Craving for Love and Memory in Art
Painter Choi resurrects countryside sceneries and things that are lost in contemporary life
If you long for a beautiful world of love and memories flowing and crave for it? If you do you would appreciate master-painter Choi Sung-hwan¡¯s art work. His pleasurable world of paintings make you feel comfortable like mother¡¯s bosom.
Painter Choi Sung-hwan looks much more like an uncle from a remote village in the countryside, rather than an artist. His studio tells it all located in a small village in a mountain gorge against the backdrop of a high hill, where one can hear birds chirping and sounds of nearby streams.
No wonder his work show what he must have felt looking at the scenery unfolding before his sensual eyes through a window of his atelier. ¡°The sceneries he grasped around his studio have been juxtaposed into his canvases,¡± an art critic noted, commenting on Choi¡¯s art pieces.
Its been several decades since he moved to Yongcheon, North Gyeongsang Province, mesmerized by the sceneries in the countryside where he was born.
The artistic value of his work is that it draws out the memories of youths deeply hidden inside in the hearts of the urban residents. Indigo, green, yellow mud, early evening, trees and the moon rising over a country village, a truly a mystic scene are all captured in Choi¡¯s paintings and they give the urban residents who were ruffled up by a bustling city life a deep sensual impact to recover and clear up their battered minds.
When art lovers look at the process of his work, they would soon find a special feature. First, he applies yellowish mud mixed with glue or starch on jute bags or Korean papers and sometime later he draws a rough outline of work he will do with a bamboo pencil and then draws lines with ink and add colors over several times. When dyestuffs permeate mud, they give out a feeling of settlement to a surprising degree. He sprinkles glue over the canvass to dilute the colors of dyestuffs and stay glued to the canvass. Here he needs an extreme care because the colors will wear thin if the mixture of glue is not appropriate enough.
His works are fantastic and lyrical enough for viewers to recall the general image of Korea and animated impressions that are being forgotten. The painter employees a minimalist style and leaves only the framework of subjects on the canvass to make subjects clearer and standing out.
Human figures sometimes appear in his work expressed in the form of caricatures of social mores to give the viewers something to smile about. Painter Choi through his art work expresses his love for nature and dreams about the world to live with it.
Choi, born in 1960, is graduate of Hongik Univesity majoring in Oriental Painting. He has held many solo and group invitational exhibitions - 23 in total from 1992 to 2006. His first exhibition was entitled,¡± Today¡¯s Regional Painting Work Exhibition held at Kumho Gallery in Seoul in 1992 with the latest one being Gallery Art Festival in 2007. He is a member of the Korea Fine Arts Association. He can be reached at 011-9561-0288. nw
Moon, Moon Beam; 73 x 61 cm; Mixed Colors on Hemp Cloth; 2008
White Mindset; 61 x 134 cm ; Mixed Colors on Hemp Cloth; 2008
Spring Wind; 134 x 61 cm; Mixed Colors on Hemp Cloth; 2008
Winter Travel: 130.3 x 80.3 cm; Mixed Colors on Hemp Cloth; 2007
Early Evening; 110 x 122 cm ; Mixed Colors on Hemp Cloth; 2008