Dive In Spectrum

08.02.2022 to 08.14.2022

Reception for the Artists on Thursday, August 14th from 6 to 8pm

Just Like That

Since some time ago, the tendency to explain the era by ‘phenomenon’ itself rather than ‘movement’ has been gaining higher persuasive power, the authority is indeed overwhelming in that even this trend can be called a ‘phenomenon’ also. 

The reason is simple. After history reached modernity, it could not stand at a dead end, so it had no choice but to declare post modernity. Think how many people on Earth now? It has exceeded 8 billion. No longer seek specifics from a few theorists and statisticians.

The mass media has become numerous public/social media, and art has become popular also. This is completely different from the pure meaning of ‘modernity’ decades ago.

Nevertheless, many people want to enjoy the relics of the ‘modernity’, still. This is essentially similar to the fact that modern times have not easily left medieval or modern heritage, so it can not be blames. But it’s obviously too partial, and it’s just a phenomenon, also. Precious and insignificant things, they are the legacy left behind by modern times. Before that, things on the periphery were handed over tremendous value and authority. Most people would agree that K-pop and K-movie will be the representatives of such things recently. However, Koreans are generally not interested in taking the imperial attitude shown by the world powers of the past. It shows that kind of an era has arrived, rather than because of the innate personality of Koreans. So, as Korean contents draw more attentions, modern attributes that were once the subject of polarizing controversy of praise and contempt can taste a kind of peace and reconciliation through the strange visual and temporal feeling of statelessness in them. This is not the ‘atmosphere’, but the momentum of the essential phenomenon. The art that has bloomed in it becoming a friend of all, not exclusive to a few.

Thus, the first exhibition of 10 Korean-based artists in New York, ironically, serves as one of the processes of trying to find some universality of ‘visual art’ rather than ‘Korea’. Instead of a regular gallery, they use the 6th floor of a building on William Street as an exhibition studio. On the other hand, the temporality of the exhibition also means the persistence of the artists and the permanence of their art and changes. 

Jinseok Lee, leading this project called ‘MOMENART’thought that he should show an abstract and concrete attitude toward what ‘non-synchronism’ is based on the motif of ‘the Contemporaneity of the Uncontemporary’advocated by Ernst Bloch. Therefore, with 9 fellow artists, Wonseok Lee, Dohoon Kim, Dongjin Kim, Dain Lim, Jewon Yoon, Jongbum Kwak, Anon, Anikoon and Gyuwon Lee, he shows artworks and them passing through ‘Now-Here’ to visually display human thoughts and certain images. Of course, maybe on this spot, the geographical and cultural attribute of Korea can emerge. 

However, their work includes not something perceived by the eyes of a stranger, but attributes that allow any human being to cast room for reinterpretation in their thoughts. So this exhibition contains artworks from easy thoughts and even serious consideration. Rather than being curated on a uniform basis, the combination composed by the artists themselves will induce the aesthetics of ‘as usual’ and ‘just like that’ to viewers.

The idiom also refers to ‘a phenomenon that suddenly appeared’, but the appearance of those who are never segmental is an interesting docking. It can be explained that it contains the complexity and asynchronism that this era often recalls by faithfully revealing the casual phenomena of personal thought that have been thrown away from historical coercion. For example, Gyuwon Lee shows a keen insight with a simple visual study that shows nationality and originality from a dismantling perspective for more than a decade. It can be seen as a ‘finding relationship’ between subjectivity and symbols drawn by the human challenging attitude of object. In particular, in his recent work, he argues that by expressing in conceptual art what socioeconomic properties the various symbols present in virtual reality have, they can be independent works. This is meaningful in that symbolization is almost inevitably involved in the process of objectifying subjectivity, and This is why we can open the door to introduce the identity of this exhibition through GyuwonLee.

Dain Lim, who has lived as nomadic as Gyuwon Lee, has painted a universal perspective on the journeys as an individual who has moved to New York and other cities in USA, China, Korea and Europe 25 times. These works are also a persistent record of a being that digs into the unique human habit of relying on memory and senses. The artist has the power to capture the temperature of time in the space of memory. This artist’s works sometimes take on an idyllic landscape but do not miss the wild wind that fluctuates inside. 

