「我的創作試圖破壞、 撕毀人們日常的視覺習慣，而後再重新建構，讓我們的視野得以看到其他的影像。」新銳藝術家金炳官 ( Kim Byung Kwan) 作品風格深受英國畫家法蘭西斯．培根 (Francis Bacon) 和美國抽象表現主義藝術家威廉．德．庫寧 (Willem de Kooning) 影響，以充滿紊亂、暴力美學的肖像畫在國際嶄露頭角並屢屢獲獎。他以歷史上著名的人物、流行文化偶像、時尚名人為繪畫主體，如政治獨裁者希特勒、好萊塢明星瑪麗蓮夢露、飾演電影［神力女超人］的琳達卡特、影后奧黛麗赫本等大家耳熟能詳的面孔，運用鮮明的大色塊或黑白壓克力顏料於畫布上即興創作人像，在圖像完成之際進行臉部破壞，大膽塗鴉、幾何塗抹，讓原本熟悉的面孔在犀利而瘋狂的毀壞加筆下，迸發攝人的視覺震撼。透過這樣強烈的繪畫方式，藝術家企圖打破慣常的視覺邏輯，讓人們脫離熟悉的觀看角度與印象思維，經歷預期外的所有可能。現實生活錯綜複雜，或許跨越既定常規，重構新的閱讀視野，才能看到人類世界相似裡的獨特相異。
若繪畫是觀看的一種方式，我們便從林恩嬉 (Lim Eun Hee) 的作品裡，體驗了一個美麗新視界，女孩、木房子、花朵、綠野，佐以艷色渲染，眼前是座唯美的夢幻國度。在學時主修東方繪畫，但其構圖和技法卻有別於傳統表現，畫中每個圖像物件，都在畫家愛的情感潤飾下，添上了亮麗色彩，那些關於醜陋的、壞的能量，都被簡單鮮明的顏色和線條，淨化到她的花園背後去了。「壞花園」(Bad Flower Garden) 作品系列始於2007年，至今一直是林恩嬉主要的創作題目，反思文明社會的人際疏離與晦暗生活，試圖在人間沙漠硬地，找到一處活泉綠洲。韓國小說家Kwang-Hoon Woo曾提到，法國畫家亨利．馬蒂斯 (Henri Matisse) 的 「紅色和諧」 (Harmony in Red) 讓他聯想到「壞花園」，作品同樣重視顏色的協調、明度與暖度，線條優雅富有韻律，讓人們不僅在視覺上感到愉悅，更在聽覺與嗅覺上得到滿足。猶如大地之母擁抱生命萬物，林恩嬉的花園純粹了所有挑戰與考驗，永遠盛開著春天的花，歡迎每一個人到來。
林鍾斗 (Lim Jong Doo)參展經歷豐富，在韓國首爾、美國維吉尼亞等地舉辦了18次個展，參與了400多次國內外團體邀請展。「讓人類與大自然相親相愛，是我藝術生涯的目標。」自然與人類的和諧共生，是他一直以來探究的核心，藉由女人形象自由穿梭現實與烏托邦為畫面主題，運用韓國紙和礦物顏料的媒材特色，重複堆疊原色超過20次，直到想要的顏色達到最細緻的濃度與最乾淨的色度。作品主要使用紅、藍、綠、白、黃五種傳統顏色，唯對紅色情有獨鍾，稱它為「生命之色」，有時會把紅色佈滿畫面，從女人的臉、身體到整個背景，「紅色讓我想起童年冬至時，母親拿勺舀給我吃的紅豆粥或是拌飯上的辣椒醬。」記憶裡的暖紅與他的藝術世界呼應串連，女子、花、鳥、魚、蝴蝶等，時而優遊夜空銀河，時而爛漫廣闊山川，人與自然完美共生，成了林鍾斗畫面裡的璀燦故事，最初始的生命樣貌。
「人是自然的一部分，卻想支配和破壞自然，同時又有些人想好好維護它，這就是人類。我想把這種矛盾表現出來。」今年3月甫於香港海港城完成首次個展的新晉青年藝術家金起民 ( Kim Ki Min)，透過造型可愛的人偶雕塑，傳達人類與自然間緊密的依存關係，宣揚環境保護的刻不容緩。金起民自小住在海邊小鎮，與大自然非常親近，每當面對大自然便覺得心裡平靜、安穩。因著自己的成長背景，特別關注環保議題，自然的元素成了他創作靈感的源頭與主題。作品中除了小動物、植物、貝殼、砂石外，每件雕塑都有個面無表情的小孩，靜靜地坐著或輕撫身邊的自然萬物，他是藝術家的化身，個性內向又害羞，瞅著怯生生的眼神，熱切地與觀者凝視對話。小孩代表新生也蘊涵希望，金起民透過純潔天真的小孩作為溝通媒介，平和帶出地球暖化、冰川融化等嚴肅的環境問題，讓每個人自然而然地正視自身與下一代的生存危機。
人是謎樣的風景，那麼「愛」呢？它會不會也是永恆的謎呢？畫家趙惠潤 (Cho Hye Yoon) 透過漂亮的花朵、女孩、施華洛世奇水晶等元素，詮釋對愛的永恆信仰。「愛有許多不同樣貌，有時是衝動的，有時是易逝的，但我的愛永恆。」近作延續了「永不凋零的花」(The Eternally Fadeless Flower)系列，主角是有著深邃大眼的女孩，像花般美麗，而且永不老去，女孩與花都是不朽的愛。或許是姪女的出生，帶給她滿滿關於愛的觸動，畫中女孩的雙眼閃著繁星，色彩豐富的層次背景，呼應著女孩微妙的表情和姿態，呈現甜而不膩，充滿希望的氛圍。乍看趙惠潤的作品，會覺得構圖簡約、繪畫肌理平滑，但走近恍然發現，畫家以不同顏色的壓克力彩處理各種情感，一層一層地將稀釋後的顏料噴灑堆疊成夢幻迷離的背景，有如濃霧覆蓋的畫中世界，溼潤了身在其中的女孩和花草，她們的身影因而鮮明，「愛」的真善美因而清晰可見。現實世界中，沒有永不凋謝的花，愛的永恆也備受質疑，然而像角色Mathilda、Peony Girl，每一個不完美也不成熟的女孩，內心都渴望一份不朽的情感，在趙惠潤的創作世界裡，愛，萬歲！
In this new age of innovation, artistic practices have transcended different materials, forms, and concepts, each creating dialogue with our time using unique vocabulary. Meanwhile, artists are gradually letting go of the historical scarring and baggage of the past, making observations on their own life issues and environmental changes. This exhibition is centered around “human beings,” possibly the most mysterious of all creation, with the works of five contemporary Korean artists. After reflecting on the status of civilization and their personal lives, these artists document and refer to the diverse aspects of human beings, depicting a fairy-tale for adults, fables that expose the contradiction of coexistence of truth and illusions through paintings, sculptures, and mixed media. On entering Art Influence, visitors encounter the varying depictions of the five Korean artists, perceiving the self while experiencing the work of others.
