Gallery: Axel Vervoordt Gallery
Artist(s): Ryuji Tanaka
Opening / Event Date: 19 Oct, 2019
Closing / End Date: 1 Feb, 2020
Soluna Fine Art is pleased to present Song Kwangik’s solo exhibition Paperlogue for the first time in Hong Kong, following his successful debut in Art Central 2019. Within the exhibition, Soluna Fine Art will present nine works that demonstrate the artist’s delicate technique in manipulating Hanji (Korean paper) to create sculptural-like paper works that can be envisaged and re-imagined as Asian and Oriental architecture. The exhibition will be on view from 22 November 2019 to 31 January 2020, with an artist talk on Thursday, 21 November 5-6 pm, as well as an opening reception from 6-8 pm.
Song Kwangik is a painter whose innovative approach to his art challenges the conventional ideas of painting and sculpture, by combining abstraction, spatiality and his cultural background using acrylic paint and Hanji. Hanji (韓紙) is a traditional handmade paper from Korea made usually from the inner bark of paper mulberry, a tree native to Korea that grows on its rocky mountainsides. At first made crudely out of other natural materials like hemp and ramie scraps (Maji, or 마지), the history of Hanji paper could be traced back to as early as the 3rd century and it is considered one of the oldest and most important traditions in the Korean culture.
To highlight the characteristics of this precious material, Song would apply paint onto the surface of the backside of the paper, thus, to allow the paint to penetrate the paper slowly. While most of the paint would successfully penetrate the paper, some parts of the paper would be left unpenetrated due to the fibres in the paper causing a blockage. He would then tear the paper by hand into pieces and construct them into geometric compositions. From preparing the Hanji paper to building them into the finished state, it is the process of practising repetitive actions Song values the most in his work. Through this process Song gets into a subconscious state of mind that is similar to a meditative ritual; by using his body to engage in a dialogue with the material, the paper becomes the medium and Song becomes the prophet.
Song’s practice recalls the fundamental philosophy – Wu Wei (무위, or 無為) of Tao: “inexertion”, “inaction” or an “attitude of genuine non-action, motivated by a lack of desire to participate in human affairs”. In this case, Song reduces his art to actions without motives, limiting his ego as an artist in the intellectual sense and restraining his involvement in the act of painting. This attempt differentiates him from the western “minimalist” and “materialist” movements, marking his unique oeuvre in the current contemporary art world. By consciously disregarding concepts and expressions to reduce his work to mere actions, Song wanders the primitive state of life before art became art.
About Song Kwangik
Song Kwangik was born in 1950, in South Korea. Song is a graduate at Graduate Seminar Art College at Kyushu Sangyo University in Fukuoka, Japan; and holds B.F.A. and Ed.A. degrees from Keimyung University in Daegu, Korea. His works were recently exhibited in Tong-in Auction Gallery (Seoul, 2017-18) and Bongsan Cultural Centre (Daegu, 2014); he also participated in many group exhibitions in Japan and Korea. In 2013, Song received the prestigious 27th Kumbok Cultural Prize from Kumbok Foundation.
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