|Shin Minjoo: Brush Strokes, Gallery GAHOEDONG60, May 9 - May 22, 201
||May 11 2012
○ Exhibition Information
Artist | Shin Minjoo
Title | Brush Strokes
Period| May 9 ~ May 22, 2012
Place | Gallery GAHOEDONG60
Hours | 12:00pm - 7:00pm Monday - Saturday, Sundays Closed
Tel | 02-3673-0585
Website | www.gahoedong60.com
Wind Blowing between Trees or Brush Storkes
by Lee Sun-young, Art Critic
The wind is heard in Shin Minjoo's painting - neither a breeze nor an empty wind. The wind is a gale; a rough, violent wind that makes visibility zero. Some puffs of wind become liquefied and flow down to a bottomless abyss. Shin's painting lacks solidness, without roots, base, or foundation. There are only gaseous, liquid elements flowing horizontally or vertically. Her painting is outside like a tree standing in the wind. Almost-horizontal, flowing lines make all blurred with the wind. The gray, engendered with a mixture of all colors, probably making the world look bright and splendid, deletes lines and planes rather than existing as drawing. Things barely surviving from this destructive brushwork are one or two lines that seem to be a tree. This vertical, lineal element is unclear, but may be a tree, as she often goes to mountains. It may not be a tree, but implies there is something in the wind. If the vertical element reminds viewers of a human being, he may be I or You.
He has to stay over there for renewal here and now, breaking away from obsession and pity. The daily I should be deleted for 'painting that can be produced only if I meet myself'. The tree suggested in the wind is not the original, typical form of a tree that roots deep, spreads stems toward the sun, and has thick leaves. A thin tree dependent on somewhere or stuck does not have a monumental appearance like a comic tree or world tree that inspires a universal, mythic imagination. But, it has the essential image of the tree linking different dimensions vertically, transcending here and now.
The naked tree relies on the wind blowing as a way to endure this fierce wind. The vertical tree facing the horizontal wind heads for different directions, generating a bleak, precipitous atmosphere. Shin's painting seems like calligraphic work with monotones and brushwork made by one stroke on paper or canvas without calculation and conception. In her previous work Shin depicted theater screen and window image, but from last fall she embarked on works with severance and continuity. The works on display at the show are filled with black, white, and brown in the horizontal, vertical composition.
Thin lines like cracks on the wall or floor in her previous work grow to thick lines in the exhibition. As minute air vibrations turn to a tornado, the artist collects small streams, and offers a forum where their force is achieved like a butterfly effect. For Shin confined to daily life as we all are, the forum where the force is generated is her painting. Shin is a painter who has painting as her only forum. In works on display, images of a wall, floor, and window that give a feeling of confinement are erased, and one goes outside without artificial boundaries. There is no interior and exterior for the painter because the starting place of the wind is in her heart: interior and exterior are linked like a Möbius strip, and the effect of escaping from this infinite network arises. For Shin, escape derives from velocity. But, there is difference in repetition. Quicly rendered brushstrokes demonstrate a gesture to nullify the mechanical repetition of everyday life.
The fresh lines artlessly drawn with a flat brush are an expression of her will not to rely on mechanical repetition. If this will is successfully attained, her work represents purification. Shin hurriedly creates images before acrylic pain dries without depending on sketch, modification or correction. As a result, her work consists of the chance factor derived from splattering and flowing. The light and shade, strength and weakness of lines rendered by this process bring about something not defined by the poor categories of reproducing and representation, figuration and abstraction.
She perhaps seeks freedom through this expression of lines. Although everyday life is repetitive, the artist can change herself everyday or moment in her painting. That is why she immerses herself in her work. "I cannot live as I want, but I can depict my painting as I want," Shin says. For the artist, painting is not to make good use of spare time ad achieve herself, but is like something fateful she has to do to live. So, her painting like a stream exudes a determined, grim tone. However, Shin does not rely heavily on painting, saying writing is an act of self-salvation. A non-doing action repeated endlessly may bring about satisfaction to save 'only me'.
