'A Picture of War is Not War', we read in Hito Steyerl's iconic film November (2004), an essayistic Super 8 film tackling the definition of terrorism constructed around the figure of the artist's best friend Andrea Wolf, who was killed as a terrorist in 1998 in Eastern Anatolia after she joined the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Mixing documentary...
There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...
Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...
Gallery Baton presents Line, Curve, A Colorful Gesture, a solo exhibition by Hoh Woo Jung (b. 1987), from 4th April to 4th May, 2019. Hoh's work begins with ambiguous and philosophical sentences combining abstract words and reflections of different states of objects. In his work, various different objects and figures unite, eventually arriving at a state of balance. Such images combining elements of uncertainty, tension, balance and imbalance function as a mechanism through which the artist portrays a sense of anxiety, emptiness and desolateness one habitually confronts in contemporary society.
The actual forms of objects have been removed in Hoh's recent work in which the compositions are constructed solely with lines and curves. Surprisingly, such extreme simplicity invites the viewer deeper into the work clarifying the subordinate relationship between the subjects. The balance of weight on the lower part of the composition suggests that it is a space where in the familiar laws of physics are in effect, and the precarious lines and curves represent one's disturbing emotions disguised underneath the false comfort of worldly goods symbolising the will to maintain an automatic balance.
In Line, Curve, A Colorful Gesture, Hoh's first solo exhibition at Gallery Baton, he has left the gravity-dominated space to enter the sphere of a nondirectional space. Instead of the assembly of individual images organically flowing toward designated places, the movements and murmuring of segmented clusters freely float around forming into shapes when needed.
In Air in Tires (2019), the lines and curves frame the canvas as if to hold back the small semicircles and freely-bent curves that seem to be waiting to infinitely circulate or bounce off the picture plane. They lurk behind like artificial satellites that would shoot out everywhere in the universe the moment they deviate from Earth's gravitational field.
W. Kandinsky (1866-1944) stated that lines and planes take their own unique colour tones and temperature according to the way they are put together. He asserted the level, direction and reverberation of the tension inherent in each line determine its intrinsic colours. In his theory, horizontal lines tend to be cold, tinted in black and have bluish temperature while vertical lines tend to be warm, tinted in white and emit yellow. He continued on to say that the 'angular line' made of the two lines takes on yellowish, reddish and purplish hues depending on whether the angle of the two lines is an acute, right or obtuse angle. In this regard, the sum of the lines and curves in each of Hoh's work is not just random gathering of frail lines thinly drawn on white canvas, but are a key medium where each of the lines is in charge of a different chroma and demonstrates its own distinct colour. Lines with obtuse angles appropriating the formal characteristic of the alphabet 'A' are repeated in A and B (2019) where white colours made of vertical lines throughout the canvas stand out and the entire canvas is dominated by a purple tone. Variations of circles and right angles appear repeatedly in Imagination Builds the House (2019), where reds and blues, colours relative to purple, are dispersed throughout the entire canvas imbuing the work with an acute sense of tension.
Despite his young age, Hoh's extensive methodological exploration of the coexistence between oil painting and drawing has expanded to the visual reverberation and potential in the minimum units of the pictorial elements such as lines, curves and shapes. This exhibition presents a feast of brilliant colours, emanating from his unique achromatic works.
Hoh Woo Jung received his BFA, MFA and Post-diplôme from École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-art, Paris. He has held solo exhibitions at Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art Project Gallery, Ansan (2017) and Cheongju Art Creation Studio, Cheongju (2018) and has participated in group exhibitions at Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan (2017) and Groupe d'Art Contemporain d'Annonay, Annonay (2013). He is the recipient of the Young Artist Prize from the Association Jung-Hun Mecenat (2014).
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