05.01.2003 | Min Kyoung-Kap: Nation’s Spirit Out of This World

Min Kyoung-kap: Nation’s Spirit Out Of This World -Ecstatic fantasies pilgrimage to Taoism and Zen

Into the Nature|143 X 183 cm, 2003Eusan Min Kyoung-kap is an artist who has a   clear self-consciousness. However, this does not mean that he has a closed, ultra nationalistic standpoint which lacks the foresight to see the future and the world. Rather, he became aware of the importance of national spirit by forecasting the future. He looks squarely at the point that art is not only based on subjective views but also deeply related to the future of a nation, recognizing the fact clearly that art is not simply limited to his personal concern. As a pioneer in the Korean art community from the early 1960s, Min was selected as the youngest winner of the national painting competition with his abstract painting entry. However, his abstract entry was a variation of the traditional western concept of forms. To a certain extent Min tries to find a solution for Korean traditional painting to be freed from the influence of Chinese style particularly because if Korean artists continuously admit or accept Chinese painting methods, they will have more difficulty finding their own identity. 

Into the Nature |90 X 117 cm, 2002

For this reason, Min tries to advocate his eccentric style by moving away from the traditional Chinese ink paintings. It is not a coincidence that he accepted the abstract quality from western concept of form as a solution for finding Korean artistic identity. While his early ?0s style was influenced by the Abstract Expressionism or Informal, his style was a reflection of the traditional Korean folk paintings into the ?0s. The distinction of Korean folk paintings are the color composition as well as the specific designs and forms. Simplicity, clearness, and implicitness is used to describe Korean folk paintings, which Min adopted in the late 80s. The paintings by Min Kyoung-kap are full of ecstatic fantasies. They are more akin to illustrations of Taoism and Zen. Min? paintings produce a vision that serves as a linkage between earth and heavens. There is already the absence of reality. It is only the pictorial fantasy produced from the artist? aesthetic sensibilities. Although derived from personal experiences, the source for Min? personal experiences are rooted in old Korean traditional ways of life. And as such, whether his images are abstract or non-figurative, the viewer and the Korean people are able to identify with his work.

Into the Nature|46 X 53 cm, 2003

The mountains in his work have become a legend of sort – a mystical image that alludes to the universal produces unity to his imagery. The mountains that have been the dominant inspiration for his paintings have been placed within the context of an infinite space of the universe. And thus the mountain has now become a memory, but it is yet the source of artist? imagination. The image of the mountain led to the discovery of its organic nature as conditions of all plant life. It illustrated the general and universal modes of existence. And thus the mountain has now become a memory, but it is yet the source of the artist? imagination. Whether be it conscious or unconscious, it finds expression from the depths of his sub consciousness. The imagery composed out of experience does not exhibit details. The images may freely associate with abstract or non-figurative imagery and can drift and shift in its associations. And therefore the imagery can also be associated with a free range of color schemes, forms or realistic object-hood. The movement and flow of regulated lines in the painting demand a terse and simplified imagery. The lines are mostly linear but are very different from straight geometrical lines as these are borderlines made from the joints of two planes. Some would say that it is the most typical Korean style that can contend for the globalized concept, which however may not be so. The modern imagery culture must have the greatest common measure. Surely it is the most typical Korean thing to convey the order and succeeding the tradition of Korean thoughts. What may be considered as globalized however have been so diversified and delicately elaborated with modern technologies, transforming the genetic codes for instance, which may be fear factor to render a catastrophic result, said Min Kyoung-kap. Korea is also a land of mystery to the artist. It is because there is mystery latent in many arenas that can deter logic. Mysticism is not equal to shamanism. It is rather the object for worship as the ruler of human consciousness.

Artist Min Kyoung-kap.

The artist has taken the traditional notion of mysticism as found in the traditional Korean ways of life as the shaping force behind his painting. The Taoism which started in ancient China is now one of the most popular subjects for scholars to study nowadays, for whom it takes further steps to harmonize the old value with the latest things. The art of painting easily traverses national borders and there certainly is a common value that can be shared across many nationalities. Most of all it is the nature from which the unique motive that transcends the time originated. I look upon a human being as a true form of nature. It is no more a simplistic form of imagery but I try to create a world of my own to restore the Korean culture. By deeply immersing into the oriental culture it takes many works to elevate the mental world. Despite painting being the realm of the picture plane, the sphere made up of pictorial illusion, the artist nevertheless is steadfast on defeating such restrictions, said Min. Min revitalizes the vividness, livelihood, and mental world. The artist has finally become successful in rupturing inherent limitations to reach toward the infinite and sublime beauty of immense proportions. NW Copyright(c) 2003 Newsworld All rights reserved. news@newsworld.co.kr

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