'Mystery Play' is a term derived from medieval religious plays. Starting from the theatre structure to spread the doctrine of Christianity, the imagination containing myths, magic, oral traditions, etc. is amplified, gradually changing to the form of implementing unstructured fantasy. The genre is mainly derived from the Bible and is derived from the word 'mystere,' which means 'expert' in English or French. The realist of the stage was mainly engineer, which disappeared in the 16th century due to its colourful and unrealistic images and content. This may be because the stories and images of angels, dragons, myths, and miracles did not fit with the philosophy of the Renaissance, an existential era fostered.
Space Willing N Dealing will hold a two-person exhibition Mystery Play of Romanticist by Kim Jungwook and Nam Jinu from 31 August to 7 October 2022. Words such as 'romantic' and 'mystery' used as the title of the exhibition are everyday terms that can strongly recall sensory nuances, but at the same time, they have been used as proper nouns in art history to refer to specific genres. Just as 'mystery' is a term that has become a proper noun as a theatrical tendency, 'romanticism' (the trend of European art in the 18th century emphasises individual sensitivity and imagination against the strict system of classicalism) is also an artistic trend that has become a proper noun. This exhibition sets two participating artists, Kim Jungwook and Nam Jinu, as romanticists, to recognise the intersection with 'mystery play' in terms of form and replace it within a contemporary context.
Kim Jungwook introduced her unique work style with impressive black-tone portrait fulfilling the screen on her early activities. The described figures create unique appearance by large black eyes and long hair, which was a terrifying icon for some, or a religious impression of the aura given by a person with a strong gaze seemed to be sucked in. In recent years, Kim Jungwook has begun to paint futuristic figures reminiscent of cyborgs, related to the style of painting landscapes from the unknown universe in addition to huge portraits.
In other words, the portrayal of infinitely drawing out early figures seemed to lead to (probably) a vast space beyond, presented in a separate landscape form, and the landscape can also be viewed through the eyes of metallic skin portraits such as cyborg surfaces. Kim Jung-wook, who circulates in this way, says that the image of the universe she is trying to express reflects the world lurking inside and around her rather than the unknown that exists far away.
Nam Jinu has a long-standing affection for the rare giant squid. When he recalled the battle scenes of a monster playing a typical main character robot and a villain in animations he enjoyed watching as a child, he always found himself in the image of a monster who was defeated and hated. This is a defensive temperament that he, who has lived abroad for a long time, should have as a stranger, and he identified himself as a strange image of these monsters. The giant squid, which appears as a villain character, presents a religious and mythical image and shows a confrontation with a group set in the Legion of Justice, a typical pretty figure with wings reminiscent of an angel. The images and narratives on the screen reflect various cultural levels, including the Bible, classical novels, myths, movies, and cartoons, etc.. At the same time, the artist substitutes the images of good and evil revealed in his work as a metaphorical and symbolic representation of political, economic, and social problems occurring in real life.
Paradoxically, Kim Jungwook and Nam Jinu draw unrealistic perceptions of reality through their works. In the Middle Ages, when sophisticated techniques were needed to realise the stage of 'mystery play,' the performance of numerous engineers was much more important, which reflects this era.
Press release courtesy Space Willing N Dealing.
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