Oh Se-Yeol has a solo show which consists only of his portrait paintings. This exhibition encompasses Oh’s major works from every period of his career from the early 1970s to recent years. It can be considered as a sort of ‘portraiture retrospective’ of Oh. His works revolve, besides human figures, around different categories of subjects: first, natural subjects such as flowers, grasses, trees, fruits and vegetables; second, modern conveniences such as cars, ships, bicycles and electric fans or everyday products or accessories such as hats, neckties, glasses, buttons, toys and umbrellas; third, abstract forms such as Arabic numerals, circles, rectangles and spirals.
These diverse motifs are randomly arranged on the pictorial surfaces as if scribbled. Additionally, a subtle dance of matière is seen in the layers of pigment that the artist constructed carefully on the support. The original sizes of objects are dismissed and unsurprisingly no use of perspective is detected. A certain ‘innocent gaze’ is dominating the picture planes. Consequently, all the natural, manmade and abstract subjects achieve equally independent statuses. In his picture planes, each and every motif is the protagonist, and these protagonists weave simultaneously a chain of stories. At the core of Oh’s painting is present a journey to this very storage of stories or ‘indulgence in memory’.
Excerpt from “The Innocent Eye”
Boggi Kim l President, Art In Culture & Professor, Kyonggi University