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Time of Painting_Exhibition of Artists of Chongkundang Yesuljisang


Time of Painting


Kim Noam


What is painting? What do I think of painting? How can painting exist and how can it be felt? Things that cannot be felt, cannot feel, or have lost feeling, are things that have lost their existence. They may have existed in the past or in the future. Painting is in contact with the world of a lonely person. This solitude is loneliness in the ontological sense that transcends the sentimental loneliness of everyday life. In essence, creation is an extremely personal and solitary activity. It is more influenced by the artist's individual spirit and destiny. In the creative process, one group of painters follows the tradition while the other rejects it. Artists' perspective, through the process of accepting and rejecting the customs and cultural codes of each other's creation, become more flexible, and this, in turn, enriches the quality and quantity of culture. Painting is the result of the immersion and fusion of an artist's mind and work. Death is when all creative moments have come to a halt. When the movement of a lively creator is gradually exhausted or abruptly ended, the birth of painting is the death or freezing of the artist's creativity. However, the spectator (receiver) reverses the movement and experience that the artist experienced through a reaction that begins and expands at the moment that has ended just like that. A new creative interpretation by the audience takes place.


Painting, by the virtue of its existence itself, testifies to the meaning of painting. Throughout the time, there have been many artists and countless paintings have been created. So many values and meanings were created proportionately. However, on the other hand, many more artists and works have been consigned to oblivion. Paradoxically, the more one remembers something, the more intense the movement of forgetting becomes. Art history is closer to the history of oblivion. Our hard work and practice, which are closely woven through creation, exhibition, and appreciation, is a resistance to the harsh reality of the fate of art that is lost in time followed by  innumerable oblivion.


People argue that the sense of time is relative and a kind of illusion. The time of artists and the time of ordinary life are clearly perceived differently, just like the way time felt by a child and that felt by an old man are different. The present stands upon numerous layers of the past, and the future is understood as being arranged and proceeding with the present embracing this huge past. Painting is a collection and movement of these present moments. In the flow of time, what the artists express is not everyday memories or the present, but a certain moment where the present, the past, and the future intersect. The world dealing with these moments can be seen as the realm of fine art that we often speak of. Painting is about discovering another world, but above all else, it is a journey and a growing pain of the soul understanding and reflecting on oneself. 


Painting is not directed toward something technical, physical, or external, but more fundamental. There is no doubt that painting reproduces the artist's reality in its own way. However, whether the reality they represent is a universal one that everyone can agree with will be revealed through more time and relationships, and a process of critical interpretation of meaning. The authenticity of a painting depends on how well each person's world is connected with the real world they commonly belong to.


Painting pursues reality. At the same time, it dreams. And it expresses. Painting recreates dreams and reality, moving back and forth between them. In numerous painting images, people and life, reality and surreality are mixed in various proportions. The reason we become easily intoxicated by dreams is because even the most happy and perfect reality, one imbued fully with liveliness, cannot satisfy us. This is because the perfect reality, the ideal reality, is not realized in the one we live in. The reality where desire and the fulfillment of that desire come together is attached to the surreality or dream. Painting attempts to capture the real and the surreal simultaneously through the artist's hard work.


Painting moves people's hearts. Through painting, we receive inspirations and moments to reflect on. Painting can also serve as a means to forget the hurtful reality and heal one's soul. Maybe not all paintings, but paintings with subtle and mysterious powers attract and push people's hearts even further. It refers to activities and experiences that cannot be met through indirect experiences. Many artists working in contemporary painting approach the problems of existence, the problems of self and identity, and the problems of the subject and the other in a more metaphysical dimension beyond the traditional formative language. The image is the surface on which the tension between existence and absence is revealed.


The artist continues the holistic and intensive activities in an isolated studio. This process, like the progress of alchemy, comes into contact with a more vivid sense along with a qualitative leap. Tirelessly exploring and documenting the inner world goes beyond the secular activities. The movement toward the inner world is simultaneously about expanding the human world. The mysterious simultaneity of the creative actions of creators who move inside and outside at the same time is inexplicable.


The history of art is as much the history of the artists as the history of the works. Between the ordinary and the extraordinary, the reality and the ideal, there are artists who ardently make full use of their talents and creativity. We sympathize by projecting ourselves on the artist's dream and life. We recall our own childhood through the lives of painters and their works. We think of our present daily life and reality, and finally, we think about death and the world afterwards. We freely travel through time and space and imagine a certain immortal life through painting. Time doesn't flow in one direction. As we take time to look at the paintings and think about the painters, we get to have a brief escape from the daily routine where we relish the freedom of facing the profound abyss in our mind. 

Time of Painting_Exhibition of Artists of Chongkundang Yesuljisang

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