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Group Exhibition of Five Contemporary Korean Artists

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Post date:2017-07-17



Group Exhibition of Five Contemporary Korean Artists
Event Time
Art Influence Gallery
Event Location
No.3, Ln. 90, Sec. 1, Anhe Rd., Da'an Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C
In this new age of innovation, artistic practices have transcended different materials, forms, and concepts, each creating dialogue with our time using unique vocabulary. Meanwhile, artists are gradually letting go of the historical scarring and baggage of the past, making observations on their own life issues and environmental changes. This exhibition is centered around “human beings,” possibly the most mysterious of all creation, with the works of five contemporary Korean artists. After reflecting on the status of civilization and their personal lives, these artists document and refer to the diverse aspects of human beings, depicting a fairy-tale for adults, fables that expose the contradiction of coexistence of truth and illusions through paintings, sculptures, and mixed media. On entering Art Influence, visitors encounter the varying depictions of the five Korean artists, perceiving the self while experiencing the work of others. 

“My work is trying to destroy, tear up, and reconstruct habitual vision so that our vision can be expanded to other images.” The style of promising artist Kim Byung Kwan is deeply influenced by British painter Francis Bacon and US abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning. Kim emerged on the international art stage with his portraits, which are filled with disorder and the aesthetic of violence, and was rewarded countless awards. Kim portrays famous historical figures, pop stars, and fashion celebrities, such as political dictator Hitler, Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe, Lynda Carter who acted in movie Wonder Woman, Academy Award winner Audrey Hepburn, and many other familiar faces. Using vivid color blocks or black and white acrylic paint to create improvised portraits, Kim then sabotages the works by bold graffiti or geometric smearing to give the once-familiar faces a frightening visual effect. The artist applies this intense painting method to break usual visual habits to free viewers from familiar ways of seeing and impressions to experience the unexpected. Faced with the complexities of life, perhaps it is only when we break the rules and reconstruct the horizons can we perceive the nuanced unique qualities in a human world filled with similarities. 

If painting is a way of seeing, viewers will experience a beautiful new perspective through the works of Lim Eun Hee. The girl, wooden house, flowers, and green fields that are surrounded by bright colors, create a surreal kingdom of the dreams. Despite having majored in Oriental Painting, the compositions and techniques used in Lim’s works are far from traditional. Each object in the paintings is depicted with eye-catching colors through the loving emotions of the artist, while all the ugly and bad energies are purified through simple lines and vivid colors. The “Bad Flower Garden” series started in 2007 and has been the center of Min Eun Hee’s works since then. Works from this series reflect on the alienation and gloominess of our civilization and attempt to search for an oasis in this desert of life. Korean novelist Kwang-Hoon Woo once mentioned that Henri Matisse’s “Harmony in Red” reminds him of “Bad Flower Garden” in their similar attentiveness to the harmony, vividness, and warmth of colors, while the elegant lines that are filled with rhythm not only pleasure the vision but also satisfy the auditory and olfactory senses. Just as Mother Earth embraces all, Lim’s garden simplifies all challenges and trials, forever blooming with flowers of Spring, welcoming each and every one of us.
Lim Jong Doo has participated in many exhibitions; he has held 18 solo exhibitions in locations including Seoul and Virginia and was invited to take part in over 400 group exhibitions, both domestic in abroad. “The aim of my artistic career is to create a living relationship between humans and Nature.” Harmony between humankind and the natural environment has been the core of his explorations. Through a female figure who roams freely between reality and a Utopian world, Lim uses the characteristics of traditional Korean paper and mineral pigment, layering the colors for more than 20 times until the hue reaches the most delicate richness and purity. The five traditional colors, red, blue, green, white, and yellow, are frequently used throughout Lim’s works, with an emphasis on red, which Lim Jong Doo refers to “the color of life.” In some cases, Lim covers the whole work with red, from the face, body, to the entire back of the woman. “Red reminds me of the red bean porridge that my mother used to feed me with a spoon or the red pepper sauce mixed with rice on Winter solstice during my childhood.” The warm red color of the artist’s memories echoes his art world. The woman, flowers, fish, and butterflies, move gracefully in the galaxy of the night sky or between the spacious mountains and rivers. The ideal of perfect coexistence between human beings and the natural world has been transformed into shimmering stories of Lim’s works and the authentic image of life. 

Group Exhibition of Five Contemporary Korean Artists
“Humans are part of nature, but we are constantly trying to dominate and destroy Nature. At the same time, some of us try to preserve it. This is who and what we are – humans. I wish to depict this contradiction.” Having just finished his first solo exhibition in March this year in Harbour Art Fair, Hong Kong, young artist Kim Ki Min expresses the dependent relationship between humans and Nature and the pressing issue of environmental protection through adorable sculptures of human figures. Kim Ki Min grew up in a small town near the sea and has a close relationship with Nature; he experiences tranquility and stability every time he is immersed in Nature. Due to his childhood experiences, Kim is especially interested in issues regarding environmental protection, and elements from the natural world have become inspirations and themes for her works. Apart from small animals, plants, seashells, and gravel, each sculpture includes an expressionless child, quietly sitting or caressing nearby objects. This human figure is a depiction of the artist, with a shy personality and timid eyes, but passionately wishing to engage in dialogue with the viewer. The child represents new life and hope; Kim Ki Min uses the innocent child as a media for communication, peacefully bringing forth serious environmental problems such as global warming and melting of glaciers so that each of us can confront our own survival crisis and that of the next generation in a natural manner.
Humans are indeed mysterious; but what about “love”? Is Love an eternal riddle? Painter Cho Hye Yoon annotates her immortal faith in love through elements including beautiful flowers, the girl, and Swarovski crystals. “Love takes on different forms; sometimes it is impulsive, and sometimes it fades. However, the core of my works is everlasting love.” As an extension to “The Eternally Fadeless Flower” series, the main character of recent works is a girl with eyes that are big and deep, as beautiful as a blooming flower, and never seems to grow old; both the girl and the flowers are representations of unfailing love. Perhaps due to the loving sensations following the birth of her nephew, the girl in Cho’s paintings have eyes that are like glittering stars, while the rich layers of the colorful background echo the girl’s subtle facial expressions and posture, sweet and refreshing at the same time, surrounded by an atmosphere filled with hope. At first glance, the paintings of Cho seem to be created with simple compositions and smooth texture, but with a closer look, the viewer will realize that the painter has applied different colors of acrylic pigment to handle varying emotions. Layers of diluted paint are sprayed to form a dreamy background, creating an effect of a world covered in fog, dampening the clothing of the girl and surrounding plants and flowers, accentuating the appearance of the figures and creating a clear depiction of the truth, goodness, and beauty of “Love.” No flower is immune from withering in the real world, and eternal love is constantly being questioned; however, like Mathilda and Peony Girl in the paintings, every imperfect and immature girl yearns for a relationship that never fades. Long may love reign on the world of Cho Hye Yoon!

Art is a mirror, the artist’s true reflection towards different aspects of the self, others, and the world. Art Influence hopes to create dialogue with each viewer through [Charater.Note] Group Exhibition of Five Contemporary Korean Artists, to explore the world of thoughts and unique symbols created by the five artists and savor the different flavors of life and its enchanting sceneries. 


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