May 24—Jul 4 2010
The painting is a ghost. It was once sentenced to death (or abolition) and has been believed to be such by many people. However, contrary to their firm belief, it is still alive and brazenly struts in the real. It might have a huge body greater than we have imagined (and transcending space and time). What is the origin of this huge body of the painting? First, it gives forms to what a painter regards as reality on the basis of the principle of ‘representation.’ This involves the activity of ‘seeing.’ However, seeing itself is not the necessary and sufficient condition because it too presupposes the activity of ‘recognition.’ You see the object by numerous conventions of visual perception which strongly influence the human cognitive system. Thus, the world shown in a painting is what is reorganized and discovered by the method of representation in the process of integrating ‘seeing’ and ‘recognition.’ This means that the history of the painting should be understood also as that of subversion which has been established by suggesting new visions that have rejected the conventional visual systems.Korean modern painting has excluded reality, outwardly by introducing the radical dichotomy between ‘conformism (the so-called purity) and sedition’ which had been caused by the political environment of ‘incomplete national state’ and inwardly by accepting the Western modernity in a superficial way. In that way, it has distorted both reality and life by erasing, concealing, and exaggerating problems of reality only in pursuit of the absoluteness of the painted surface. This could possibly explain the reason that Korean paintings has gone far away from our eyes, overflowing with superfluous rhetoric. If so, those Korean artist who have actively accepted the reality(life) and suspected of the visual perception system of their times should be considered as the most important achievement in the history of Korean modern painting. And this is still relevant to the painting of today’s Korea. In this context, this exhibition features twelve artists: Kim Hong-joo, Yoo Seung-ho, Moon Sung-sik, Joung-ki, Jung Jae-ho, Lee Ho-in, Joo Jae-hwan, Ahn Doo-jin, Kwon Kyung-hwan, Hwang Se-joon, Roh Choong-hyun, and Park Jin-a. The ‘in-between’ of the works of various generations which are both similar and different will offer an opportunity to go over Korean modern painting.