Gana Art New York-Presents Korean Artist

13 02 2010

Solo exhibition of Korean   Artist Ji-Hyun Park in New York

Lit incense sticks burn themselves into smoke and ash. This transformation into the immaterial helps us better grasp Jihyun Park’s Incense Series of works on paper.  Park uses incense sticks to burn thousands of tiny holes onto sheets of rice paper to create a unified image.  Drawing with a flame, Park inverts the technique of Pointillism by puncturing the fragile paper surface with tiny marks, subtracting rather than adding dots of paint and color.Creating by erasing, Park’s images convey a sense of weightlessness, both in appearance and in reality. Several of his newer works are titled according to their exact weight (or lightness) as finished products.  For Park, the process of erasing results in ephemeral organic forms, ranging from abstract cloud formations and billowing trees to stars in the sky, aptly seared with a thousand points of light. Deeply influenced by the legendary island of Laputa in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726), Park’s images reveal his abiding fascination with Utopia.  Indeed, “incense” or Hyang in Korean puns with “Utopia” in Korean translated as Yi Sang Hyang.  The linguistic interweaving of incense and utopia is hospitable to Park’s idealized visions of nature, life, and transformation created through a unique medium, at once fragrant and incendiary. For Park, idealized places and objects are accompanied by precise emotions.  One of his works titled “Twenty-third” is an imaginary locale, a street he was led to in a subconscious reverie.  Utopia is for Park an extension of his subconscious, where the act of creating by destroying somehow results in the substance of a magical presence. In his exploration of both traditional and contemporary cultures, Park often falls back on his childhood memories in Korea.  In a nod to traditional Eastern ink brush paintings, Park applies black gouache to rice paper and mounts the finished works onto traditional-style scrolls.  The collision of the old and the new sparks Jihyun Park’s quest to capture Utopia within an ever-changing, never-tangible cultural and ideological terrain.

About Gana Art
Since 1983, Gana Art Gallery has been a pioneer in the rapidly developing art market in Korea. Gana has established an international presence as a result of its efforts to promote Korean art internationally. Gana is a major cultural institution in Korea and is well known for its exhibitions and art related activities including the launching of the Gana Art Center in Seoul in 1998. Gana Art Gallery currently supports several artist-in-residency programs in Korea and abroad. Gana opened its first international branch, the Galerie Gana Beaubourg, in Paris in 1995 and opened its Chelsea gallery in the spring of 2008.From its inception, Gana has held firm to its mission of creating a strong presence for Korean artists abroad and for introducing important work from around the world to Korean art enthusiasts. With the rapidly growing global interest in contemporary Asian Art, Gana Art New York is also committed to showcasing talented young and emerging artists from other countries in Asia, including India, China and Japan.

Gana Art:                 568 W 25th Street (between 10th & 11th Avenues)      T: (212)-229-5828       www.ganaart.com
Opening reception:    Feburary 18, 2010: 6 – 8 PM

On view from February 18 -March 20, 2010


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