Art critic

It is about waiting for the pre-existent but undiscovered original form, not a deja-vu. An excitement of looking for a treasure a teacher hid for you to look for during a field trip you know exists but unaware of what or where it is is drawn here. He stands in front of a canvas because he does not have to reach it but knows it already exists. Though he looks a lot like others living as an artist, it seems like Park Chohyeon’s duty is to get over the contradictory state of having to find a form untainted by human hands as a human. It is not a common idea of liking or enjoying something- it is a state of understanding the something through the existence of the something. He chases after Gogh’s traces and Shin Yoonbok and Manet’s time to create something of his own. He sometimes destroys the dignity of a masterpiece that grazes an era or records Duchamp’s porcelain urinal on a piece of paper. He approaches not a thesis of what it is but a rather unrelated zone of sensibility and sensation. Let us look at the <Traces_Gogh’s Shoes>. Gogh might have wanted to put in the old, sturdy and long time spent on labour in a shoe. His shoe is beheld. Gogh’s vision looking at the shoes someone wore is found, not the shoes Gogh drew. It is a trace of sensibility. It does not need to be a shoe, and it does not need to be an experience of a shoe. He colours the old and worn shoe with fresh paint. The <Traces_Fountain> adopts a porcelain urinal of a German artist Marcell Duchamp. it is unlike Duchamp’s idea of rebellion against a common usage of an object where somebody’s signature can brand a mass-produced ready-made goods unique and special. Park Chohyeon finds a double meaning of a flow of existence and non-existence, congested and uncongested. It’s an artistic approach to a double meaning of how it is impossible for only one side of things to exist. Gogh’s vision of sensibility and Duchamp’s way of social emotions connect to the <Traces_The Last Supper>. It is not easy to see what this could be without acknowledging the title. The cracked and scraped traces somewhat resemble the fissures on a faded brick wall. It is sculpted to make it easy for those who have seen Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper to approach the piece. It is like a space one sees for the first time but strangely feels familiar with. This is where Park Chohyeon’s unique way of thinking lies. He does not ponder on how to draw something or discuss the methods of drawing. He does not even consider being curious of what something means in a nutshell or looking for the true nature of things. Just like how ideas and feelings come differently from different artists, everything that exists in the world comes in different shapes and colours every single moment. It is an automated process of being drawn, not drawing. He does not draw with a free mind but constantly creates something to be free. Park Chohyeon’s paintings houses a unique approach to memories and forms seen in the past in its roots. Which is why sceneries and people seldom appear in his paintings. He does not draw mountains or trees not because he simply does not draw them but because he knows they clearly exist and do not need a representation. He looks at the world through an idea and senses the flow of time with an artist’s sense of touch. He looks not at the border between the past and the present but everything that reaches from the past to the present. He notices the wind because a leaf blows, because a branch shakes and because his fuzz feels itchy. No matter the situation, he feels as if something does not exist when it is not out in the open because he is a human. He sometimes turns a spiritual world we meet and the end of long hardship and suffering into a tangled form like in the <The Pilgrim’s Progress>. He does not draw time because he sees the massive and long period as one within the present. He does not even require a special space as everything is revealed simultaneously. It is an imaginative area where something already exists even without the knowledge of its existence. This is made possible not just because he is an artist, but also because he himself has endorsed his source of life within the greatness of time and space. He does not simply paint but aims to re-enact how it was drawn, following a talent-given guideline that started from who knows where.

- Written by Park Jeongsu (JEONGSU ART CENTER Director)