KWANG JEAN PARK
17 NOV, 2006
Kwang Jean Park's work looks deceptively simple. At first glance, one sees familiar geometric shapes such as circles, squares and waveforms, the rigidity of which she has softened. But closer inspection reveals layers of technical, visual and conceptual complexity as shapes and colors overlap. Park uses multiple layers of woodblock printing and then returns to the print with brushes, pigments and pencil to deepen and further enrich the image. Because of this meticulous layering and the use of oil-based inks, her prints have a unique tactile quality.Conceptually, Park works in long series, sometimes for over a decade to explore a single theme. She has been interested in philosophical ideas such as the Taoist Ying and Yang, light and space as well as mass and void. Most recently, she has investigated the visual representation of sound, after having said that "Rhythm is the quintessence of life." If sound had a shape, it might bounce, turn, wave, vibrate and resonate. However, once embodied in an image, sound stops existing in a continuum of time and begins to occupy space, becoming muted yet visible. From within the deep iron black ink layers, stony silence holds its breath and rests calmly. Then, as if from an unexpected source, vertical perforations appear here and there, reminding us of the intrinsic tension of a pulse about to resonate.