70 Sogyeokdong, Jongnogu
Seoul, South Korea
Wednesday, February 19, 2014–Sunday, March 30, 2014
KANG YO-BAE DRAWINGS: 1985-2014
2014. 2. 19 – 3. 30
Hakgojae Gallery is pleased to announce Kang Yo-bae Drawings: 1985-2014. This exhibition aims to show from Kang’s early works to recent works produced for thirty years. There will be 4 acrylic paintings and 53 drawings displayed in the exhibition space. Showing the works from 1980s up to today, the exhibition will help the audiences to understand Kang’s artistic career.
Drawing is the independent genre that presents artist’s thoughts and impressions in genuine and direct way, and its potential is well explored. Kang Yo-bae, who worked as illustrator in 1980s, was able to establish his consciousness and artistic concept, through his drawings. Kang, born in Jeju Island, ended his life in Seoul and returned to Jeju: there, he sketched flowers and sceneries in the beach and field of Jeju, and was able to feel the Island in full. Thus, drawing for Kang, is the foundation for his main concept: idea of Minjung and realism.
Kang Yo-bae’s drawings attempt to reveal the existence of subject without any lavish techniques, which leads the audiences to interpret not just the subject but to reach the inner meanings. This exhibition offers a chance to the audiences to encounter by Kang’s drawings that have restrained and intense approach and his combination of intellect and emotion.
What is a ‘painting’?
- KANG Yo-bae
‘Painting’ is distinctively different from Art. An act of art is much more diverse and broad. Array of multicolored modern life and expansion in definition of art has now enabled art to function across the board of visual arts.
‘Painting’ is one of many diverse method of art and though it may be crucial part of it, ‘painting’ is distinctively different. For this reason, to identify ‘to paint’ as an act of art is clearly a mistake.
Then can any work done on a flat surface be defined as a ‘painting? The two are certainly similar but taking a picture is not equivalent to ‘to paint a picture’, which differentiates ‘painting’ from any work done on a flat surface. The Chinese character for painting ‘Hoehwa 繪畵’ is a closest translation of the Korean word for painting, ‘Grim 그림’. And for this reason, drawing a line and painting a color would be a ‘painting’, since drawing and painting is called ‘Grim’ in Korean after all.
But there seems to be much more in the word, ‘painting’. And in it, there is a desire to draw and an embedded will to treasure the act of painting, all penetrated into one single word, ‘Grim’. The word also reflects willingness to express emotions through use of body on a flat surface; more like a mind that runs through the body.
Then what is this mind? Is the mind inside the body like ‘the inner mind’ or ‘inside the mind’ as the saying goes? Is it an aspiration for something external? Do we even know what is in it or not? Or is it something that may get formed gradually? There are no clear-cut answers.
Painting a ‘painting’ might still be an act of angling an obscure mind, just as one prominent critique have said. For that sort of angling, a state of calmness and a bait would be required. Baits are inspirational subject matters from the outside world but the bait is not the target. And sooner or later, the mind will be naturally reflected through how the bait is handled, reeled in and cooked.
Surely these methods are process of ‘abstraction’. Some contemplates and some, manages to extract that very essence of ‘it’. Thus, the process of ‘abstraction’ is a process of explicitation (which certainly isn’t obscuration nor repetition of geometric shapes). That is how ‘painting’ finally becomes the mirror of the mind.
‘Painting’ leaps from the boundary of art.