Kyoung Tack Hong
October 14 – November 13, 2010
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 14, 6-8 pm
DOOSAN Gallery New York is pleased to announce Pens, a solo exhibition of oil paintings by South Korean-born artist Kyoung Tack Hong. This is Hong’s debut exhibition in the United States. The opening reception will be held on Thursday, October 14 at DOOSAN Gallery New York, 533 West 25th Street, New York.
Hong established his career in Asia as a painter of obsessive visual expression, filling spaces with ordinary objects, such as pens, pencils, and books. He has developed a series of works on this theme, including Library, Funkestra, and Pen. In the current exhibition, he presents two large-scale oil paintings from his Pen series, in which he uses bundle of pens and pencils packed closely together laid out in fantastic colorful fantasy settings. Hong began this particular work titled Pen3 in 2000, and he has been working on it on and off for a decade. This is the first time this piece is being shown in public.
In Hong’s painting, floral composition spreads out like the spokes of a wheel. With great attention to balance, everyday objects join together to create a systematic organism. These objects are exaggerated and complemented with vivid colors that make them unfamiliar and intimidating in a large setting. They seem to be empowered coming to life on their own¾ almost like real flowers to lure butterflies. The central point of Pen3 is a group of flower-shaped pens that generates from within part of another flower. A multitude of pens and pencils streams out from circular, stamen-like shapes, as though individual pens themselves were appearing as groups of flowers in bouquets. In some places in the painting, pens converge, naturally building an extreme tension that never seems to let up. Every pen or pencil receives the same amount of attention from Hong; he has not neglected a single one. His repetitive, patterned paintings provide the viewer with an almost suffocating optical illusion, which might make the viewer overlook the focal point. This dense structure in his work without negative space is what as Hong calls “the extreme expression of compulsion from reality.” No traditional perspective applies here, and viewers might not find any breathing space in his paintings at first. However, when you stand in front of one of his paintings for a long time, it can give you a hallucinatory effect that provides, strangely, a space beyond the painting, where there might have first appeared to be none.
Kyoung Tack Hong was born in 1968 in Seoul, Korea. He received his B.F.A. from Kyoungwon University in Korea. He has had numerous solo exhibitions in Korea and his work has included in many group exhibitions worldwide including: Bochum Museum in Bochum, Germany (2010); ARCO Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea (2010), National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea (2009); Santral Istanbul Museum, Istanbul, Turkey (2009); Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Gyeonggi-do, Korea (2008); National Musuem of Fine Art, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2008); Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (2008); National Museum of China, Beijing, China (2007); Museum of Contemporary Art, Santiago, Chile (2007). Hong currently lives and works in Seoul, Korea.