Gallery Chosun is holding Allosteric Ginger, a solo exhibition by Oh Yongseok from May 13 to June 2, 2020. Oh has tenaciously practiced the classical medium of oil painting as a way of relating various stories about things are not commonly spoken of by society, difficult to explain, or taboo. His second exhibition at Gallery Chosun will feature new works exploring images that are at once inscrutable, bizarre and fascinating, such as dreams shared by different people, hybridized plants, and bodies that encompass different temporalities. The "allosteric ginger" of the exhibition's title is the name of an imaginary color created by the artist. A color often observed in the names of cosmetics, ginger resembles the copper-like skin tone of people in the tropical regions often referred to as the "South." To modify this color associated with fascination as well as fear, welcoming as well as stigma, the artist chose a difficult chemical term "allosteric." The term "allosteric regulation" is the regulation of an enzyme by binding an effector molecule at a site other than the enzyme's active site. In using this term, the artist focused on the sense of an original role and position changing due to differences in the structure and bonding method. The images that appear in the exhibition's paintings await interpretation by the viewer – but do not permit a conclusive interpretation by anyone. Yet this does not mean that Oh's paintings are oriented toward an open interpretation. If anything, the core of his paintings lies in these surplus uninterpreted aspects. The presence of uninterpreted points that appear like nothing more than stains to me signifies how the whole world could be completely upended at any time as a result – someone else might discover another puzzle piece that I have failed to find and complete this world in a totally different way from how I saw it. In that sense, it could be said that the images that appear in this exhibition's paintings are enjoying a subtle form of tug-of-war with the viewer. They are not mere aesthetic objects bound within the frame. At times, it is they that capture the viewer and freeze him or her in place. In the artist's words, painting possesses a "liquid sense." A painting may seem like a living organism, in the way that it softly slips through the fingers of an artist seeking to control it with his or her hands. Rather than trying to control this painting organism's movements any more than is necessary, Oh opts to give himself over to it. The exhibition will be just one of many different pathways for accessing that flow. And within it, viewers may hear peculiar but beutiful sounds they have never heard before – the sounds of those who cannot speak.
Press release courtesy Gallery Chosun.