Beyond boundaries of limitation in art

홍기인 기자l승인2019.02.18l수정2019.02.18 09:42






▲ Jo Mi-hyang

I move and the canvas records it. I neither cognize nor accentuate my move dropped on the canvas. Yet the move on the canvas shows its own order and I feel startled and silent. It might be the picture which shows my move rather than my move which draws the picture. I do not know who gives orders to me the move and the color. But it is clear that I must do this and must obey. – Artist’s note –

Inspiration from Joan Mitchell
Jo is famous for her abstract expressionism. One day in New York, she saw a retrospective exhibition of Joan Mitchell and fell into a deep thought. Joan Mitchell was an American ‘second generation’ abstract expressionist painter famous for her vigorous brush works, delicate compositions of colors, and crossing over the border between abstract and representational. 

“I was inspired by her style and I was determined to bring my own style one day” says Jo. Jo expresses her inner world as formless images in order to find a truth of life that cannot be delivered by words. She uses fast drying acrylic paint to give instantaneous brush works. As a result, her works are full of energy and vitality. 

The colors, movements and continuousness are uniquely mingled in her works and it is what makes her different from others. Applying her own motives to secure balance, she explains her style with ‘gestures’ and ‘colors’. 

She pours her thoughts endlessly during the creative process and catches every single moment and feeling to be present in the work. The lines and the flow of colors become very important in reaching nonrepresentational. “My attempt is to reach the gaps somewhere in a polyhedron” says Jo.

Dancing of brush
Jo’s works are reflections of her life. One day in childhood, she copied beautiful patterns on a car but became sad when she realized they were nothing but letters at a school. Reading the meaning of a word is an understanding of its symbolic interrelations but is a limitation of other qualities at the same time. And she experienced this in hear early age. It affected her to value more of sensuous areas beyond rational thinking, order or meaning.

The world is not running the way we like it. So we sometimes think whether our lives are the results of our own choices or affected by something else. Jo’s works have similar side to this. She gives her brush work with her own intention but the result seems to be the reactions of both her and the canvas.  

Some say that Jo’s works are like a ‘dancing of brush’ with which she spreads things beyond boundaries whether they are lines, colors or forms. <Brushing Pass> and <Layers of Moments> are two good examples of this. Yet it is worth to know that each line, which is seemingly formed instantly, in fact contains her creative zeal of density. 

“Like our lives, not all paintings I draw bring the results I intended. But I can pour my moment’s thinking and idea during the creating process from which I intend to deliver a truth of our lives.”

22 years of single path
Jo, who has walked a single path as an artist for the last 22 years, says “A canvas for me is a platform where I can release the pent-up desire in me and I voice this with colors, dynamic movements and something noise.”

Jo majored in Korean literature and worked as a Korean teacher. Yet her thirst for something different, something new and something creative made herself outstanding among her colleagues and it was often a case for reproach from her senior staff. “Look back those times, I felt like I was a lone reed.”

She held her first solo exhibition ‘Naejaeyool’s Painting Exhibition’ in 1997. In 2011 and 2016, she especially held exhibitions under the title ‘Toss the Map’ themed on abstract expressionism which have been prevalent on her works from then on. In April, 2017, she held a solo exhibition at Gallery 89 in Paris, France and in 2018 joined the exhibition organized by the KOTRA (Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency). 

Her scope of works cover engravings alongside paintings and numerous of her works were sold at various art fairs. “I don’t know the direction of my works from now on. I might want to stick to the style I’ve leading for many years. There are a lot of fights in me and I hope my fights will fill up the canvas with something beautiful.” 

▲ Layers of Moments, 145X 7145cm, Acrylic on canvas, 2018

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