Technical Process used in and screen built in Ki-sung Lee's painting


Ko, Choong-Hwan(fine arts critic)

Ki-sung Lee started to focus on technical processes rather than pictorial aspects earlier in his career. That is, he adopted a technique named "marbling", which is restricted in the aspect of author's subjectivity even though technical peculiarity and autonomy are outstanding within it. "Marbling", which makes use of the surface effect of marble, is to enhance the effectiveness by using a characteristic of the repellent action of water and oil. Except for its principle and compressing process of a compressor in dealing with a screen visualizing effects of overlapped pleats appeared in minute spots, it reminds us of the image of a monotonic lithograph. Depending on the angle of appreciation, we may come across some image like complexity of "time" because of the surface quality which gives the look of a river drift over along time period of time.

At a glance, we cannot find any identical images on a screen built like accumulating bricks one after another, which seems like arraying identical screens again and again. All works have various images created by fortuity, incoherency and variability of marbling technique. In marbling, fortuity is not accidental, but planned. Even though it is not the only feature, it is a major feature which magnifies the author's intent. In the method of focusing on a tangent point of paper(screen) and pigment granules(spots), artists adjust angles and timing by putting paper into a cistern dissolving color pigment. In addition, they may achieve more various screen effectiveness of expressions by using various kinds of paper in quality. Also they may pursue unintentional situations by accidentalness, or by using an external feature against intentional image(brushing) appeared in a tangent point of "brushing" and "marbling."

Various images, which are built by a variety of images through superficially identical processes, symbolize 'difference' as a condition of the life. As we cannot be what we were before, nothing is same in life even though many things superficially look identical. Physical conditions of the world, psychological experiences and furthermore aesthetical values artistically embodying psychological experiences, are all the same in the phenomenal aspect. Authors, therefore, embody the differences as a condition of life in a screen coexisting 'similarity' and 'difference.'

By doing this process, authors became more passive and objective artists rather than active and conscious creators. So, artists focus on phenomenal aspects to create quasi-painting in the way of adopting some special techniques. In other words, different from the normal creating processes which make artists get involved with the overall creating process, "process art" is realized to reflect phenomenal processes of techniques.

"Process art" tries to find the possibility of painting in the given condition, and doesn't concern itself with the authors. It is involved with a gradual process regressing from the pure consciousness by according the author's intent like passivity with a given condition, or the fortuity, which doesn't interfere intentionally with their paintings. It presupposes that the painting process is considered with the pure consciousness by forgetting the authors themselves. This kind of pursuit is related to a theory, Jae-Do Ron(載道論) in the aspect of finding the possibility of arts throughout the gradual process of getting out of conscious ego. In addition, this is similar to some tendency of the modernistic point of view towards painting in the aspect of focusing on the surface expression instead of pursuing the author's identity.

Gradually lightening or darkening the screen, which is composed of a thousand small pieces of screens, symbolizes the repeated process getting out of the "consciousness." That is to say, various conscious pieces of screens accompanied from the beginning of work may be interpreted as a planned and calculated repetitive process. Finally, there is not any initial agent, but a phenomenal process without any subjectivity. We will get some kind of oriental images or aesthetic aroma out of this process.

Furthermore, most processes except for minimal conscious handling are unconscious in adjusting the overall structure throughout the processes to repeatedly put paper into a cistern dissolving color pigment. This unconscious process is similar to pure consciousness. We may understand this process as an experience by coming across some given conditions and possibilities, rather than a creative product from nothing. Therefore, psychological chances to meet fortuity may be regarded as a pure unconsciousness.

In addition to the fortuitous effect accompanied with the technical process, we may realize the concern of music and sound as a special characteristic in the author's work. As a work orchestrating various musical instruments on a musical sheet, this technique is based on "synaesthesia" transferring auditory images into visual ones. In this work, making minimal expression on a silhouette, authors may transfer the limited figure onto a silk screen. After that, the space and the figure may be filled with same marbling technique that shows some partial introduction to the lithographic method. This gives us some vertical images which resemble musical sheets or a lengthened figure on a hanging scroll. This abstract musical concern is connected with the "world's semiotic transformation" which governs the authors' work before the technical process. If dazzling coloring effects processed by marbling technique meet abstract musical codes, the screen may be a given dynamic sounding effect.

Furthermore, the aspect of general painting habits and processes reverse the image. Unlike the general method of coinciding pigment and brushing, brushed screen space like negative screen is dealt with blank space and unbrushed screen space is filled with pigment. Fulfilling this process suggests dubiety on the formalized painting process and habitude and a variety of other painting methods.

An author's work involving a technical process, fortuity, and reversed screen is visualized in the way of mechanically assimilated and built screening. Authors try to find painting possibility through some given conditions, or fortuity in the way of making them accorded in the technical process instead of occupying the whole screen. That is, authors stick on a phenomenal method (a mental basis). In this way, authors accomplish paintings mostly created by fortuity and this method may be called a naturally approached painting technique because it is based on the natural phenomenon happening in oil and water.