Young-Hun Kim : VIRTUAL-SCAPE
presented by Choi & Lager Gallery
Choi & Lager Gallery Seoul presents Virtual-Scape, a solo show featuring new works by Korean painter Kim Young-Hun from January 17 to February 24, 2017. Kim’s latest body of work will be on show simultaneously at Choi & Lager Cologne in a two-person exhibition alongside Shane Bradford, offering an opportunity to shed light on the Korean painter’s work in both Korea and Germany. The continued development of digital technologies has driven to codification and converted continuous signals into binary numbers. In the process, noises in signals that existed in the analog era are now being fast forgotten. The fact that the digital itself could not have been born without analog is also being overlooked. However, to understand the relationship among these numbers, one needs an analog way of thinking. While keeping a critical distance from this new reality of digital media, Kim Young-Hun observes changes and interprets them in a way that evokes a sense of futuristic nostalgia creating “digital paintings with analog sentiments”. Digital signals consist of a stream of zeros and ones that are measured thousands of times every second to produce different codes. Kim focuses on that certain “something” that lies invisible between zero and one - that infinity which is impossible to express in numbers.
Using the technique borrowed from the Asian traditions of Hyuk-hwa in his paintings, Kim depicts his nostalgia for important aspects from the analog era that are now being lost as the world transitions from analog to digital. Hyuk-hwa is a style of Korean folk painting from the late Joseon Dynasty in which the painter mixes various colors with a leather brush and paints with rapid strokes. This painting technique, which the artist has studied for many years, provides an air of spontaneity by distorting or interfering with the tectonic elements while at the same time, enhancing the painterly pleasure. Kim’s works shows a web of connections between bright and dull colors, straight lines and free curves, and graffiti and fragmented forms. This method of expression involves an intentional combination of colors. As a result Kim achieves a purposeful use of colorful blocks, dots and lines caused by transmission errors to produce specific results. The scratches and stains in various places on the canvas are the result of accidents that occur despite the artist’s intentions. Repetition of such seemingly incidental accidents results in an opportunity to create new things and leads to other accidents. In the virtual space constructed on Kim’s canvas, the conscious collides with the unconscious infinitely expanding the virtual landscape. Virtual-Scape will offer viewers a chance to experience the artist’s tenuous attraction that arises in the relationship between digital and analog.