Born in Seoul in 1981, Bin Woo Hyuk has studied at Korea National University of Arts and currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany. The works with extraordinary combination of charcoal and canvas are all titled "Grunewald" or "Tiergarten", appropriated from the names of the places in Germany. This suggests that the meticulous exploration of the nearby places that the artist often goes to like the forests and parks and his attempt to paint them could have been the starting point of his works.
The series of familiar images like the dense grass and trees precisely depicted with charcoal, the emphasized space between the trees which is the passageway for the light to enter into the forest and the lake seemingly containing everything from temporary flow of air to silence ultimately become the device and window for showing the artist’s private consciousness due to the various ‘dots’ disheveled randomly on the surface of the works.
As Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) filled up and visualized the gaps between life and art by borrowing from the dramatic experiences and objects related to him - he actively drew in the felt blanket and lump of oil, in which he believed to have saved him from death while he was in coma after getting seriously injured - as the subject matter of his work, the artist’s own method and time that react to the external stimulation whether it is memory or experience often become the major subject matter of his work.
Bin Woo Hyuk attempted to heal through the space called ‘forest’, in which he frequently visited and contemplated the inner world that became some ‘Chaos’ mixed with emotions and memories existing from a certain point in the past. Nevertheless, it has rather become to exist as ‘Arkadia’, the idealistic beauty meaning tranquility and comfort, by inducing positive hope for the upcoming future, not the loss of the past. As it is so in its etymology where it closely exists by the artist but does not have sole symbolic meaning of utopia or paradise, the title of the exhibition ‘forest’ becomes the ignition point for the art that the artist pursues within the parameters of healing.
Analysis of the subjective memory of the artist in the existing space is expressed as ‘dots’ appearing in the works. Moreover, the ‘dot’ is the beginning and the end for a painter. In the viewpoint of the artist looking at the forest, someday there will be nothing left but ‘dots’. The mixture of the sense of difference felt from the deliberate and artificial combination of the colors and the sense of comfort coming from the co-existence of the beginning and the end completes the visualization of “Arcadia” staying in the ideological world of the artist.
Press release courtesy Gallery Baton.