In Paintings of Her Body, Seung Ah Paik Objectifies Herself, Intentionally
In Seung Ah Paik’s painting, the human body is broken down into a set of components, observed like a still life or landscape. She approaches the body from unusual—and unusually intimate—angles, including views of the body typically only seen by oneself, incorporating multiple perspectives until the familiar forms become nearly unrecognizable. To create the illusion of flesh, she uses washes of watered-down paint inspired by brush-painting techniques of the Korean Joseon Dynasty, while allowing charcoal underdrawings in the work to remain visible. In these frank depictions of the human form, Paik does not shy away from showing the body’s imperfections or addressing our relationship to our own bodies—including grappling with the impossibility of ever seeing one’s own face directly.
South Korean, b. 1979