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The Infinity and Repetition of Painting, and the Face of the World 


Kim Noam


The origin of painting is unknown, but it is a force that is constantly approaching. Painting is a very personal event, while it is also a very universal one. It is a very special record and expression of time churned out by a persevering artist as a human being. If the painting becomes a trace or an image of the movement of reflective thinking, going beyond the state of inner fullness, then this image attains the deep structure and resonance that allow reflections of new experience and thought that lasts as opposed to something that is simply consumed and thrown away. A painting that is easily explainable and understandable is ephemeral. It would belong only to knowledge and information. It is the face of everyday life seen from a different angle. Painting is by no means limited to images reflected on the surface of lakes or mirrors. It is a movement that illuminates the face of the world from beyond. It is an infinite voyage that cannot be anchored in the port of the world forever.


Expressing a perceptive or spiritual leap presupposes an imperfect state between the conscious and the unconscious, at every moment of uncertainty, in countless tensions and conflicts. From there, painting naturally gravitates toward the problem of existence and infinity. One gets away from reality and takes a glimpse into a new dimension of the world. Infinity inevitably contains self-contradiction and paradox. Artists struggle throughout their lives to interpret and express the causes of internal contradictions and conflicts. Consciousness and unconsciousness, intuition and theory all become fused into movements in the process. Depending on the artist's propensity, either this movement takes on a certain image or form, or is revealed in the direction of dismantling the form. Images and concepts, intuitive insight and rational meditation are combined.


The perceived and experienced sense of painting becomes the past. However, unlike a simple passage of time, it blends the past, the present, and the future together like the way the ebb and flow alternately crosses our sense of time. Then, the already perceived sense of painting becomes a new world and a new experience, like the smell of moisture from stopped heavy rain filling deep in the lungs. However, the process entails tension and conflict, discomfort and pain for a long time. It is only after going through that process that artistic expression and traces become clear in the infinity of repetition that unfolds and condenses like the ebb and flow of waves in countless times and events. Since modern times, artists' interest in contemporary aesthetics is the sublime that can be experienced in individual life, consciousness and unconsciousness, individuals and society. The sublime, be it the outside world or the inner world, surfaces as an important theme, accompanied by issues of infinity and eternity.


Painting has power and tension, the dissolution of balance, and concentration and bias. At the same time, they are shadows of dark and heavy reminiscences or thoughts of the events and relationships we have repeatedly come across between memory and oblivion. Even though it transparently or clearly reveals the relationship between the other and the world, it cannot completely remove the ambiguity and complexity that subtly moves like the mist that spreads between the artwork and the audience. Throughout one's life, one cannot escape the fate of having relationships with others and the world. One cannot also give up on oneself. Artists hold the topic of identity in their hands in order to define, recognize, and correct themselves. They focus more sensitively and precisely on the issue of identity. Through relationships, communication, dialogue and empathy, one tries to compose a balanced coexistence with others by means of harmony of tight force. Images and stories are the portrait of someone or the ‘face’ of the world to which one must perpetually return. It is to take a glimpse into the world of aesthetic metaphysics close to eternity in the movement of endless return and repetition.

The 8th Chongkundang Yesuljisang

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