“My work is trying to destroy, tear up, and reconstruct habitual vision so that our vision can be expanded to other images.” The style of promising artist Kim Byung Kwan is deeply influenced by British painter Francis Bacon and US abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning. Kim emerged on the international art stage with his portraits, which are filled with disorder and the aesthetic of violence, and was rewarded countless awards. Kim portrays famous historical figures, pop stars, and fashion celebrities, such as political dictator Hitler, Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe, Lynda Carter who acted in movie Wonder Woman, Academy Award winner Audrey Hepburn, and many other familiar faces. Using vivid color blocks or black and white acrylic paint to create improvised portraits, Kim then sabotages the works by bold graffiti or geometric smearing to give the once-familiar faces a frightening visual effect. The artist applies this intense painting method to break usual visual habits to free viewers from familiar ways of seeing and impressions to experience the unexpected. Faced with the complexities of life, perhaps it is only when we break the rules and reconstruct the horizons can we perceive the nuanced unique qualities in a human world filled with similarities.
If painting is a way of seeing, viewers will experience a beautiful new perspective through the works of Lim Eun Hee. The girl, wooden house, flowers, and green fields that are surrounded by bright colors, create a surreal kingdom of the dreams. Despite having majored in Oriental Painting, the compositions and techniques used in Lim’s works are far from traditional. Each object in the paintings is depicted with eye-catching colors through the loving emotions of the artist, while all the ugly and bad energies are purified through simple lines and vivid colors. The “Bad Flower Garden” series started in 2007 and has been the center of Min Eun Hee’s works since then. Works from this series reflect on the alienation and gloominess of our civilization and attempt to search for an oasis in this desert of life. Korean novelist Kwang-Hoon Woo once mentioned that Henri Matisse’s “Harmony in Red” reminds him of “Bad Flower Garden” in their similar attentiveness to the harmony, vividness, and warmth of colors, while the elegant lines that are filled with rhythm not only pleasure the vision but also satisfy the auditory and olfactory senses. Just as Mother Earth embraces all, Lim’s garden simplifies all challenges and trials, forever blooming with flowers of Spring, welcoming each and every one of us.
