|▲ Artist Park Hyang-su|
Black pine grows by the seaside thus called sea pine sometimes. And artist Park Hyang-su draws only this spindle tree.
Park knew nothing about drawing and never learned. He just remembers that he has liked pine tree very much since childhood and drew the tree on a back of calendar for fun time to time. As the hobby grew serious, he started to brew a dream of one day becoming an artist; and the subject always was black pine.
Born in Jeongeup and grew in a hard-up family, it was not easy for him to spare a time for his hobby and some of his works were missing whenever his family moved housel; in fact, he chucked away some of his works also because he never valued his hobby as something precious.
Yet, his skill grew and grew like a wild flower bloom itself without a care of our hands. He took a scene of black pine and took what he observed onto the canvas. The more he did this the better his skill became. The scattered works of black pine became a series work of black pine and he worshiped the tree as his teacher. He never did rough sketch but grabbed what was available from his reach such as pencils, pen and even marker.
The reason he is so drawn to black pine is because he misses his hometown so much and he wants to pay back what his hometown has given him, said he when was asked why. What makes his works of black pine unique is that he never draws it as it is but as he sees. And he loves to use pencil most of the time to enliven details.
Pine tree is evergreen. No matter how harsh the weather tries to wear it out, it just always stands as it is and where it is. It faces boldly the ferociously swirling cold rain storm towards it from the sea. “I just cannot help being touched by it and paying respect to it” says Park. “I also want to lead a life like the tree, evergreen no matter what challenges are ahead of my way.”
Unlike other pine trees, black pine has manly strength and vitality. So for him, black pine is like parents who stand still for their children and it is the life and it is his work of art. Birds and the moon appearing in his works are the accessories of this noble black pine. The black pine, the moon and the bird are mixed supportive each other to create a unique scene. The black pine then becomes a symbol of a man who has suffered all sorts of hardships yet completed his journey unaffected.
In a way, drawing black pine is meditation rather than a process of creation. A work of black pine sized 110cm x 80cm takes him several months and every single detail of the objects is vividly present.
This May from 7 to 12, Park is holding a solo exhibition alongside two photographers Kim Gyeong-jun and Baek Un-su at the Danwon Art Museum in Ansan City. This time, Park is to display the black pine in his imaginary world instead of that in a certain region.
Park is unique in his own style and probably is the only one who draws black pine like this in the world. “I’m planning to apply more methods and to engage in exhibitions home and abroad more. I’m also starting to see the charm of woodcut and this might extend the boundary of my work” says Park.
Park is a member of the Photo Artists Society of Korea, of the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement, and of the Korean Environmental Photographers Association.
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