South Korean artist Jung Kwang Sik is internationally recognized for his masterful fusion of painting and sculpture. Utilizing beds of carved and scratched granite, which he then paints, his works suggest sweeping landscapes viewed from an aerial perspective. These poetic works have an uneven surface; they are sculpture in relief. His grinding work has a limitation in direction and usually achieves patterns of hexagons. The addition of paint to the crowns of these hexagons lends an architectural element to the piece, emblematic of cities, villages and roads.
Jung’s scenery does not represent a specific geographical location or any one culture. The images arise from within his mind and become materialized in trails of crustal movements, swelling and contracting of the earth and the etched beauty of erosion. The visual field is epic and dynamic. There is at once a visual tension and an induced tranquility brought on by the undulations of seeming waves of density and dispersion and high-low pitch. Jung has expressed the desire to capture the ebb and flow, the eternal and the universal rhythm of the relationship between man and our world.
Scenery Sculpture, Scenery of Mind Expressed by Sculpture
Taeman Choi, 2010
There exists a peacefully flowing river across a frame, a wide-spread field, and a mountain winding in and out powerfully in Jung Kwang sik’s work. When you come close to the work you can notice an artificial city with dense buildings. That reminds you of landscape paintings looked down from the sky with a bird’s-eye view. Hanging up steel birds in the exhibition hall is in the same context. His works are not drawings but sculpture of stone plate but it contains painting’s character. The texture made by using grinder reminds us of the ground. Using grinder he materialized trails of crustal movement, rising, and erosion magnificently on the stone plates. They look like earth or waving surface of water.
His works contain the scenery and that’s why his works remind you of natural scenery when you look at them. If the stone plates were not colored, they could be thought of as scenery in the beginning of world. The stone plates have scratches with similar thickness so that they are associated with material-rich abstract paintings. Actually his work developed from abstract scratches to scenery. In an abstract works which are cubes with uneven fringes, texture overwhelms the cubes. His search for abstract works changed to the sculpture with scenery and it means he entered the world of picture-like sculpture.
His works have uneven surfaces; they are sculpture in relief. With colors put on the scratches they are very close to the paintings. Grinding work has a limitation in directions and it usually makes regular hexahedrons. Jung’s works represent architecture putting colors on the tilted small hexahedrons and they appear as cities, villages, and roads. This enhances the nature of paintings in the works. Riverside houses close to each other look like a European city rather than a Korean one. Or look like a construction on the deserted highland. However, his scenery doesn’t represent a particular region. It’s an image which comes from his mind through his own way. It is seen in the distance, far from the subjects. You can notice his attitude to contemplate it. Why does he focus on the scenery sculpture? The clue to the question is in his works similar to a stage. Interestingly, he majored in stage arts in Italy. His experience with the stage arts definitely affects the perspective of looking at the objects and works around him. He returned to sculpture in returning home though.
Zooming in his works, you meet their surfaces. The river across the screen makes our eyes release. Visual tension and relaxation of his works have aesthetic character as density-dispersion; high-low pitch and stress give us aesthetic effects. The river dividing the screen suggests the way of looking and also works as a windpipe in the dense touches of grinder.
In conclusion, his works are all-over reliefs, as they are full of texture and material that attempts to experience the feelings of materials through touch and contains huge scenery using fine cracks.