Convergence of different cultures rarely goes unnoticed, and the outcome is usually something priceless and incomparable. This next exhibition, which will be hosted by JanKossen Contemporary, sounds like a place where this fusion could happen. The Gallery will showcase works by two artists, Park Byung-Hoon and Keun Woo Lee, who originally come from Korea, but reside in Europe. This allows for their works to be influenced by the Western environment. Their unique interpretation of the traditional landscape is closely related to both the Western culture and their Oriental origins, and what gives the exhibition an even more interesting feel is the fact that it will take place in New York - so the cultural merging becomes even more complex.
Park Byung-Hoon uses acrylic surfaces and paint to create a special kind of synthesis when it comes to the forms that interest the artist. Byung-Hoon’s work usually deploys geometric and ethereal shapes that could be compared to the Minimalist style. The simplicity inherited from minimalism provides the spectator with the uncommon opportunity to interpret the piece regardless of any real suggestiveness. The use of glass, whose most obvious quality is transparency of course, helps Byung-Hoon create abstract images that allude to dreams.
Both of the artists deal with abstraction in their own way, however Keun Woo Lee lets some forms of figuration appear. Her landscapes include plants and flowers, and other natural elements that can be distinguished in her works. However, these forms are rather paradoxically described as a “framework for the nothingness”, which is a peculiar term that interests the artist greatly. The nothingness is perhaps best explained through Lee’s notion of absence, which she uses to emphasize depth (which comes as an unexpected parallel as well). Although she is profoundly related to painting, as she was educated to be a landscape painter, she has worked with a great number of different media, most interesting of which is probably painted porcelain, which will be displayed on this occasion.
Asian reflections will introduce the global audiences to the sensibility of Korean artists, who are both influenced by their European lives. While their works differ to some extent, naturally, since they are individuals who filter reality in their own ways, they also have some things related to the process of creation in common. Byung-Hoon tends to avoid any kind of control over the paint, he rather observes the medium flow freely. What matters more to him is the material notion of the work itself and the hues created, so he is less concerned with the actuality of form. In a similar, single-focused manner, Woo Lee makes her porcelain sheets through acts that should translate purest emotion, guided by intuition only. Asian reflections will be on view from February 18th to April 2nd, 2016, at JanKossen Contemporary, with a special closing event on Thursday, March 24th.
Featured image: Keun Woo Lee - Ceramics 32 (Forest Series) 2015, ceramic plate, 39.3 x 39.3 inches (100x100cm) - detail. All images courtesy of Jan Kossen Gallery.