|Character landscape painting, Song Yun-ju Solo exhibition, Gallery Gahoedong60, 12.21, 2011 – 1. 5, 2012
||Dec 14 2011
Character landscape painting
Song Yun-ju Solo exhibition
21 December, 2011 – 5 January, 2012
60 Gahoe-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea
Visual pleasure and rhythm within panoramic scenes
A consistent part of Song Yun-ju’s work has been the examination of the sensitive and subtle qualities of materials. In her upcoming exhibition she conjures up intersections between images and signs. The works that feature in the exhibition have been divided into two categories: works that present an all-encompassing view from an omniscient viewpoint; and works where the imagery appears to be free-floating, as if the viewpoint has been turned out toward infinite outer space.
Works from the first category, such as Seoul, JukJeongGwanHakDo (竹亭觀鶴圖), and Dream of Mountain and River (山水夢) have parallels to landscape paintings or maps. Building upon the idea that Korean painting and calligraphy both use ink and paper, Song studied the painting-like characteristics of ancient pictographic characters and applied these qualities to her own artworks. Seoul, which is composed of pictographic images that can commonly be seen in maps of the city, encourages the viewer to closely examine every nook and cranny of the work, as if hunting for treasure. Song used a variety of old Chinese characters to depict the four gates to the North, South, East and West of the city, and the mountains on the outskirts, adjusting the densities of the ink color in the characters as they embrace the pathways, rivers, and palaces situated in the center of Seoul, thereby suggesting the functions of the characters on a semantic level and at the same time, on a symbolic level, the qualities of painting.
JukJeongGwanHakDo features, at its center, a pavilion surrounded by mountains, with a bamboo forest behind it, while in front of the building a figure watches a scene in which ducks and cranes swim upon a lake. It creates a scene that, in Song’s way, suggests a very Taoist painting-like landscape. In depicting elements such as mountains, or buildings in her work, Song suggests a variety of shapes. By adding specific marks to some letters, appearing as if rubbed into their surfaces she reflects her longstanding interest in the materiality of surfaces, clearly continuing through into this new series of work, whilst maintaining a perspective that presents the entire canvas as a composite of images.
Even though it appears to present the simplest set of forms among these works belonging to the first category, Dream of Mountain and River demonstrates the way that images can be conjured up through intersections between calligraphy and painting The mountains that dominate the upper parts of the work, with their thick lines on the achromatic canvas, are both letters and pictures at the same time, as well as appearing both modern and yet traditional in its vigorous application of ink. In contrast with the thick, bold lines used for the mountains, the water in the lower part of the canvas has been depicted with fine lines, while the irregular thick strokes among them seem to be a Chinese letter, implying water as a pictograph, and at the same time, depicting the shape of the mountains as if reflected on the water.
The second category for Song’s work includes pieces such as Sun and Moon, Song’s Astronomical Chart (宋氏天文圖), and Chaosmos. As seen in the works from the first category, which suggested the forms of landscape painting or maps, these paintings also employ a similar framework in their use of achromatic ink brushstrokes on a background presented in the artist’s characteristic way. Song has selected variations of pictographic letters implying the sun and moon as primary images for composing the canvas, and attempted to broaden their boundaries through her own interpretation and transformation of such astronomical elements.
As suggested in the title, the work Sun and Moon, takes variations of the Chinese characters 日 and 月 which represent the sun and moon, and arranges them in a large circular form, delineating the sun’s trajectory in the upper half of the circle, and the moon’s trajectory in the lower half. Suggesting a variety of aspects of the sun and moon, these natural phenomena that occupy a central position, among the innumerable stars in the sky, are a primary source of life. Sun and Moon suggests that Song is reaching out into infinite space, in order to come closer to the essence of human life and the truth of the Universe.
Song’s Astronomical Chart and Chaosmos show her broadening interest in these phenomena in the universe. Song’s Astronomical Chart takes the artist’s family name and incorporates her contemplation and observation of planetary movements in space. Song’s Astronomical Chart developed from Gebulnori, a work in which the free-floating pictographic characters that represent the sun and moon delineate curvilinear forms, as if in the trajectory of its fire bowl. These ideas are expanded to Chaosmos, in which each of the countless stars in the sky shines in its own way, while at the same time they all operate within some sort of order. In Chaosmos, pictographic characters symbolize the way that all the things on Earth, as well as in the sky are brought up as elements of imagery, and put into the spatial orbit that the artist has delineated. In these works in which the artist’s contemplation and observation develops into a variety of images, the viewer is encouraged to feel the visual pleasure and rhythm of the canvas, which create a panorama as expansive as the creation of the Universe.
