reviewed Ebb and Flow -Jill Smith
Though seemingly unchanging, the elements of water,sand, and sky are actually in a constant state of flux.
Korean painter ShinHye Parks recent soloexhibition at NewYorks Broadway Gallerycan only be describedas eloquent.A showcase for herongoing series ofcarefully cropped vistasof ocean tides caressingsandy shores,the show evidenced aZen-like sensibility intheme, style, and curatorialapproach. Thepaintings themselves,almost obsessive intheir unyielding preoccupationwith thesea, waves, and desertedbeaches, togetherproduced apowerful sense of thepassage of time through a series of slowmotion freeze frames. Walking through theexhibit was like taking a stroll by the sea.Park believes that nature is the point of departurein trying to understand the meaningof life, so it comes as no surprise that shewould be drawn to two of mother naturesbasic elements: land and sea. Her minimalpalettesandy whites, stormy grays, saltyaquamarinesalso speaks to her thematicpreoccupation.Conceptually, Parks minimalist approachsuggests a penchant for the symbolicand the abstract, and it would be amistake to label her a photorealist or alandscape painter. Through her simpleyet decidedly sophisticated canvases, shesucceeds in apprehending a sense of spirituality,a communion with God or anotherhigher being that one may experience inmeditation. Much like the Tibetan monkswho focus all of their attention on onemandala for extended periods of time,Park draws a singular focus upon the imageof the sea, in all of its detailed minutiae.Though seemingly unchanging, the elementsof water, sand, and sky are actually ina constant state of flux. With each lappingof a wave, each washing of the shore, andeach change of tide, the colors and shapesof the natural environmentare altered,and Park seeks tocapture its ephemeralmoods.The exhibitionitself was installedwith great curatorialsensitivity and presentedthe paintingsin a manner thathighlighted theirsubtle effects. Hungsalon-style in groupsof three or four,each small canvaswas allowed to resonatewith the othersaround it while stillfunctioning as partof a larger meditationon how innervisions can translateinto external representations and vice versa.Ultimately, it is a sense of equilibrium thatPark seeks to express, and she equates thissense of inner peace and quiet balance tothe attainment of a divine state. The factthat these realist paintings transform themselvesbefore our eyes into abstractionsin which we perceive not only the imagesthemselves, with all their subtle variationsof color and form, but also the feelings ofsolitude and pensive contemplation theyengender, speaks to Parks ability to capturethe spiritual on canvas.
SHIN_HYE PARKS MEANINGFULL STRUGGLE OF SEEKING EQUILIBRIUM
By Tchera Niyego
Shin-Hye Parks images of the waterfronts; ever so changing, yet studied and experimented with precarious repetition by the artist over years of patience and loyalty, is no vacation spot youve been dreaming to take a long, relaxed time out at. On many moments of the impossible while Park might have been during developing a piece, yet when even the water is still and theres a whole wide land of sand yet to swim, while paradoxically seeming quiet indeed a place and just when the viewer might fall into the wishful conclusion upon first impression of labeling it one thing or another, relax into it, and drop out, others will hear they are never going to be ready and from what I hear when unprepared, death dont come pretty. Only incredibly rare few are ever prepared so we better assume it isnt just pretty or just not. The general silent wisdom space on the surface of Parks work keeps screaming with the longing and yearning of the Ancient of Days. Park reminds us that always is, yet never graspable.
In the images of the very meeting point of the shore in close-ups where we see the water blending into dry land and there are no open deep seas or any air of the skies, the foam of the sea is ever so close to that breath of air and the voice of the beloved. Fundamentally of darkness pre white, irrational, unrestrained, unreliable devouring quality is accessible most here. Oddly enough Shin-Hye Parks close-ups of the shore are details reminding theres always an open door calling one back to the essential nature of things.
This is unconventional and unique in Parks work as her clear memory and persistent repetition in reminding one of this open door to the Infinite that is the essential nature of all things is in every moment. Parks dream-like perception is spontaneously what we are fooled to be real. The fact that Park knows to long for further clarifying her dream into perfection in every detail tells me she is not a terribly white-knuckled grasper on the belief of things being real in an absolute sense. Parks work rather mirrors transparency and the artist does it with the very tools of basic human senses and nature as its sense gates; the only door in town available for us all to explore entering into whats beyond perfection and imperfection and all contrasts. Park is sincere and authentic in hermost meaningful of struggles seeking equilibrium and she is a generous artist in keeping us posted on her progress with simplicity.