The clue to works on display comes from the shadow of a bridge over the Han River and the illusion of surging water. Shin draws a blue line to be away from this illusion, and leaves the bottom of her painting empty. This space accepting dropped paint is a blank space embracing chance. The vertical lines penetrate the unconscious; the passive horizontal lines are conscious and positive. A small blue perspectival space rendered geometrically is within these lines. Shown in 'Drawn 2' is a perspectival fragment floating like a small boat on gray horizontal lines. The quadrangle in perspective is a geometric element suggestive of representation, floating like a tiny boat on a flowing ground. Lines with different directions pass through a wall. In 'Drawn 3' a light gray quadrangle floats, and blue and white lines diagonally penetrate a light gray plane. A contrast between the chaotic ground and geometry relativizes each other. In 'Drawn 1' horizontal lines flow and blue vertical lines penetrate. However, these geometric elements are soon ousted. In this work her brushstrokes are indistinguishable, whether for spreading or covering, erasing or drawing, and depict a landscape beyond boundaries of rendition and expression, figuration and abstraction, interior and exterior.
Shin does not depict or express images, but is faithful to nature or nature within her. As Renaissance masters who developed perspective discovered, no distinctive lines are in nature. Leonardo da Vinci discovered, 'An object's outline is not its part but a beginning of another object contacted with it.' There is only light and shade, not outlines in nature. In Shin's work, drawing, painting, and deleting integrate; restrictions in the use of color and composition does not reduce to abstraction, generating a monotonousness, but create a field where black and white tones unfold diversely. Her lines and planes do not refer to or convey something: they are a minimal expressive element enabling infinite modification of intensity and density. Changes continue on this fluid surface, triggering more change. There are gliding lines generating a sleek space. At her studio in Yeonhui-dong, Seoul, a small haven, these gliding lines repeat and extend until they cover a whole plate.
Shin's painting is not a procession from a dot to another, but related to a sleek space where dots are subordinate to a trajectory.
According to 'A Thousand Plateau' by Giles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, in this sleek space for does not organize material but material refers to or becomes a sign of power. This is not a denotative but a connotative space, not the space for measurement but for distance. The lines nullifying dots with fixed positions are just moving to some directions. They are just changing without contributing to any representation. The lines are nomadic as they would not stop and try to escape. Deleuze and Guattari define the nomadic lines as 'the lines that are inorganic and alive with vitality as they are inorganic'. The changing lines liberate the lines confining organisms, and create a stream crossing all. "If lines escape from geometry through nomadism, life swirls at its place, and depart from something organic, constantly altering their appearances." Deleuze and Guattari argue.
Shin's rejection of representationalism inherent in her previous work, featuring screens and window frames, appears more intensive in the exhibition as a gesture close to performance. Lines are drawn everyday as if writing a diary shape form and ground, and at the same time are formless and groundless. The feature of such repetition is continued incongruity, confronting the sameness of representation. Deleuze and Guattari who attempted to overcome representationalism initiated by Plato assert a pluralism of liberal, wild, untamed differences in 'Difference and Repetition'(Différence et repetition). They underline the difference between conservative order and creative disorder. In Shin's work the vertical element implicated by a tree makes difference more dramatic in the horizontal element. This horizontal element heralds a new start, and another repetition derives from this. The ground made up of the horizontal element is not always passive. Form and ground teem with differences. In 'Difference and Repetition' the two philosophers assert that such difference witnesses the ground is irreversible, resistant, and keep moving under the superficial crakcs of organic represetation.
With this all foundations collapse. All foundations are in 'a state of collapse'(Jacques Derrida). The collapse of such foundations is the ground of freedom. When the ground comes up to the surface, it does not take any form. For Deleuze and Guattari, the ground is a forum nullifying representation depending on form and material. They say abstract groundless lines dissolving and deconstructing material and models are far more profound and threatening. All foundations collapse and all come into being simultaneously from this undefined, baseless state. A windy bleak space brings about folds and is soon covered with infinite folds. As Deleuze states in 'The Fold', a difference is neither movement nor standstill. It depends on pure variability of velocity triggering escape but no utopia. The painter has a nomadic journey she is destined to leave when she dies. But, this journey brings about intensity leaping from daily routines.