Insane PARK: M . I D E A

26 January - 20 February 2011 Seoul

Period | 26 January– 20 February, 2011
Venue | Arario Gallery Seoul samcheong
Works | 27 pieces including installation, painting with cable wire
Opening Reception | 6pm Wednesday, 26 January, 2012

Press release

Arario Gallery Seoul is proud to present Insane Park’s solo show for the first of this year. The show begins on January 26th and lasts until February 20th.

Artist Insane Park arranges and attaches cables on a surface. Horizontally lined-up cables create a textured surface of different depths as opposed to a flat one, and the surface is jam-packed with artificial material rather than being applied paint through brushes. Materials like mother-of-pearl, sequin, Lego, crystal and PVC take over the painterly space, conjuring up images. Although not uncommon, artificial materials are becoming more frequently used in artistic practices rather than traditional painting tools, as they possess a more unique and interesting visual dimension. While the application of such material may simply reflect a Pop Art taste, it is also a contemplative response to the world today that’s being increasingly occupied by man-made objects. It also sheds a light on the expansion of painting’s fundamental desire, from demonstrating exquisiteness of labor and technique while being novel and interesting, to embracing the disembodied painting practice that’s becoming ever more mechanical and artificial.

Insane Park works with cables as a painterly tool. Round and hard, the cable is an extremely common material in the contemporary life that runs rampant with electronic media. Images are created with the very material that transmits those images, mimicking the television screening lines that quickly flicker in the blink of an eye with static. They are the most familiar images imprinted in the human mind this day and age. We live inhaling an excessive flow of images that are emitted and propagated through mass media. Consuming unfiltered images produced and processed by media, the modern man has lost his identity and adopted a fragmented way of thinking. Rather than creating images based on one’s own active imagination and consciousness, the modern man passively accepts externally induced artificial images processed through media. The most representative tool that produces such processed image is the television. Being openly exposed to television waves, the modern generation naturalizes such images, evolving into an extremely blinded and passive existence. One might even assume that the human eyes, senses and the body are evolving to accommodate the reception of such mechanical images.

A face emerges on the surface of cables aligned in regular intervals. The images are created by coloring the sheath of the cables and grinding them to give different depths. The painterly traces are far from being mechanical: they violently reverberate with human emotions, craftsmanship and sensitivity. They are like gestures of so-called abstract expressionism. Traces of dripping, splattering and spreading paint awaken the cold material and revive images of screening lines. The expressive traces that seem to climax in Park’s recent works are almost an act of resistance against the conforming and passive reception of mechanical media images. Actually, the ultimate methodology that conjures up the images in Park’s works is not through paint ‘toppings’ but through grinding down the sheaths of cables. The metal cables are exposed through hard powerful grinding, and the rubber skin is exposed with light, soft grinding. The grinding yields the difference in depth, color and texture, bringing up a flickering image. As the surface is grinded down, different layers create the image. This ‘sculptural painting’ creates dynamic images of screening lines through aligning different colored cables, coating them over in dark color, then repeating the process of painting them with car varnish, grinding them down, then recoating them. Rather than being clear, Park’s faces are blurred, distorted, and come to a standstill as they tremble. The faces are of the artist’s acquaintances and ordinary people. However, they mimic the faces of criminals or missing children often found on posters, and the audience comes to read the images with such prejudice. He transforms actual photographic images into fabricated video-like images, casting a parody on the ways the medium of television controls the mass. The media changes and fabricates images and events. Broadcasted on television, they exist while being absent or non-existing, or are real while being superficial. The boundary between the real world and the virtual world of television is becoming ever more blurred and indefinable in the everyday life. Media is reproduced to become the original, and reality on the other hand, becomes a simulacrum. The television itself has become the world it calls into existence. Consequently, what has resulted is the contemporary being that is cultivated through images of complete phantasm and imitation according to the ideology of televisions.

Insane Park’s paintings use objects and create images through a sculptural methodology. It’s interesting to note that cables, the material that ultimately transmit the images and project them on the retina of the viewer, construct the images in Park’s works. His works are also accompanied by an auditory hallucination that is created through the mighty force that moves diagonally across the cables. It’s a visual image as well as a surface that stimulates the aural senses, as the element of time and power of speed can be felt through the horizontal lines. Ultimately, the surface mimics the television surface, and Park’s works use the cable lines to show images projected on the television. The artist conceptualizes such methodology and medium to voice his concerns about the violence in the ubiquity and homogeneity of screening lines and images generated by television, the contemporary generation’s universal object of seeing. Insane Park’s works offer a meditation on the ways the modern society interacts with and is affected by the endless stream of media broadcasted images today.

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