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Painting and the World Reflect Each Other


 Kim Noam


Through the Chongkundang Yesuljisang, we thought about how far the world of painting can go, where its boundaries are, and what problems and limitations are facing contemporary painting. Facing the limit and the end of painting is to meet a new starting point. Starting anew inspires our imagination by recalling the hardships of challenges and achievements. The reality of art and the art in everyday life intersect and attract each other. The world can stretch on and on east, west, north, and south. Limits exist only in our perception and imagination, not in the world - it is up to us to accept limits and the world does not decide it. 


Some liken meeting a painting to a conversation with an artist or with a work of art. Others say that it is like dating and getting to love art. It is also interpreted as a dialectical or dynamic relationship between desire and lack. Whatever it is, looking at a painting is an encounter, a conversation, and their worlds collide, negotiate, and fuse. It is not simply surfing the sea of ​​new images or shapes. It is to go deep into the image, to meet the being, and to reveal the existence above the sea of ​​consciousness. Like the fate of a diver with an incurable disease that compels him to dive all the time, it is an experience in which the blood circulating in the body boils. And the experience goes through repetition and varied strengths. Appreciating a work of art goes far beyond the boundaries of leisurely and luxurious hobbies. It is an adventure and a leap forward. Our desires and unfulfilled wants advance little by little, accompanied by anxieties and worries that things will always return back to the consciousness of everyday life. The pressure of returning beyond this advancing is by many folds. 


We are well aware of how it is difficult to live by our beliefs, thoughts and taste. It is not like an artist has an edge over anybody else. It is just as hard as the road of a noble cleric. The artist lives in the world of art and also in the middle of real life at the same time. It is much better to take in painting or art as part of everyday life and the real world rather than to consider it as something extraordinary and special. Like the analogy by Zhuangzi, when the spring dries up, all the fish on the bare ground spout and spew water and foam at each other to keep them wet, but it is better to live in a river or lake and not be aware of each other. It may be better for art to forget reality and reality to forget art. But it's never easy.


Humanity is going through testing times with rampant environmental pollution, ecological crisis, and coronavirus. Its enemy has become the humanity itself of the civilization, and no more the wild nature as did in the past. Paintings reflect reality, and also conversely, reality reproduces painting. There is also art that existed much earlier than reality. In fact, some art exists without having anything to do with the world. Extremely bright light numbs our eyes. This is another form of darkness. One confronts a deeper, heavier darkness in search of light. The artist's persevering spirit and his or her daily life are beyond our imagination in that he or she faces the world that comes with its various faces and ulterior facets. Art and the world, painting and reality are not different. Art isn't about deciding what's wrong and right. It is not about winning or losing either. Art and reality are light and darkness that illuminate each other.


It is said that even common stones on the street have a very strong desire. A strong desire to remain still in its place. Where does the artist's desire, which is seemingly silent on the outside, but fiercely dynamic on the inside, head towards? The themes and paintings of the artists awarded the Chongkundang Yesuljisang contain the image of another world that is revealed when one peels off today's economically and culturally flourishing world. Through their works, we hope the audience gets to experience the moment painting and the world meet each other.

The 7th Chongkundang Yesuljisang

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