Eugene Seong: Longevity
"Eugene Seong: Longevity "
Artist Talk on Monday, July 1st, 2 - 3 PM
Opening Reception: Monday, July 1st from 5:30 -7:30 PM
Gallery KCC (100 Grove Street, Tenafly, NJ) is pleased to present the Solo exhibition "Eugene Seong: Longevity", the exhibition will present special exchange artists Jeanne Brasile, Gianluca Bianchino, and Nicholas Moore.
The show will run from July 1-10, 2019, with an opening reception on Monday, July 1st from 5:30 - 7:30 pm, including an Artist Talk on Monday, July 1st from 2-3pm.
갤러리 KCC 기획전
"성유진 개인전: 21세기 장수 신화"
아티스트 토크: 7월 1일 오후 2-3시
오프닝 리셉션: 7월1일 월요일 저녁 5:30분-7:30분
특별 교환전시 작가: 진 브라질, 지안루카 비안치노, 니콜라스 무어
갤러리 KCC (100 Grove Street, Tenafly, NJ) 기획 개인전 "성유진: 장수신화" 이번 전시에는 특별 교환 전시 작가인 진 브라질, 지안루카 비안치노, 니콜라스 무어 의 작품이 함께 전시 된다. 전시 기간은 7월 1일부터 10일 까지 이며, 오픈 립셉션은 7월1일 저녁 5시 30분 부터 7시 30분 까지이고, 7월 1일 오후 2-3시 사이에 아티스트 토크가 함께 진행 된다
인류 태초부터 모든 인간의 염원은 불노장생 이다.
우리가 가장 흔히 사용하는 인사로 "만수무강 하세요", "오래 사세요"등은 인간의 장수에 대한 염원을 보여준다. 그래서 주변에서 장수를 위한 무속 신앙, 주술, 심볼, 그리고 토테미즘 등을 흔하게 찾아 볼 수가 있다.
불로장생의 열가지 심볼 십장생(十長生)은 해· 산· 물· 돌· 구름(또는 달)· 소나무· 불로초· 거북· 학· 사슴으로, 곧 신선사상 에서 유래됐으며, 이 모두가 자연 숭배의 대상으로 받아 들여진다. 이런 자연 숭배 사상중 대표인 초 자연적 신령 계와 영적으로 통하는 영매체로 여성적 모습이 표현되는데, 이는 대지를 나타내는 어머니와 같은 여신의 모습을 기반으로 하기 때문이다. 또한 이러한 소재들은 정령, 요정 이라는 샤머니즘의 맥락으로 시 공 을 초월 하여 반복되어 나타나는 현상 이라는 점에서 인간 정신의 원형적인 부분을 지원 할 수 있는 은유적인 틀이 된다.
성유진 작가의 십장생은 장생불사에 대한 인간의 물상 이 현대적으로 해석되어 있다.
도전적인 구도와 형태, 조형의 패턴 속에서 아슬아슬하게 표현된 神異經(신이경)은 정형화된 시각미술의 틀을 작가의 시선 안에서 재해석 하여 자유로운 작품으로 다양한 이야기들을 우리에게 전달 한다. 인간이 갈구하는 욕망을 나타내는 영원한 생명 십장생, 그리고 그 안에 가지고 있는 여성성과 삶의 순환에 대한 은유적, 시각적 작업이다.
KCC 갤러리 Korean Community Center: 100 Grove Street, 2nf Fl. Tenafly, NJ 07670
고수정 전시 큐레이터: 201 724 7077 or email@example.com
Eugene Seong – Eternal Spirits and Timeless Landscapes
by Jeanne Brasile
Just north of New York City, in the New Jersey suburb of Tenafly, Gallery Yonhee has been luring visitors across the river - including a coterie of notable curators, critics, artists, and collectors. The gallery’s strong roster of exhibitions is adroitly curated by Paris Koh, Exhibitions Director and Curator with a decided preference for works on paper, especially those addressing spiritual and natural themes. Under her leadership, the venue is building a solid reputation, and Koh’s latest effort, Eugene Seong’s solo effort Longevity is yet another compelling show.
