Manners, 2018, 60.6 x 50, Acrylic, Painting Marker on Chiffon

If Art is a Language

Painting Tower by Park Yoon-Kyung




The language acquisition process begins when the babies are still in the womb hearing human conversation and the world around them. Afterward, they would start imitating the sound and learning to speak themselves. Acquiring language is a demonstration of one’s curiosity of the world, as well as the desire to communicate with others. While studying abroad in the UK, the Korean artist Park Yoon-Kyung began to have doubts regarding the nature of language, since a word can have distinctively different interpretations when it is used in different cultures. She then applied her observation and experience into her paintings — Park transformed Chinese and Korean characters into graphics and depicted them as an abstract new language. Her representation of written languages has given viewers a space for open interpretation.

The style of integrating words into paintings originated from the traditional Korean painting Moon-ja-do, a popular art form during the 18th to 19th century in the time of the Kingdom of Great Joseon. Park Yoon-Kyung reinterpreted the ancient art in a contemporary way. Using translucent silk and chiffon as her canvas, Park draws with her powerful yet playful strokes with a great variety of colors. The paints slowly flow down to form random patterns, which are all the traces of the flow of time and gravity. The overlapping text and symbols create complex diagrams that represent a set of intangible values. These can well resonate with the interpersonal relationship and communication, the undefinable correlation between text and graphics, as well as the concepts of time and space.

One really needs to immerse oneself in the exhibition to actually feel the world portrayed by the artist. Park Yoon-Kyung specially made 8 paintings for this particular exhibition Painting Tower. Unlike the conventional way of display, her exhibition utilized the staircase in the gallery to showcase the paintings as if they were half-open windows on a white wall. Through such “windows” viewers can take a good glimpse of the scenic landscape outside. Standing at the center of the gallery is an art installation of 6 paintings pieced together. The interplay between both sides of the canvas and their shadows has given shape to a piece of three-dimensional work. The paintings are like windows on the facade of a skyscraper, providing a view to the ever-changing scenery from various angles. The whole viewing experience is a silent process of language acquisition, that also serves as an infinite dialogue with the artist.

Soluna Fine Art   GF, 52 Sai Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong