Studio Work progresses

Political awareness — realisation of limits — consider a solution

I’ve long been thinking about a way to illustrate ugly truths and disturbing facts in the society and the action itself is considered to be ‘Political’. At the beginning of whole new realisation of ‘political matters’, I was only excited and influenced by fascinating political ideologies and issues revealing the hidden truth, or corruptions and tried to respond to them through Art. However, after a while learning ‘Political Art’ more in dept, I’ve realised that there is a fundamental gap, and distance between political issues in art and audiences(in comfortable living environment).

This became a crucial concern that I struggle to answer.

The majority of people would always feel distant from the political art works dealing with serious matters as long as a matter is someone else’s, as long as they are not a target to be blamed. This is natural phenomenon. People always care of their own business, surviving in the modern society may not allow the spare time or efforts to worry of political problems that do not directly effect, or harm their life.

However, I believe it would be my task to let them at least be aware of the matter. I may not be in the position of telling them what’s right thing to to in their life and I am not willing encourage them to support the same view as me. I think my role is more to do with ‘rising an issue’ and ‘forcing them to be aware’

Also thought, if the visual attraction (which seems to attract ordinary viewers most effectively and easily) can be a breakthrough to narrow down such gap between someone else’s tragedy and privileged viewers.

Ugly truths, disturbing issues are often concealed, or filtered by media and in order to do that, media uses a tool ‘propaganda’. With the aim of distracting people’s attention to really important issues, and implanting ideas satisfying few people’s demand and profit, propaganda is thriving everywhere.

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These are images of national flower of South Korea attached over the poor houses in slum area in Seoul, capital city of Korea.

The vivid coloured flower is repeated and strongly insisted.

Because of the distractions, the original subject of pictures are fade away, so that the original subject of the picture is distorted .

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Research for painting practice

1

Preparation for a tutorial on 4th, Nov with Gill.

1. Making Sketchbook to show processes, research in my interest.

2. Research several artists recommended by Gill.

* Leon Golub is one of the great masters of political realism. His art has complex stylistic roots, ranging from the heroic imagery of the fighting figures on the ancient temple at Pergamum to the Chicago Ex-pressionism of the so-called ‘Monster Roster’ to which he once belonged. His work is informed by attention to primitive art, the outsider art of the insane, and Picasso’s art, especially its abstract, stylised primitivism. 

Golub’s pictures have a Pompeian aura, as though they were found on the walls of a dead civilisation, the record of its ‘Secret Mysteries’ Loosely hanging from the wall, like detached, portable frescoes, they are, for all their rough- hewn look, fragile archaeological documents and fragments of a seemingly forbidden world. Glob means to offer us a report from the frontlines of the undeclared wars of the West – a report from the trenches or more literally, the torture chambers in which power shows its dirty hands, its brutality. But simply to reduce his art to protest – a Zolaesque ”J’ accuse” = against such abuse of power is to miss its subtlety, its full complexity. 

 Golub’s painting is a punishing art, both in its psychodrama and political consciousness. It is punishing in its corrosive primitivism, which at once recapitulates and freshly advances modernist experiments in primitivising surface – experiments from Edward Munch and James Ensor to Jean Dubuffet and Jackson Pollock – and renders archaic figures in modern dress, often battledress. He has himself acknowledged the accentuated ‘ugliness’ of his figures and surfaces, and observed, realistic ugliness which bespeaks the age and which, art historically, brings his work full circle back to the avant-garde intentionality of Gustave Courbet, whose work was also described as a ‘cult of ugliness’. Like Courbet’s radical realism, Golub’s brutal realism, as he calls it, makes demands on us – human as well as artistic demands – that few arts dare to make today. For we do not want art to cause us stress – there is enough of that in reality, which is always ‘ugly’ or ‘harsh’, as Sigmund Freud said. 

In their ugliness, Golub’s pictures refuse to be palliative, like so much art: this is perhaps the essence of their realism. They not only overwhelm us physically, but arouse anxiety through their eye – witness approach – through their nightmarish power to persuade us that we are involuntarily present at horrific scenes we dare not allow ourselves to consciously confront, not only because they are usually left socially unacknowledged but because they represent out own will to power. We are terrified of identifying with the killer rather than the victims. Neither role is desirable. Golub puts us in the double bind of identifying us with both; we betray ourselves psychologically any way we look at his pictures. Globe’s pictures take us into a forbidden world of feeling as well as action. They express release our repressed wish for aggression and power.