Eugene Seong’s mixed media works take traditional Korean religious symbology, Ship-Jang-Saeng, as a source of inspiration. These 10 symbols of a long and healthy life are ubiquitous in daily living and originated in folk art traditions, design and architecture - reflecting harmony and a spiritual connection to the natural world. The centerpiece of the show “The ten symbols of longevity No 4 – 6” dominates the gallery with its scale, bright colors and whirling, shimmering surface. The vertically oriented triptych is draped at each tier and appears like an outsized Roman shade. There is no particular entry point into this piece which is roiling with motifs of the everlasting. The viewer can dive in at any point and let their eyes wander throughout. As your eyes adjust, you begin to see forms of deer dissolve into leafy, fecund peach trees whose golden antlers terminate into thick foliage laden with ripe, colossal fruit. Cranes emerge from clouds and dense clusters of flowers. A turtle swims through what could be either sky or water, while upon his back rises a series of majestic mountain peaks under the light of just one of many painted moons. In the center panel, dual imagery shows a woman in profile whose face simultaneously reads as both visage and mountain range, while her hair dissolves into a crashing waterfall.
The painting is enhanced by the thick lines of relief Seong constructs by repeated applications of paint applied with a brush. The artist described her painstaking process to achieve this effect with layers of translucent gelled paint with rounded contours. Though she could take short cuts, it is this attention to detail and perhaps a meditative approach that makes the work stronger while fortifying its spiritual substance. The palpable line work is conflated with a variety of other techniques that make use of washy swaths and smaller areas of thicker, opaque paint resembling lacquer or enamel. This piece reads like an epic journey and is rightfully placed as a dramatic introduction to the exhibition.
Another standout is “Lust Stain” which is both a counterpoint to the energetic “The ten symbols of longevity No 4 – 6” as well as an extension of Seong’s spiritual beliefs. This large painting addresses feminine mysticism which is another foundation of the 10 symbols of longevity while incorporating the Korean traditions of Sagunja - traditional plants motifs - and minhwa- a folk art tradition emphasizing decorative patterns and populist themes. As in her triptych, Seong blends natural landscape elements with the female form, which here, is not subjugated to the landscape but co-exists independently and rises amidst biological forms. The importance of the female figure is established by her centrality and scale in relation to the whole.
The subject’s gaze is averted downward in modest ecstasy as she sniffs an orchid suspended across the bottom portion of her ghostlike visage. In contrast, the flower is a vibrant red, it is color spilling down her torso in a crimson stain that dissolves just above a knobby black trim limb encircling the woman’s waist. Her long, flowing hair falls past her shoulders to waist length and creates a busy rush of textured lines with alternating bands of orange, red, green, blue and red intermingled with raised dots that punctuate the linework. While reading like hair, her Technicolor tresses are also suggestive of cellular or microscopic forms. We get the sense that Seong is making a statement about the inter-relation of all life from the micro to the macro while positioning the divine not only in the natural world of trees, mountains and animals but also in the feminine which encompasses the minute biological structures of which we are comprised. The beauty of the woman and the orchid is contrasted against the dark, craggy tree, subtly reminding us of the foreboding caress of mortality that awaits us all.
Though rooted in Korean painting conventions and established spiritual dialogues, Seong’s work seems thoroughly modern. Indeed, the very appeal of her work is her deft ability to blend the new and the old, the Eastern and the Western, the landscape and the corporeal, the abstract and the figurative. Her work can be appreciated whether looking at the dominant forms from a distance, or the smaller scenes that upon closer inspection emerge from the larger forms that dissolve into a maelstrom of color, texture, shape, and line. Seong unifies her work through these multivalent formal elements and the conversations that co-exist much like the 10 symbols of longevity work together to auspiciously harmonize life.
What holds the work together and brings it further into the contemporary step is Seong’s overriding interest in structure – the way she breaks down hair, waves, water or clouds into fractals or components of their larger selves - is a thoroughly fresh take on her traditional inspiration. She has a firm understanding of the formal qualities and dialogues imbued in her practice, but Seong also addresses pertinent themes of natural structures and the confluence of the spiritual and the scientific. The work is both richly layered and intelligently presented. If you take time to look beyond the swirling textures, colors, and patterns– you can also see the structure of the cosmos and the microscopic world at play in these paintings that are both eternal and timeless.