Whistle is pleased to present Tunnels, a solo exhibition by Min ha Park. Park constructs scenes in symbolic units of light, colour and form. As both concept and comprehension of the present, a tunnel is a structure that connects the past with a predicted future. In this exhibition, Park realises its path through a unique iconographical language, redefining an ephemeral journey in terms of memory, sensation, atmosphere and illumination. Tunnels will be on view from 18 November to 31 December.
Light is the most essential element of Park's practice. While in the past light and its afterimage have been her medium to render the spiritual landscape, in Tunnels, Park has turned her attention to its connotations, and how it may be employed simultaneously as signifier and signified. According to the artist, light is the medium with which a 'moment' can be sensed; enlightenment strikes in the spark of a cigarette while multicoloured windows serve to delineate suspended instants.
Park's work is further marked by her use of fluorescent colours and the unique presence of silver. This particular pigment facilitates light as an element of the painting's experience, in addition to its construction or its study. When combined with the dynamic nature of Park's brushstrokes, it acts as a new agent. In this manner, the viewer's experience with the work is in constant change, according to location, time, and perspective. Illumination is captured internally within the frame, and triggered externally within the viewer during their encounter.
The individual—that is, the personal—experience is further activated through moments or rituals detailed in the work titles. Series such as Enter Namsan (2022) evoke the flexible durations struck between a beginning and an end. Familiar metropolitan titles may trigger associations in the viewer, but within the layers of paint, wax and pigment, time becomes abstracted and undefinable. Moments are individualised in geometric forms that appear to be caught in passing, manifested as chained experiences when caught in the canvas. In Nostos (2022), perspective shifts. Temporality, velocity and materiality are made ambiguous, reflecting the elasticity of memory. Like memory, light fluctuates, and Park seeks to capture its variations: where it starts, ends and overlaps, and how it grows stronger and weakens again.
Min ha Park (b. 1984) currently lives and works in Seoul. She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts, and her MFA from Yale University. Recent solo exhibitions include Tunnels, Whistle, Seoul (2022); Lit, ArtSpace Hyeong, Seoul (2021); Peculiar Weather, Whistle, Seoul (2020); Sun Gone, ONE AND J. Gallery, Seoul (2019); Night Swimming, Skibum MacArthur, LA (2016); and Night Swimming, Alter Ego, Seoul (2016). Her work has been shown internationally in group exhibitions such as 22nd WHITE NOISE:PIGEON, WHITE NOISE, Seoul (2020); It's snowing in LA, AA I LA Gallery, LA (2016); Today's Salon, Common Center, Seoul (2014).
Press release courtesy Whistle.