The Opportunities of Coincidence, and The Being 'Object' to Implode inertia


Kho Chung-Hwan(art critic)


Lee Gi-Seong has excavated works using the marbling technique for a long time. Marbling has its origin in marble. Its aim comes from the notion that its surface effects resemble the patterns of marble. It uses the backlash effect of water and oil and dips up the floating oily colors onto paper. The patterns are variable and incidental.

As there aren't fixed patterns, we can't see what patterns we will have. When we gather together all the patterns on paper, we can see one pattern which integrates the whole one. The organic relation of the whole and parts forms a phenomenon of patterns. As you know, patterns are a formal and esthetic device to give unity to a phenomenon that appears indiscreet or seems to be thoughtless. However, in spite of this phenomenon, there isn't only one pattern which is the same as others. It is because all patterns are made by accident. Although they appear similar at a glance, they involve differences of the compound of patterns. They resemble repeating daily lives. Here the artist keeps a passive status and uses minimum intervention, and he just arranges conditions to make a phenonenon possible. As a result, the patterns that are finally made are ultimately by accident. After this, coincidence becomes a meaningful and important tool to lead his work.

The artist dips up the oily colors floating on the surface of water. In order to get images, he dips up paintings instead of painting pictures. Like this, the process of dipping up images resembles that of making woodblock prints. This point presents the familiar relationship to printing. Still more, while he borrows printing skills, he considers the printings which come from the process as an 'object'. That is, if we brush a copperplate with paint, coating films are formed on the plate. And then when the plate erodes, the outsides of the coating films erode around. The contrast between the parts which are eroded and the parts which aren't eroded is made. on the parts which are eroded, we can see green and the unique rust of the copperplate. Although corrosion itself is a result of chemical work, the rust is forms in time. The artist expresses time which is invisible and untangible in the works with principle or phenomenon of eroding copperplate prints. He is invoking time onto a visible layer. It hints the violence(sometimes precocity or trace) of time about being.

The artist paints colorful pictures which look like flowers which externally come out splendidly and remind us of free drawing. A series of paintings applying a kind of dripping technique reflect the nature or interest of natural phenomenon. At the same time, they seem to show thoughtless emission and uncontrolled expression of power of life. The artist calls his pictures colorful stories and they look like a metaphor. Our life is constantly changing like a kaleidoscope. Isn't what is extremely changeable just a sense or surface phenomenon of life? Then where is real life or the substance? All is vanity and vanity is all. When we say that all is vanity and vanity is all, that is just a phenonenon invoked from our mind. It touches our mind more meaningfully due to its metaphor. The subject of colorful stories is a colorful sense phenomenon and it orders us to see the other side of the phenomenon without being blind because of the surface phenomenon. It is a kind of a paradox.

Like this, the artist has excavated the works using marbling technique for a long time and deepened and transformed them. Marbling technique expresses interests about the phenomenon of substance(that is, the expressing effects made through the contrast between water and oil) and sometimes means life's metaphor because of colors and sense appeal.

However, some time ago, he stopped marbling work and moved to the work of iron powder. He scatters iron powder on the iron-like boards covered with iron powder. If he moves magnets on the other side, the powder on the border moves along reacting with the magnets. If he moves magnets fast, the iron power also move fast and if he moves slowly, it moves slowly. If he put magnets underneath the backside of the board, the iron powder stands straight. However, when he takes away magnets, it is scattered into its original place. If he has more than 2 magnets, he can make and display set patterns or free patterns. Through the mediation of magnetism, magnets and iron powder interact and meet like a fixed thing.

Until now, It is a matter which all of us have once thought about, experienced and are interested in. However, this artist puts this idea and interest into practice. A few magnets of the board backside make simple patterns, and many magnets form and display complex and delicate patterns. When the patterns that he wants are made, he fixes the surface as it is. And then when he takes away magnets, he can gain patterns he wants because they are already fixed.

Then, are marbling work and iron powder work different? Is there a chance that the two works can coincide each other? If yes, where can we find an opportunity? Without saying a word, if we want to find an opportunity, it will be a coincidence. The artist is least involved in environments and conditions where patters are made. Then a phenonenon of things is operated and made by itself. The contrast of water and oil makes marble patterns and the interaction of magnets and iron powder forms patterns. The aim of coincidence makes a phenonenon of things. Through the phenonenon of things, the clearing properties of matter is the key word of artist's main work(he never makes changes in material quality). Coincidence, a phenonenon of things and properties of matter are close to content esthetics rather than form esthetics. So we can guess that a kind of modernism paradigm is working as a background to direct working. So while the artist is running around to seek out his own form, he suggests a spot of form, that is, a coordinate which he has found in his working process. Although there are some free forms, the suggested coordinate has a set form of geometry. The strict patterns seem to express the inner order to face the inertia of the chaotic world.

And now that he has started the job, the artist has a project to cover all the things in the world with iron powder, and a part of his project has already started. Especially, he scattered iron power onto the surface of the 'object,' that is, discarded things such as musical instruments, cameras and books and makes them rusted. Things that once made people's ears happy, widen their sight to see the world and enriched their minds are laid rusted and scattered widely. They seem to show the end of things, their death and graves. Is it the message of Mementori(Remember death) and vanitas(Life is meaningless) that all beings can't be free from death and violence. Otherwise, is it a vision of an end or a landscape of revelation? It is the death of things that once served human beings, and graves are familiar and strange. Because they breathed with me, they are familiar, but because they display the meaning of being, they are unfamiliar. Through making things unfamiliar, the artist resets things on the layer of existence and meaning. Things that exist in the outside of existence receive 'being' and the things that carried out meaning produce the meaning. Things open up other shapes of being and they urge you to see them differently.

The artist might want to say that if we see things after taking away the view points of inertia through dead people, or killed things on purpose, things will appear differently and a different world will be created. As you know, 'making strange' is one of main strategies of avant-garde and it leads us to see substance through seeing the other side of a matter and reading between the lines. If you break inertia, a strange world and a new vision will be uncovered. With that he change at a modernist for avant-garde. Maybe, both a modernist and avant-garde will be the coordinator of art spirit breathing constantly and vividly in this artist's work.