The Symbol of Self - Will Expressed by Dotted Lines
by Shin Hang-Seop, Art Critic
In Hyun-Jae Chang’s recent artworks, she challenges herself to pair traditional painting with contemporary art. It reflects her efforts to question contemporary aesthetic sense, while maintaining the beauty of traditional methods. The beauty of tradition might be considered as the aesthetic value of the past. However, it should be reinterpreted into a contemporary aesthetic sense. In her case, she answers questions about the contemporary aesthetic sense confronting traditional convention, by breaking through the existing notion of art. Her recent artwork shows the application of landscape painting to contemporary aestheticism. The product is a hybrid of traditional and contemporary spirit, which develops without ignoring or overlooking tradition.
Dots are stamped and connected to form lines on the image of traditional Indian ink painting. In this way, the Indian ink landscape recedes in the background and the dotted lines capture the sight. In spite of the unfamiliar expression, it can be understood and become natural in an era where the boundaries of genre are blurred and generalized by way of hybridization.
Differing from a strict method that emphasizes structure, it reflects the static image focused upon in previous works. The static atmosphere dominates the landscape and is finished with soft, gentle and light coloring. Dotted lines made by a few materials are mixed with white acrylic on top of it. Expressing the outline of a mountain or the wrinkle of rock, the white dotted line maintains the regular space and size of the forms. The connected dotted lines cover the whole landscape. The landscape of traditional Indian ink in light coloring is overlapped with another landscape of connected dotted lines. It can be called a ‘skeletal landscape’ from a visual point of view and the white dotted lines remind one of bones.
In short, it can be possible to achieve a new landscape in a dual structure by overlapping two kinds of landscape forms. Although it is hard to understand in the view of a traditional Indian ink landscape, it is appealing as a category of contemporary painting. It is significant to evoke the idea of breaking a stereotype and opens up a new dimension of landscape painting – moving past the conventions of Indian ink landscapes.
At first glance, the shape of a dotted line connected by successive white spots in a regular size reminds one of LED emitters. LED lights that are the sizes of millet are familiar to contemporary society, which is generally used to illuminators and displays for electric signs. She may have been unconsciously influenced by the image of LED screens, when conceptualizing the outline or frame in a new concept with dotted lines.
Painting is based on experience and a way of seeing, feeling and learning. If the dotted line is a substitute for LED lights, it forms a new landscape of contemporary ideals. Her new interpretation of landscape meets with the contemporary spirit. It creates the landscape painting in dotted lines that result from the free spirit of creativity and moves away from traditional landscape painting. At the same time, it calls forth traditional landscape painting which is locked in its convention, rather than destroys its tradition. Her new landscape painting can satisfy contemporary desires of art. The dotted line is an expression of the artist’s self-will. The deeply hidden meaning of the visual image or structure in the dotted lines can be revealed in the picture. Even though the form of dotted line is general, it describes the form of the image, which can be the metaphor of a landscape. It can evoke the spiritual value in the skeleton landscape dotted with pure white spots, which express an inner value beyond the simple dimensions of description. It can be justified as a landscape of contemporary ideals, which reveal forms of a landscape connected with dotted lines in the picture.
The artist, Hyun-Jae Chang tries to appeal her own contemporary sensitivity by introducing the contemporary method on a traditional Indian ink landscape painting. There is the expression of her self-will longing to reinterpret the world of Indian ink landscapes in her own style. Therefore, a new landscape painting is opened to the contemporary spirit.