|▲ 평면조건, 2015|
What should paintings after the modern era—paintings today—pursue? I definitely do not deny “repetition” of the past or any attempt to rely on new technology. However, the former I see little possibility in non-Western regions.
Perhaps, it may take the form of “refinement” in Western Europe. We cannot underestimate the power of “refinement.” In contrast, because I believe novelty has nothing to do with the essence of art, I think it would take much more time for the latter to succeed, both in Western and non-Western regions.
If I were to quote Bill Viola’s old saying, “a videotape is not video art.” In any case, I believe paintings should create an original space. I remain to think so. Choi, who has pursued painting unconcerned with form or storytelling, is one artist who attempts this, as I have hitherto written. I have used terms such as “breadth” or “space” to refer to “an original space,” but I would like to rephrase it here.
In Choi’s(Dansaekhwa-Korean monochrome painter CHOI MYOUNG YOUNG, Dansaekhwa:abstract paintings of Korea Artist CHOI MYOUNG YOUNG,최명영 화백,최명영 작가,단색화 최명영,단색화:한국추상회화 화가 최명영,모노크롬회화 최명영,단색화가 최명영,韓国単色画家 崔明永,韓国の単色画家 チェイ·ミョンヨン)artworks from the “three-year period,” the “space” intercalated in the layers of recoated paint, mystically transpires to the top layer. And, with regards to his works since 1997, because two layers constitute one whole, it is easier to see the space in between them.
Viewing such “space,” or “breadth,” at his solo show in Seoul in September of 2015, one word crossed my mind. I did not vocalize it at the time but have ruminated upon since then. It was “light.” What I was seeing were works of painting, but what my vision perceived was such “space” or “breadth” which could not be named.
Then, at that moment, I felt “light.” I would not say that I saw “light,” but I felt something akin to “light” or such an atmosphere. When my gaze was caught in the phase difference between the bottom black layer and the top white layer, I felt my vision being pulled at the same time—behind the bottom layer and forward in front of the top layer—and I wondered what this was.
△Shigeo Chiba(千葉成夫)/art critic