Desire of Painting by Myung Su Ham (2013.11.20 - 12.20)

Sep 11, 2014 3:33AM

"I persistently investigate and paint the object in order to express my specific experiences and realistic feelings around it. It is not just a feeling around it. It is not about transmitting or communicating the meaning of the object's material. When I paint, I want to penetrate that superficial senses and convert existing contexts or codes."

"I do not try to visualize any specific thinking but do believe in actions that trigger contemplation. But during the progress of painting, you can achieve perfect freedom when you do not even think about such consideration."

- Artist's Note -

An Artist's Desire for Acts of Painting

Jaehyun Kang, Curator at Savina Musuem of Contemporary Art

Myung-Su Ham got on the flight to New York in December 2012. While thinking about his trip, the image of Water Benjamin who left to Moscow in December 1926 came across my mind. His Moscow Diary was written during his two-month stay in Moscow. 

Myung Su Ham instantly depicted the senses of the city where the fire of the revolution was still alive through the eyes of a stranger.

Just like undivided paragraph in Benjamin's diary, Ham filled his canvases with spectacles of the desire in the night-less city through his tenacious brushstrokes.

The  artist's three major brush techniques are as following: creating crumbling feel reminding one of knitting yarns or a crump of glass; hazy objects with quivering and falling expressions; and glossy brush strokes resembling the texture of metal by using big brushes. 

Ham's painting is also the artist's battle against time. In order to create the following-like feel, he put thick layers of paints first and applies more layers with fine brushes before the first layer completely dries out. The paints overlapped in several layers naturally run and therefore the objects change thier original forms and this progression creates the unique sense of rhythm and speed as it develops.

Ham's obsession, compulsion and desire allow his hand to work without rest. For Ham, the painting perhaps presents his desire for play, lust, and pleasure came from the absence of unconsciousness. The human desire for consumption and artist's desire to paint altogether ooze through his paintings. Thus this solo exhibition by Myung-su Ham is landscapes of desire and remnants of pleasure-seeking in painting with the results of the artist's intense preoccupation with painting from the past twenty years to today.