Lim Jong Doo has participated in many exhibitions; he has held 18 solo exhibitions in locations including Seoul and Virginia and was invited to take part in over 400 group exhibitions, both domestic in abroad. “The aim of my artistic career is to create a living relationship between humans and Nature.” Harmony between humankind and the natural environment has been the core of his explorations. Through a female figure who roams freely between reality and a Utopian world, Lim uses the characteristics of traditional Korean paper and mineral pigment, layering the colors for more than 20 times until the hue reaches the most delicate richness and purity. The five traditional colors, red, blue, green, white, and yellow, are frequently used throughout Lim’s works, with an emphasis on red, which Lim Jong Doo refers to “the color of life.” In some cases, Lim covers the whole work with red, from the face, body, to the entire back of the woman. “Red reminds me of the red bean porridge that my mother used to feed me with a spoon or the red pepper sauce mixed with rice on Winter solstice during my childhood.” The warm red color of the artist’s memories echoes his art world. The woman, flowers, fish, and butterflies, move gracefully in the galaxy of the night sky or between the spacious mountains and rivers. The ideal of perfect coexistence between human beings and the natural world has been transformed into shimmering stories of Lim’s works and the authentic image of life.
“Humans are part of nature, but we are constantly trying to dominate and destroy Nature. At the same time, some of us try to preserve it. This is who and what we are – humans. I wish to depict this contradiction.” Having just finished his first solo exhibition in March this year in Harbour Art Fair, Hong Kong, young artist Kim Ki Min expresses the dependent relationship between humans and Nature and the pressing issue of environmental protection through adorable sculptures of human figures. Kim Ki Min grew up in a small town near the sea and has a close relationship with Nature; he experiences tranquility and stability every time he is immersed in Nature. Due to his childhood experiences, Kim is especially interested in issues regarding environmental protection, and elements from the natural world have become inspirations and themes for her works. Apart from small animals, plants, seashells, and gravel, each sculpture includes an expressionless child, quietly sitting or caressing nearby objects. This human figure is a depiction of the artist, with a shy personality and timid eyes, but passionately wishing to engage in dialogue with the viewer. The child represents new life and hope; Kim Ki Min uses the innocent child as a media for communication, peacefully bringing forth serious environmental problems such as global warming and melting of glaciers so that each of us can confront our own survival crisis and that of the next generation in a natural manner.
Humans are indeed mysterious; but what about “love”? Is Love an eternal riddle? Painter Cho Hye Yoon annotates her immortal faith in love through elements including beautiful flowers, the girl, and Swarovski crystals. “Love takes on different forms; sometimes it is impulsive, and sometimes it fades. However, the core of my works is everlasting love.” As an extension to “The Eternally Fadeless Flower” series, the main character of recent works is a girl with eyes that are big and deep, as beautiful as a blooming flower, and never seems to grow old; both the girl and the flowers are representations of unfailing love. Perhaps due to the loving sensations following the birth of her nephew, the girl in Cho’s paintings have eyes that are like glittering stars, while the rich layers of the colorful background echo the girl’s subtle facial expressions and posture, sweet and refreshing at the same time, surrounded by an atmosphere filled with hope. At first glance, the paintings of Cho seem to be created with simple compositions and smooth texture, but with a closer look, the viewer will realize that the painter has applied different colors of acrylic pigment to handle varying emotions. Layers of diluted paint are sprayed to form a dreamy background, creating an effect of a world covered in fog, dampening the clothing of the girl and surrounding plants and flowers, accentuating the appearance of the figures and creating a clear depiction of the truth, goodness, and beauty of “Love.” No flower is immune from withering in the real world, and eternal love is constantly being questioned; however, like Mathilda and Peony Girl in the paintings, every imperfect and immature girl yearns for a relationship that never fades. Long may love reign on the world of Cho Hye Yoon!
Art is a mirror, the artist’s true reflection towards different aspects of the self, others, and the world. Art Influence hopes to create dialogue with each viewer through [Charater．Note] Group Exhibition of Five Contemporary Korean Artists, to explore the world of thoughts and unique symbols created by the five artists and savor the different flavors of life and its enchanting sceneries.