At this point in winter in New York, when the season’s relentless whites and grays make it seem as if all color has been drained from the world, Gallery LVS is on the scene with a corrective. Color characterizes the gallery’s booth at this year’s PULSE New York art fair. Taejin Seong and Won Kun Jun incorporate a full spectrum of color into their compositions.
Colors—bright, loud, popping ones—structure Taejin Seong’s carved and painted wooden panel compositions. Often featuring crowded urban landscape and interior scenes, his works feature a comic book aesthetic merged with traditional woodblock printmaking techniques. Among the figures populating his busy scenes is Robot Taekwon V, an android from popular 1970s cartoons. He enhances his already textured works by carving patterns of text into their surfaces. The side of a house, for example, may be composed entirely of repeating letters. These, in turn, may be interrupted by yet more letters, this time in the form of the ubiquitous banners and signs that compose part of the urban fabric of all cities.
For Won Kun Jun, color is a fundamental mode of self-expression. His works stem from within, and are based on his perception of and responses to the world. “I represent what I [feel] by using the physical characteristic[s] of color and brushwork,” he has explained. Working slowly and deliberately, and layering on thin coats of paint, he builds up serene, abstract compositions that are full of depth. Some feature hazy circles that seem to float upon monochromatic backgrounds, others have snow-white surfaces, banded at the edges by exquisitely delicate squares of color. Each hue is associated with a feeling, as the artist explains: “Through my work, I intend to express all sorts of feelings through a wide spectrum of colors from black to pink.”
Though each artist’s work is distinct, according to the gallery, they are linked by the Korean concept of saekdong. This philosophy holds that the combination of many colors represents cosmic order and harmony. Visitors to their booth will most likely agree.