Through this exhibition, Song took a series of interactions between imagery and signs from our surrounding environment, and opened them up to depict the universe, creating rhythmic energy moving freely in the infinity of space. Having adhered to the basic principles of Korean painting, in terms of the materials and the types of brushstroke that the artist has continued to use, Song pushes its boundaries through an expanded approach to the characteristics of her idiosyncratic expressions. In this way she demonstrates the possibilities available to Korean painting, incorporating elements of contemporary art to further enrich the tradition.
By Ha Gye-hun, works as an art critic and a professor of Dankook University
Song Yun Ju
1974 Born in Seoul, Korea
2010 Completion of D.F.A Course, Seoul Nat'l Univ.
2001 M.F.A./ B.F.A. in oriental painting, Department of Fine Arts, Seoul Nat‘l Univ.
2011 Character landscape painting (Gahoedong 60, Seoul)
2009 Feast of Characters (Artside gallery, Seoul)
2007 Circle-Raveling (Dam gallery planning, Seoul)
2006 Circle-Figure (Gong gallery, Seoul)
2004 Circle (chuwha gallery planning, Tokyo, Japan)
2002 Circle (Moin gallery, Seoul)
2005 2005 color expo (Coex, seoul)
2004 Art Seoul (Seoul arts center, seoul)
Selected Group Exhibition
2011 1st Annversary (galleria centercity, chunan)
2011 ArtChorus_21C focus of contemporary art exhibition (Incheon Culture & Arts Center, Incheon)
2011 Korea contemporary art 100 artists invitation (Seoul Museum of Art)
2011 MoA invites 2011 (MoA)
2010 A Tactual Map: Light, Fragie, Flexible (MoA)
2010 Accompanying characters (Seoul Nat'l Univ. Usuckhall)
2010 Sirius exhibition (Gong Art Space)
2009 SHA-SHA exhibition (Gongpeung Art Center)
2009 Contemporary Transformation In Korean Painting (Seoul Art Center)
2009 Project for Hujiwara Yojiro's Asian Hope Network (Keumsan Gallery, Heyri, Paju)
2009 AHAF_Young artist special exhibition (Hyatt Hotel, Seoul)
2009 The 42th Korean painting society annual exhibition (Chosun gallery)
2009 Culturescape of Seoul national University Station in subway line 2 (Literary space)
2009 Painting the Midland of Expression (KEPCO Plaza Gallery)
2009 My first collection (Keumsan Gallery, Heyri, Paju)
2009 Five dots (Chunmu gallery)
2009 G-bul Exhibition (openstudio, Seoul National Univ.)
2008 stillness by practice (Gallery Kimi)
2008 Inter_viewing Paintings (SOMA Museun of Art)
2008 Ganghwabyeolgok-Sareoro Sareororatda
(Bupyeong History Museum, Shinsegae Department Gallery, Inchun)
2008 SNU Alumni Exhibition (MOA)
2007 Small picture (Lexus gallery)
2007 Communication of Contemporary art (Yul gallery)
2007 Way to Namdo-gangjin (Donduck art center)
2007 Sisawhae Exhibition (Alternative space Team_Preview)
2006 Gallery Ho Auction (Ho gallery)
2005 The 5th Song-Eun Grand Art Exhibition (Seoul Art Center)
2005 Zhup•Zhup•Zhup Exhibition (Han gallery)
2004 The Korea Ott-painting Society Foundation Exhibition (Hakgojae gallery)
2004 The Present Exhibion (Sejong Center)
2003 Korean View in Japan- 3 men Exhibition (Jung-Haw gallery, Tokyo, Japan)
2003 2003 Sunwha Alumni Art Festival Exhibition (Little Angels Center)
2002 Korean Art• Japanese art (Chuwa gallery, Tokyo, Japan)
2002 Post Korea/Japan World Cup Exhibition (Chuwa gallery, Tokyo, Japan)
2001 The Painting in the Mind (Jongro gallery)
2000 Seoul National University in the New Millennium (Seoul Metropolition Museum of Art)
2000 Korean painting-New form and spirit (Dukwon gallery)
2000 Sound of Mountain-Travel (Joheung gallery)
1999 The Pine on the Nam Mountain (Gongpyung Art Center)
1999 Sound of Mountain-Sound (Kyunin gallery)
1998 5•0•1•0•6 Exhibition(Seoul National University Hall)
2011 Awards for Visual arts' creation support (Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture)
2009 Seoul Foundation for Artists Support Program
2005 The 5th Song-eun Grand Art Exhibition (Seoul arts center)
1999 The 18th Grand Art Exhibition of Korea (National Museum of Contemporary Art)
1998 The 17th Grand Art Exhibition of Korea (National Museum of Contemporary Art)
2002-2004 Degu University
2002-2006 Chung-Nam Art High school
2005-2009 The Korean University of Cultural Heritage
2009-2011 The University of Suwon
2010-2011 Konkuk University
2009-NOW Seoul National University of Technology