In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...
Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...
China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...
Tina Kim Gallery is pleased to present Conjunction, a solo exhibition of works by Korean artist Ha Chong-Hyun. On view from 4 May - 16 June 2018, the exhibition features all-new paintings from his Conjunction series. This marks Chong-Hyun's third solo exhibition in New York and his second with the gallery.
As a leading member of Korea's Dansaekhwa (monochrome) movement, Ha gained prominence combining painting traditions from both the East and the West. Working with muted earth tones on burlap and hemp canvases and challenging the strict delineation between sculpture, painting, and performance, Ha was instrumental in defining Korean modernism. His early interest in unorthodox materials including barbed wire, newsprint, and scrap lumber were a direct response to the context of postwar Korea and today the artist continues to balance aesthetic concerns and an innovative technique within a historical milieu. For this exhibition, Chong-Hyun has created artworks not only in his signature palette of neutrals and navy, but also in vibrant shades of red—his brightest colour to date.
Each work presented in this solo exhibition serves as a continuation of Chong-Hyun's Conjunction series, a lifelong project that he began in 1974. In Conjunction, Chong-Hyun celebrates the painterly process by combining physical labour and mindful action into powerful abstract compositions. Rather than applying paint to the front of the canvas, the artist begins by applying it to the backside after which he forces it through the canvas onto the fabric's front. This process is referred to as bae-ap- bub in Korean, which translates as 'back pressure method.' In applying the paint verso, the wet medium records the dense texture of the woven ground as it is pushed through, thereby alluding to what is typically hidden.
Pairing his bae-ap-bub technique with the utilization of a palette knife to lay down thick impasto lines, Ha Chong-Hyun transforms each painting into a visceral three-dimensional surface. This interest in the paint's body is evidenced in works like Conjunction 17-20, which features thick, vertical stripes that jut across the centre of the canvas. Protruding towards the viewer, each stripe is given a tactile, voluminous appearance. In addition to the all-new paintings created specifically for this show, the show will include select historical works from Chong-Hyun's oeuvre.
Accompanying the exhibition is a monograph on the artist, which has been published by Gregory R. Miller & Co., designed by Matsumoto Incorporated and features texts by art critic Barry Schwabsky, H.G. Masters, writer and Editor-at-Large for ArtAsiaPacific, and Hui Kyung An, Assistant Curator of Asian Art at the Guggenheim.
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