Byoung-Choon Park – Collected landscape
curated by Hyun Joo Choe
May 9th, 2015 – August 30th, 2015
Ca’ Foscari Esposizioni – Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
From May 9th to August 30th 2015, Ca’ Foscari Esposizioni – Ca’ Foscari University of Venice is hosting Collected landscapes, the first Italian solo exhibition of South-Korean artist Byoung-Choon Park (1966, Youngdong), curated by Hyun Joo Choe, showing eleven works, between paintings and installations, of huge dimensions.
The exhibition is scientifically coordinated by Giuseppe Barbieri and Silvia Burini, professors at the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage, in collaboration with Vincenza D’Urso, professor at the Department of Asian and North African Studies of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and director of the Venetian branch of King Sejong Institute, a South-Korean government institution promoting and spreading the language and culture of the Asian country abroad.
Collected landscapes wants to examine in depth the research carried out in the last five years by one of the most representative artist from South Korea. Since the 90’s, Byoung-Choon Park has focused on an experimentation directed to crossing the borders of Korean artistic tradition, and is now mixing travel impressions, natural sights, revisited Google Earth’s areas, contemporary sensitivity and primordial memories with unusual and alienated points of view.
In his paintings, the artist introduces a fracture with the classical painting, adding references to daily life elements, such as people or objects, bound either to the collective experience – in some cases inspired by the news – and the personal experience. The landscapes depicted by Byoung-Choon Park might be identified as “space-time landscapes”, places of memory and experience.
In his works, the human presence is often evoked, through colored miniature elements, explicitly set against the vastness of the black and white natural scenarios, which has resulted in a vague reality that generates in the spectator a subtle underlying anxiety by being at the same time present and unfamiliar. A clear example can be found in The memory of red cliff (2015), where a red sofa and two blue birds appear on a vast rock mass.
In his most recent works, as we can see in the Landscape with a road sequence, Park started to use Google Earth images, allowing him to achieve different results: in aerial photography, the landscape succeeds in losing every three-dimensional connotation, becoming a completely bi-dimensional pictorialization. Also in this case, imperceptible colored elements appear on the black and white background: skydivers, flowers, houses etc.
The bond between Byoung-Choon Park and the history of his country, South-Korea, reveals itself in the technique adopted in his works: his paintings sees the use of Muk, a traditional type of ink used in the East. The artist though, pushes his research to the extreme consequences, adopting a unique kind of brush stroke for each painting.
A huge installation measuring more than 25 meters in length, Collected landscape (2015) is exposed at the center of the itinerary and is accessible by the visitor, being conceived specifically for Ca’ Foscari spaces. The work is composed by more than 130 paper sheets with shan shui motif on them – a Chinese painting style dated 5th century, where the recurring subjects are mountains, rivers and waterfalls painted with brush and ink – hung to butcher hooks on steel pipes. It’s a sort of overall mirror of Korean nature and culture, deeply rooted in fifteen centuries of Oriental figurative tradition.
Lastly, another great installation closes the exhibition itinerary: Plastic bags landscapes (2015), a work of great visual impact, composed by black plastic bags of different sizes. The landscape’s images are reproduced in three dimensions through the use of plastic, portraying the South-Korean mountains and canyons, dear to the artist, with its different shapes and a specific lighting, creating surreal atmospheres. As in the painting, so there is here a trace of realism with a small red plane, flying over the surface of the installation.
Ca’ Foscari Esposizioni – Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia
Dorsoduro 3246, 30123, Venezia
Opening: 10.00 – 18.00. Closed on Tuesday
Ticket: Free Entry