11 Jun 2015 — 11 Jul 2015

 Donghyun Son's page
Donghyun Son
Ink on Paper

Press release

Donghyun Son will have a solo exhibition titled Ink on Paper at GALLERY2 from June 11 to July 11. This exhibition will present the artist’s most recent work after his solo exhibition Pine Tree in 2014. Since his early career, Son has incorporated the language of traditional Eastern painting into contemporary themes, producing highly creative works. This exhibition will feature four new works by Son which will offer the artist’s new experiments.

In the artist’s exhibition of last year, he reinterpreted the theme of pine trees using portraiture. In his latest works, Son again explores themes of historical East Asian painting this time examining the relationship between landscape painting and portraiture. An example is Mr. Plum Blossom, a painting featured in the Ink on Paper exhibition that reinterprets the plum blossom in Eastern painting. Instead of representing the theme in a classic manner, it is produced in the form of a portrait, providing an understanding of traditional painting in a more enjoyable way. Figures based on the methods of ancient painting depict branches, the flowers of a plum tree, a full moon, and sparrows all decorative elements in traditional historical works. Another work, The Graphy, is a piece concerned with the figurative aspects of letters and images that examines relationships between the meaning of the letters and the figuration of the picture. He constructs a body part of the figure by writing the Chinese character 人 (human) numerous times, composing the figure’s eyes, nose, and mouth with the letters, and then completes the image with a dress comprised of the letters. Son also pays attention to sound effects (onomatopoeic and mimetic words) which are very common in comics. These words demonstrate sounds or movements that grant the figure with a special ability, and the letters spread outward towards both sides of the scroll. Master Ink, consisting of seven scrolls, displays how a figure in the center is transformed as the image is extended outward towards both sides. To the left shows how the figure is scattered as in landscape painting and to the right reveals a simplified figure becoming words that have aggressive meanings. Lastly, the smallest work in the exhibition Ink on Paper is about the title of the show, Ink on Paper. In this scroll work, the artist gave personality to certain letters. All of the works presented in the exhibition are ink-and-wash painting as the artist discarded colors (which have been present in most of his previous work) in order to explore the theme purely with ink. The ink-and-wash painting solely made up of the depth and concentration of sumi-ink gets quite impressive through the convergence of the prudent and simple style and the artist’s unique wit.

Donghyun Son will present a new spectrum of work that transcends his previous portrait painting by means of exercising various subjects in traditional Eastern painting, inventive methods and his painterly perception. In particular the juncture at which his work intersects with other themes of Eastern painting, and the way he perceives a structure as a byproduct image of the interaction is noteworthy and indicates a new direction for the future.

Master Ink, 7 hanging scrolls (each 124 x 52.5 cm), ink on paper, 2015