Celebrating the summery month of June, Gallery BK presents Greenery Beats, an exhibition featuring the tales of four artists from June 8 to July 6 at BK Hannam. Equipped to quench the earlier-than-usual heatwaves of June, the exhibition’s curation of cool, unobstructed canvases present a feast of sensual and fearless brushstrokes and unique color palettes. Luring and fixating the viewer’s gaze through their phantasmagoric and lyrical visual languages, the four artists relentlessly release their inner narratives and ceaseless discussions upon their canvases to exhibit the expansion and continuity of each of their painterly practices.
Sundoo Kim, well-known for his experimental painting style traversing oriental ink-wash and color application methods, draws upon subjects from human life and nature to project his highly individual sentiments. An artist continually broadening the frontiers of traditional Korean painting, Kim utilizes various oriental painting mediums — including heavyweight mulberry paper, sumi ink, and traditional oriental pigments — to create bold compositions and depict objects in distinctive contours. Although based on a palette of warm hues and inviting scenery, Kim’s painting style is visually brave and experimental, and emotionally, his fairytale-like sentiment gently awakens a forgotten sense of innocence within the viewer. Furthermore, the fluid and masterful brushmarks refined over his long career send out with ease gentle oscillations in the depths of our inner realm.
Sumin Song’s phantasmagoric painterly language begins with her collecting various images she encountered on the internet or television and the consequent memory of their afterimages. Song, cautious to not depict her subject or inspiration in any direct manner, as well as aspiring to remove all elements of narrativity from her canvases, hopes to create paintings that draw responses such as, “Oh, it must be a landscape painting,” at first glance, but surprise the viewer upon closer examination, making one exclaim, “Wait, there are things other than landscapes as well!” Just as if playing a game of hidden pictures, Song intends her viewers to wander through and explore the landscapes in her paintings and make unexpected discoveries.
Soyoon Lee’s awe-inspiring paintings — composed of a striking color palette of red and green — derive from her memories of the dazzlingly-green home garden she was exposed to when she was young. Transferring the impression of dense and green shrubbery in impastos of thick, intertwined blobs of paint, Lee explains that the resulting manifestation of abstract chaos ultimately represents a splendid feast in nature. Expanding the spectrum of her practice by expressing the infinite instincts of nature and the energy of seasonal changes that lie beneath the beauty on the surface level, Lee provisions visual alacrity to her viewers by presenting ubiquitous and relatable subject matters.
Hyeseong Lee’s paintings depicting masses of dried flowers and grass in intricate and close-knit brushstrokes exert an inimitable aura. Lee insists that the flora she paints is nothing but insignificant, thrown-away plant materials that are neither beautiful nor pleasant. Yet, her paintings brim with such a degree of undeniable liveliness and warmth that might be felt from witnessing the birth of a new lifeform. Applying countless hours of intensive labor onto images of dying flowers, the narratives of ephemeral beings Lee assorts on her canvases reverse disintegration and death and summon a vibrant energy of life.
“On its own, nature is but the shadow of ideal and not a complete beauty. Followingly, to make a complete beauty, the artist must selectively choose from flawed nature.” - Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (German philosopher, 1779-1831)
The four artists featured in this exhibition unfold their ideals and worldviews in unique artistic languages polished over time, and the stories they unfurl upon their canvases come to such endings that allow the viewer to swim freely in convergences of nature and art, learn to read between the lines in an artwork, and make in-depth explorations. An emotional euphoria always accompanies an experience of harmony between nature, beauty, and art; this is what Greenery Beats hopes to deliver.
Min Choi, Managing Director, Gallery BK