So as an indispensable one among the artists who have visualized in their time as ‘beneath the skin’, Dongjin Kim has focused on the surrounding spaces where the flow of time and identity permeate someone’s life. At the same time, he reproduces the colors and shapes that are projected fantastically in it, and adds vitality to each individual’s vague memories of objects. It firmly depicts the essence of the ‘flow of time’ that can not be reduced at the same time as the traces of time.

On the other hand, Wonseok Lee, constantly expanding his universal imagination through ‘My Little Universe and Boundaries’ and ‘Fantasy in Feelings and Emotion’, seems to be even more mysterious. But looking at him talking, he’s just a bright, innocent boy. How useless it is to conclude it with the words ‘abstract’ or ‘meditative’ when trying to draw it by penetrating the essence recognized by humans. It is a moment when we have no choice but to admit how shabby the language is in front of the painting. Clearly, it is difficult to measure the size of his painting when standing in front of it. On the other hand, the key to Jinseok Lee’s reinterpretation of nature’s attributes as an artist will be between intention and intention. As who has been trying like an attendant to realize the exquisite feeling of ‘friendly awe’, he must have analyzed colors and sides at his own pace. The refined power resembles that of invisible nature, and the artist resembles it again. Dohoon Kim shows how self-reflection on lies and camouflage has a taste when reincarnated from the rough and youthful properties of cement.

It activates our consciousness habits as a memory of exercising forever, just like a sporting event. His wild yet urban paintings and Matiere are proving that something wriggling is not just a vision, but a post-sight emotion. Anon tactfully shows the various possibilities that the fabric embodies through dyeing, screen segmentation, omission and extension, and becoming conspicuous. The Korean word ‘An-on-hada’ is literally ‘quiet and comfortable’, which is also a very popular vocabulary today as a comprehensive representation of the mental and ideal form that humans want to pursue beyond just calm and comfortable. Observing the artist’s work style and attitude of focusing on it, she seems to be a person who set her name as her ultimate goal.

Anikoon is an artist who tries and practices to narrow the distance between life and art. He has paid attention to the identity of the ‘robot’ and shows psychologically close objects such as possession, compensation, reinforcement, and extinction in various sizes and forms, which are playful and relational when all we were young. 

It is to induce people to imagine many things that can be likened in modern society without difficulty. He has a star quality himself, and shows a presence that emits a continuous and powerful message while taking a neutral stance. Jaewon Yoon shows that virtual and reality are not just dichotomous and contemporary concepts, but are lost and distorted in the painting work of the digital era through the work of tracking or extracting multiple layers of excessive narratives present in them. His works remind us of how the visual arts of our time should respond to the Metaverse era, rather than putting virtual images in augmented reality or mass media work that flaunts its functions. In addition, artworks by Jongbum Kwak contribute to showing the ‘Contemporaneity of the Uncontemporary’ in that he tries to contain a message delivered to our times while dismantling the dichotomy of practicality and decoration through aesthetic attempts to bring the reality of lighting and objects into the fields of paintings.

Eventually, the existence and works of these artists evokes that what visual artists aim for is convergence and mutual recognition beyond the fight between Spalding and Wilson. While pursuing their individuality, they have been talking and supplementing rather than competing and replacing. Therefore, we describe them and their works as working, alive rather than functioning, and sometimes awe them. Over the past two and a half years, we have passed through the tunnel of Pandemic, initially referred to as World War III, but we stand here again with minimal and humanistic cooperation and patience rather than Churchill‘s slogan, “Keep Calm and Carry On”. On behalf of numerous visual artists who would have become more mature and have insightful views, this condensed ‘project of symbolic phenomena’ may have been held. Just Like That, We will also exist and be reproduced, and will create something again.

Written by Martin Bae(art critic)

Translated by Haewon Park

* The exhibition features olfactory creations by a posse ad esse. Ten fragrances dedicated to ten artists will be on display to provide olfactory context to the exhibition. Marc Choi, perfumer for a posse ad esse, has background as an artist, attempts to provide his interpretation of a painting with fragrances.



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