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Painter's Vision


 It often strikes me that painters are especially sensitive about viewing. Of course, the sensitivity is not just about painters. However, for a long time, the painters in particular have instinctively understood that viewing is not the confrontation between the one that views and the one that is being viewed, but actually a vague blending of the two. It has not been long that this kind of understanding has been contemplated and justified. Before that, modern philosophy would not accept the notion, since the ones that are viewed had to be objects only in order to stress the subjectivity of mankind. The anatomy that physically senses was defined as the body. Only after the contemporaries realized that without being viewed we cannot view, diverse philosophy set out. Meanwhile, painters who were thought to be of little help to the rational Logos had already realized it. For close examples, there are by Jan van Eyck and by Velázquez, both of which verify the blending of views, were painted in around the age of Descartes -though the former came earlier than the age-. Also, the fact that many painters enjoyed drawing themselves in the mirror is another good proof. Anyway, the recently generalized and accepted notion that Regard includes being viewed at the same time, be it terminology or aesthetics, has been established thanks to the painters.


Park Ji-hye paints with the theme of the Regard. She seems to fully understand the blending of views that was mentioned above, for her works are filled with the views. To put each view in her works in sequence, first comes the painter's view, followed by the view of motives being painted, then comes the audience's view, and lastly it is viewed by the motives. It seem quite complicated, but in fact it is simple and commonly known if you accept the notion that views are in the blend at the same time in viewing and being viewed. "The painting views me and I can view through the painting" altering what Cezanne always said while he was painting the Mountain Sainte Victoire, "the scene views me and I can view by it" but in Park's works exceptionally we can notice the blending of views. To clarify the notion it had better be pointed out that viewing is not by reason, and not just by eyes. Every single thing involved in viewing is already the subjects of the view. Be it an obscene nape of neck, dress laces at chest or a hand that holds up hair are also the subjects of views -though sometimes in order to avoid a direct view, a mask or sunglasses are used-. In her notes, she herself describes it as painting "거죽(skin)" . We cannot say this "거죽" is completely identical to the actual skin but we cannot say it is totally different since it functions as the view that views ourselves from the other side.


We have seen various painters working with the theme of views but we hardly witness works that properly contains the notion mentioned above. Painters are well aware of the relationships between the views and physically feel it themselves but at the instant of expressing it they tend to change the motives into objects again. It can be even more difficult for the painters using realistic techniques. After all, the dynamic moments of views become stiff paintings. In this Regard, Park is worth paying a good attention to. Her works are not just well-painted but they are very well-viewed. Just like she named her own works Regard, to appreciate her works we shall try to understand the views that fill them -as we all already know-.

By Park, Soon Young / Curator, Noamgallery

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