Shin-Hye Parks work titled Number 8 previously exhibited at Broadway Gallery NYC in a traveling group show context titled Apple II dealing with temptation which I had the pleasure of curating, has great significance in the whole of her work. In Parks piece Number 8 which the artist had composed of 9 panels, we see that although naturally not devoid of the traps of habit and on the contrary with the embodiment of habit, we could say, as Eve in the up-close left of the centerpiece and the eight remaining panels surrounding Eve suggests two directions. However Shin-Hye Parks path is decidedly going one way and not any other. Park empowers the viewer into the re-cognition of the vast dissimilarity indeed like it has been interpreted before however the word is that this dissimilarity is not of this world as we breathe and live in it versus another one in the state of perfection that existed once upon a time, or that exists somewhere else. Our very own minds habits coax us back into splitting things apart time and again. As Adams and Eves we are so habituated into splitting ourselves into twos into infinitum that we forget questioning it and yearning, longing and seeking the Unity of the two directions. Park stands clear in her choice of unsettling into so-called reality.
Simple and Plain Pictures during the Age of Opulence
Simple and Plain Pictures during the Age of Opulence are the Reason Why I love Works of Shin-Hye Park
Kang , Sung-Won/Art Critic
1. A concept and theory are intrinsically ideological.
They are true in one respect but false when observed from the other side. This view has haunted me recently and I plan to think about it further.
People have produced durable materials (e.g., nylon) in a more improved manner as time goes by, materials that last long and do not wear out easily. And it is said that the future is becoming more and more an age of design. Designs generate a desire for consumption. I am told that it takes quite a while for plastic things, things made to last long, to wear out completely in this world; how can I discard them well if I am going to replace them with the newly designed materials? My unwillingness to discard them causes a confusion in the midst of abundance, which, I turn, boggles my mind.
That which is abundant fatigues me. In this world it is hard for many things to disappear. A4coordingly, fruits of consciousness are plentiful. Falsehood and truth grow abundantly while it is getting harder and harder for the two to disappear. Isn't there a way for them to disappear beautifully and completely? I admit my fear that only the complexity of my consciousness, after my death, might continue to stay and disturb the society.
... It is true that, by nature, oil paintings, Installations and object art contained too many strong and uncomfortable ideas and feelings. I was never convinced that such fact conveyed one distinct meaning. A certain feeling is, however, aroused while studying the works of Shin-Hye Park. An apprehension is awakened: the central genre of the present day world of paintings has been, and more so recently, a mountain of the expressions of unprofitable and unpleasant consciousness or of only the mental and psychological reflections of the masses upon their own desires. These are filled with feelings of joy, anger, sorrow and/or pleasure, and they are the very desires that have become from any angle disgusted, distorted, and ferocious. So, it has become clear that they are the products of viral knowledge and senses which are filled, like the garbage of a hospital, with filth and medicinal trash.
Could it be that Minimalism probably owes to such feeling, regardless of its ideological basis, its lasting attraction that arouses interests in the mind of people simply through its visible images? However, could Minimalism be a face of complicated ideas with an image of simplicity? What other name could be used for a picture when produced by an image that is based on the most plain feelings and ideas, if it is not Minimalism?
Presently my mind aspires after simplicity. Is such an aspiration an impulse of the moment that merely passes? Will anyone love the drawings on the basis of a sheer impulse with a good reason-nothing but a peace fitting for a condition of awareness that is wearied by a culture? World peace may be only a compromised moment of standstill in the midst of disturbance, caused by conflicts of awareness: thus, if there is no true peace, then are the works of Shin-Hye Park nothing but a naïve story that adorns the tranquility of the moment?
2. If a process that marks off a vast space, creating new spaces and dividing them into small rooms, is the process of knowledge and industry, then the drawing world of Shin-Hye Park is said to be a process of erasing such partitioned spaces, divisions of ideologies, and mediating point of consciousness.
It is claimed that the more she erases, the more a resemblance to nature appears, and from the erased partitions emerges equability of feeling, not of ideology. It has a feeling of emptying the heart which is being erased just like innumerable memories, including human footprints. That has been erased from slit on the seashore. The opulent image she wishes to convey is a scene of simple human being who resembles a refreshing sea fragrance coming from that erased space of the emptied heart.
She seems to have chosen the charcoal work, because it is the most basic way of creating the type of drawings that she wants. Charcoal enables her to draw impromptu her ideas and feeling without a serious attempt to untangle their skeins.
She believes that abundance and diversity are things that form and disappear naturally. In fact, such interpretations and explanations do not do justice to her pictures. To that extent, her drawings endeavor to be pictures of a small epic of many a year ago.
There is, however, a certain movement in her small epics. It moves towards to ideology. It is a combination of the movement of a spatial horizon that attempts to open spatial closure and of the axis of the depth. The movement is not, in fact, visible to all, but anyone who is able to enter into her picture and, thus, into that equability senses the door. A knob of door is not presented, but people who group and attempt to open the door will find an interest in her drawing.
3. People in the world live with different horizons and contents of their own awareness. These horizons provide a space for each individual to join others of like mind: however this space ...