Gallery Baton is delighted to announce Bin Woo Hyuk (b. 1981)’s solo exhibition
Luftwald, the exhibition title, does not refer to a certain place’s name or an existing proper noun. It is a compound word of German airline, ‘Lufthansa’ and a massive forested area located in the south-west Germany, called ‘Grunewald’. Accordingly, though it is radically difficult to define its precise meaning, ‘Luftwald’ ultimately indicates ‘Sky Forest’. When you look at scenery where a lake is situated by a forest, the image of the sky reflected onto the surface of the water shows a striking contrast to the forest. Eventually, it creates a scene as though the forest was a particular colony floating in the air; ‘Luftwald’ signifies this landscape.
△ Zeltenplatz 59, 2017, pencil and oil on paper, 178 × 252 cm
Bin has depicted forests and parks where he often visited. In this show, he unveils paintings containing an implication of the destiny of an artist who has to make a journey to find a forest. Over a long time, Bin has constantly sought for the forest, also taken a stroll and practiced meditation there. When he conveys these experiences into his canvas, Bin concentrates on the scenery per se by removing its narrative aspects, rather than addressing any criticism or imparting meanings to this place. His approach is focusing on the object and the behaviour itself instead of adopting philosophical references and provoking unnecessary arguments, satires or criticism. He underlines a repetition of a process of looking for the forest and describing this procedure. In this regard, the forest is an intimate spatial existence where he is able to control his sorrowful or gloomy emotions. However, in this exhibition, he left the forest. More precisely, he has not painted the figuration of the forest for several years. Although he has stayed away from the motif of the forest which signified his artistic identity, the new paintings still possess a faint ambience and particular viewpoints or manners towards the subjects in his previous works.
In this exhibition, Bin is in the middle of a journey. As though he looked down upon Luftwald, the place where is existent and non-existent at the same time, he gazes at an airstrip seen between wings of an aircraft just before it takes off, and clouds appeared beyond the airplane window whilst traveling. It is a familiar landscape to viewers who have an experience of leaving, yet it becomes an unusual imagery from Bin’s perspective. He displays new paintings in a wide range of media and sizes which remind of his past works, including huge-scale pieces. Thus, he encourages the audience to spontaneously participate in his artistic trace. Moreover, he provides time for the spectators to witness the artist’s journey of leaving the accustomed scenery behind and the process to an arrival.
Bin Woo Hyuk graduated from Korea National University of Arts and Seoul University, and he presents his practice in numerous worldwide exhibitions in USA, Japan, Taiwan and Korea including solo shows at Gallery Baton, OCI Museum and GlogauAIR, Berlin. He has recognized by winning multiple prominent awards such as Mercedes-Benz Korea Artists, Public Art New Hero and The Bank of Korea Emerging Artists. His works are included in collections of several internal and external art establishments—National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, MICA (Maryland, US), OCI Museum and Samyang Holdings Cooperation. ■