursive and hard to read, there is a desire to transcend the limits of semiotics and the figurativeness which is given by the language. There has been a lot of resistance that the urgent move arising out of the expressiveness in emotional world and the shift from the forms of existence to the meaning.
Standing in front of his
Lines which are in high and low concentration, running over and shrinking against the paper, the released traces from the border between the sides and the lines, and each lines are overlapping, arranging. All the traces produced by the work of strait vertical line, making an upward stroke, pulling and pushing, dotting are taking the place over the wild grass and then has been displaying their temper. The applied techniques, the produced effects such a standing back lines, laying horizontal ones and dots, pouring water on the paper, running all over the paper and the final settlement are getting to be natural as time passes. Meanwhile, he is not sprinkling the color, rather he is thoroughly controlling the whole situation. Displayed lines whose medium is a work of brush, dots and the performing the art are turning to be lyrical repressing the aggressiveness through the particular process of running water over the paper. It can be said that tuning the voice to the right tone.
In terms of dots and lines, spreading out and the contraction of water, drawing lines and watering on paper, and the logic of times passage, the present works do not vary from the previous works which remind us the wild cursive writing either. It is, however, hardly to avoid that there is a landscape reminds us somewhere.
It is a self reflexive way of seeing in which the artist refers his point of view that is pouring on the grass and the trace of the work of brush stroke portraying his performance. The efforts to read his work as a written language or to associate the specific objects would be far out of proper approach. Even it has the title,
Repetitive icon, signalized one, and the formulaic figures seem to be a group repeatedly reorganizing themselves, but they are not a description of the object, a representation of something at all. The birds shown in everywhere are only repeating rhythms which are quite not different the principle that is applied to the figures of the leaves of the grass, the reeds and the silver grasses. As the crunched sound, the lines and the margins are treated by varnish to give some texture, shiny and hard surface, the medium doesn’t look like a paper. This is a very epidermal written sign that is given by the texture itself, which is also to avoid the depth of the meaning. It resists to have any viewpoint and to be interpreted. There is simply an encounter of the performance, time and the property of the matter, and the grass field as well.
I am, however, not saying that there are not other issues. In spite of the understanding of his work, I cannot stop thinking of the quite old attitude of his previous ones. In this show, he is displaying two perspectives: one is an active reinterpretation based on the East Asian calligraphic brush stroke; another is to express the sentimentalism of the artist that could be interpreted with impressionistic. Both do not care about the signifier; it is true to some extent it is not denying to be connected with the representation. On the contrary, it is showing the interests to the objects, the attitude and willingness to interpret it. At some points, it is out of the objects and then it seems to be concluded to logic of visual art. I don’t think it is necessary to comment whether it is, or not.
He, however, drastically gets out of the object to represent and devotes himself to the logic inside of the canvas. He shows very little thing so that we can recognize it depicts letters, or it is a sentiment about garden in a discreet, thoughtful way. This does not mean that we may have hostility to the idea. Even though there is not any misunderstanding and no more evidence to understand, the matter what he does not have clear ideas on it weighs heavy on my mind. His efforts considered being attempts for abstraction as a compromise taking an advantage of the classification of Korean brush and ink painting, it is hard to say that it is equivalent to the trial in western tradition of abstract painting by the logic in paintings, as it seems just borrowed techniques derived from the others methodology. I, therefore, must nominate the fact that it has lacked in the true to the logic of the artists.
It is an undeniable fact that in his painting, the technique, the image of “All-over painting” in Abstract Expressionism is noticed. And the varnish treatment is inevitable to protect the finish; unfortunately, it could not be the final effects of the rice paper. As a consequence of it, his work does not need to be classified as Korean painting. It might be creative seen from the standard of Korean painting, while it is seen as a general standard of painting, it could have had a possibility of adaptation of the western techniques. If we consider his time and efforts on this, there is no reason to leave a room to devalue to his achievement. Furthermore, the sentimental statements and the explanation about his recent work is prevailed now, it is likely that the argument will not be heated for a while.
There is now in one point in which the artist has to pay more attention to make sure in his own logic which interprets his performing as a playful work of brush stroke on paper rather than keeping the uncertain impression about his attempts. On that account, he will be liberated from the old classification by genre.
The dual context carries the range of meaning from the representation of the physical object to the release from it and leads you to the extreme classification of painting such as figured and non-figured/abstract art. Indeed, wild cursive writing is the very abstract, so how is that not abstract painting? This is not a matter of letters but image; not reading but sensing. For that reason, it is not perception, description and imitation in relation to the object. His practice is to encounter the real essence of the work of brush stroke, line, color, and water with the property of paper. Its aim is not to produce the meaning, but to produce the image of the object so that it opens the way to be another one.
Between the figure and the linguistic reference, where he is standing for would be the sensing. What the senses do is very superficial so that its role is to open the gate towards the world not for explanation of the subject, interpretation of the meaning of it.
Translated by Kim Mee Hyoung