Layers of Sight, Planes of Painting
Miran Park | Curator, Hakgojae Gallery
Some things require a distant view in order to reveal themselves. The farther away from the object, the levels of vision become deeper. Layers of memory and emotion also subdivide. Hong Seong Joon depicts a moment of a distant perspective. With the attitude of an observer, the artist stares and reconstructs a scene. His recent body of works contains images of the sky and the ocean. Scenes of nature, captured within a square frame, seem peculiar. Though the scene is inevitably set in a remote perspective, it is impossible to witness the subject in its full scope. We often resort to introspection when facing something of an unfathomable scale. The delicately portrayed pieces of the sky evoke certain experiences and memories.
Memory varies in accordance with emotion. Emotions that occur along the moments of forming, recollecting, and preserving memory interact with one another. The artist photographs a scenery and reconstructs it into a painting. With a camera and a paintbrush as his tools, the artist captures the fluctuating imagery once more. The original scene is subject to recurrent revisions. The current state of emotion permeates into every empty gap. Study Layers (2020) series are paintings that embody the process of selecting the subject matter. The scenes are aligned in the order of the memory’s clarity. The tranquil color fields accumulate under the glorious landscape. The thin, yet definite layers are revealed. It is the layers of memory.
The accumulated layers of the atmosphere coated one over another manifest the shade of indigo blue. The volume of the countless streams of water consolidates into a single layer. Hong contemplates over the flatness of paintings. His concerns are about the inherent depth of the picture screen. The series of paintings created with an airbrush presents an exceptionally smooth screen, which gives an impression of a flat plane without a hint of volume. Layers are maximized in the artist’s object series. The series is made with thick layers of paint piled on top of each other, which seems like a model of topographical layers of a painting. Study 6413 (2020), a work rendering the field of vision seen through a binocular, shows a composite of flat and three-dimensional structures. The artist symbolically expresses the layers of sight by merging circular acrylic boards. Orange-shaded light reflects on the wall. The color field moves onto the world, outside the picture screen.
Some incidents are interpreted differently when observed from afar. The scene constantly changes depending on perspective and attitude. Hong takes a step back from the picture screen and objectifies the act of painting itself. This is an attempt to observe a painting’s identity from multiple perspectives. The brush amasses layers onto the surface and establishes an invisible intention. Recalling the profound depth of water from the shape of the ocean enclosed within a frame, the imagery of the present penetrates between the fine tides.
Translated by Seojin Yim
 Parrott, W. G. & Spackman, M. P. (2000). “Emotion and memory,” In: M. Lewis & J. Haviland-Jones (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (2nd ed., pp. 476-490). New York: Guilford.