1 AUGUST - 1 SEPTEMBER 2013
HADA Contemporary is pleased to present paintings by Lee Jinhan (b. 1982) and Kim Jiseon (b. 1986) focusing on the versatile possibilities of landscapes as a leitmotif in contemporary artistic creativity. This exhibition will showcase Lee’s earlier ‘paintings of overflow’ tracing the foundation of her current artistic practice and Kim’s imaginary landscapes which create uncanny and illusionistic spaces through the ‘beauty of emptiness’.
Landscape with a Spiderman 1-3 (2011) is the representative and momentous work that brings together the elements that she has been experimenting since the early stage. By harmonising in each layers contrasting elements and references from form, style, material and beyond from the context of the history of art and painting, her images dance to and fro in a hide and seek of action and reaction creating rare marbling of landscape of Hegelian antithesis akin to the tension between a team of two salsa dancers. The artist challenges to create the perspectival abstraction with classical Renaissance perspective and modernist’s flatness simultaneously. Also, she resources the title format that was often used in still-life and landscape paintings and takes the form of a triptych that has arised from early Christian art in comparison to the contemporary abstract imagery within. Geometric forms and materials as glitter are repeatedly used to contrast and compliment the traditional painting materials and composition. As she comments her works as ‘the painting of overflow’, they are the consolidation of physical layers of paint and allegorical reinterpretation of history of art. Lee’s paintings are the collage, the record and the cubism of the minute fragments of western art history that itself is keen to categorisation. As if sculpting the paint layers onto the canvas, the depth and thickness becomes the volume and the object themselves and form a familiar yet new history via strategic overflow. Her cheerful and clever adoption of references free herself and the viewers from the traditional categorisation and allows us to venture into the boundless wild.
Kim Jiseon’s mixtures of vivid colours of lonesomeness explore and blur the traditional boundary of eastern and western modern landscape paintings of the voidity and fullness through the earnest experimentation on colours and spaces. The main concern in her practice is to create a visual landscape of ‘wonderland’ that deeply absorbs the audience into a new perspective. Enraptured by the untamed grandeur sublimity during the artist’s trip to Iceland in 2009, nature and landscape and their moral and mental importance to mankind has been the focal point of her artistic pursuit. Especially, the process of emptying out is significant in her practice that originates from the concept of ‘beauty of the void,’ which symbolises one of the key aspects of Korean traditional landscape paintings. In contrast to the negative connotation embedded in the concept of the void in western culture, in Sinic culture ‘‘nothingness’ is not simply the origin of being; it co-exists with being and becomes the dynamic, functional aspect of being’ as Lee Joon adds. This emptiness creates the abstract and multi faceted space opening up the ample opportunities to the viewers for contemplation and retrospection similar to the monochromatic paintings by Mark Rothko. Yet, her dreamy utopias are indistinguishable from dystopias where the sentiment of displacement and loneliness is prevalent through the unsettling subdued tonality of non-naturalistic high-keyed colours evocative of the paintings of Peter Doig, Edvard Munch and Paul Gauguin. As the concept of yin-yang from Asian philosophies, the seemingly opposite dichotomous elements originate from the same source and they are interconnected and interdependent as they give rise to each other. For Kim, it is through the acceptance and the embracement of these disorientating sentiments, one will truly arrive to the paradise that the artist wishes to depict as they give ways to true happiness by acknowledging real values.
Lee Jinhan (b.1982) lives and works in London and Seoul. She received MFA at Goldsmiths and Central Saint Martins, London after achieving BFA at Hongik University, Seoul. Lee has exhibited widely in UK and Korea. Most recently she has been shortlisted for Saatchi Gallery New Sensation 2012 and she has been selected as finalist for Gallery Loop Young Artist Competition 2011, Seoul, 33rd Joongang Fine Art Competition, Seoul and Guasch Conranty Prize 2010, Barcelona.
Kim Jiseon (b. 1986) lives and works in Seoul. She received MFA and BA at UCL, London. She has exhibited in UK and Korea such as Gabulre Gallery Seoul, Joon-A Gallery Seoul, Paik Hea Young Gallery Seoul, Dukwoon Gallery Seoul, Arch 402 Gallery London, St. George’s Hall London among others.