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FACE – Han Youngwook

Exhibition details

Opening / Event Date:
24 October, 2020
Time:
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Closing / End Date:
5 December, 2020
Event Category:
, , ,
Website:
https://www.whitestone-gallery.com/

Whitestone Gallery is proud to present FACE, an exhibition of scratches and oil on aluminum artworks by the Korean artist Han Youngwook at the gallery’s Hong Kong space, H Queen’s. On view will be a series of imaginative faces revealed in their most vivid form. The exhibition marks the artist’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong and with the gallery.

 

Known for his poignant and detailed depictions of human figures that are full of flaws and emotions, Han’s choices of subject reflect his personal values and beliefs. For Han, young children represent innocence and a free soul, whereas young women captured at the brightest time of their lives imply ephemerality, and old women allude to the acceptance of reality and the embrace of life. Han’s practice is extremely intuitive as he often seeks inspiration in real life or on the web. Once he has decided and collected a person’s image, he tends to explore the person’s qualities, and combine his own perception and creativity to convey the person’s emotions in his paintings. Sometimes, the same face reappears in a slightly different expression, size, or color as the result of the artist’s attempts to understand the nature of humans and interpret and reinterpret the different layers of it. 

 

Han’s works are monumental in size as well as materiality and methods. 13 years ago, the artist started using needles on an aluminum foil, but soon found the limitations of foil and replaced it with aluminum plate. Through a repetitive process of scratching and coloring and decoloring by rubbing or pressing oil on the surface, the human figures are elaborated and their true character is revealed. Han’s works are not complete without lighting, in fact, lighting is intrinsic to Han’s works. Different lighting enables different dimensions, depending on the lighting and the angle of the viewer, different energies will come to light. In the end, Han’s work is all about synthesizing human energy with materiality. 

 

Named FACE, the exhibition was originally titled “Übermensch” as a personal ode to Nietzsche’s life and philosophy. Though feeling inadequate to live up to Nietzsche’s influence, Han eventually changed the exhibition title to FACE, his works are still embedded with Nietzsche’s idea of the “Übermensch”. Meaning self-overcoming, “Übermensch” is an attitude towards life that helps one justify the existence of the human race and use will-to-power to influence and dominate life. The concept is also an approach to deal with the ‘truth’ in an individual and sensitive manner, rather than rationalism. Similarly, Han’s works focus on expressing human’s aura, rather than portraying an object in an extremely realistic way. Often miscategorized as hyperrealism, Han explains that the essence of his paintings lies in the human spirit, therefore, he is an expressionist painter.

 

In the exhibition FACE, red and black are ruling the aluminum plates. These two colors hold special meanings in the artist’s paintings. While red and black both symbolize human desire, red is the desire that erupts, and black is the conflict. Han believes that “the core of painting is to bring out the essence of existence through facing the existence, and the role of painting is to act as a pathway to connect the material to the mind”. Han is particularly excited to be showing his works in Hong Kong, one of his favorite cities. He hopes that the viewers will be able to look beneath the surface and explore the deeper layers of his paintings. 

 

Opening Reception: 24 October 2020, 4 – 7pm

 

 

白石畫廊欣然呈現展覽《面孔》,於H Queen’s空間展示韓國藝術家韓永旭的刮痕油畫作品,展出的是一系列形式生動、飽含豐富想像的肖像。此次展覽是藝術家在香港的首次個展,也是與白石畫廊的首次展出。

 

以描繪打動人心和細緻入微的人物形象聞名,韓永旭的人物是充滿瑕疵和情感的,他選擇的對象也反映了他個人的價值觀和信仰。對於韓永旭而言,孩子代表著天真和自由的靈魂,年輕的女子代表著生命最燦爛的時光、同時也意味著短暫,年長的女子則代表著對現實的包容和生命的經歷。韓永旭的技法是出於本能的,他時常在現實生活或網絡中尋找靈感。當他決定和收集好人物形象後,便開始探索人物的個性,融合自己的想法和創意,表達畫中人的情感。有時,同樣的面孔會重複出現,帶有不同的表情、尺寸和顏色,是藝術家對理解人性的探索,繼而重複剖析不同的層次。

 

韓永旭作品的尺寸是龐大的,所使用的物質和技法也同樣宏大。十三年前,藝術家開始在鋁箔上使用刮針,但他很快就發現了鋁箔的局限性,於是改用鋁板。通過重複的劃、塗色和在表面抹擦及按壓去色,以展現人物的姿態和揭示他們的真實性格。韓永旭的作品是不可以缺少燈光的,事實上,燈光是他作品的一部分。不同的光線造就了不同的維度,根據燈光和觀者角度的不同,作品會呈現不同的能量。總而言之,韓永旭的作品是人的能量和物質的融合。

 

展覽命名為《面孔》,但其實藝術家原本想以《超人》為名,向尼采的生活哲學致敬。儘管他覺得自己不匹配於尼采的影響力而將展覽名字更改,但他的作品中含有尼采《超人》中的想法。“超人”意味著自我超越,它是一種對生命的態度,幫助大家正視人類的存在,運用意志力去影響和主宰生活。這個概念引導大家用各自感性的態度對待“真相”,而非用理智。相似地,韓永旭的作品著重表現人的氣場,而並非用極致現實的方式描繪人物。常常被誤認為是超寫實,韓永旭解釋他作品的本質是人的精神,因此他是一個表現主義畫家。

 

在《面孔》這個展覽中,紅和黑是鋁板上的主色調。這兩種顏色對藝術家來說有特別的含義。紅和黑都代表著人的慾望,但紅是慾望的迸發,黑則是一種掙扎。韓永旭相信“繪畫的核心是將存在的本質通過直接面對它的方式帶出來,所以作品就是連結物質和內心的媒介”。韓永旭特別期待這次在香港的個展,因為香港是他最愛的城市之一。他希望觀眾能剖開表面,探索到他繪畫的深層次。

 

展覽開幕:10月24日 下午4時至晚上7時

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