Yun-Hee Toh


The method of expression in the contemporaty art is considerably varied. There appears so many methods as many as the individuality of each artist. The varieties of artistic works may be quie natural regarding the constant introduction of the method of efficient and smooth communication and popularization of thc method through mass media of today.

What is the comtemporary in the art culture? As the comporary time is an intelligent age. does the art works represents the nature of contemporarv in regard with through the intelligent media? By the method of plane expression, how they could express the nature of contemporary? These problems causes a certain difficulty upon the artists, Because, they are on the standpoint of each artistic activity that they inevitably are required to express the nature of contemporary along with their particular creation of art.

In order to solve these problems especially younper artists are makmg their efforts in their research and experimental works. That is to say, there are many younger artists who, with their vital energy of youth. engage in their formative experimental works. Artist Toh Yun-Hee is not an excption from these artists. Beyond the painting of oil colors simply on the canvas that they used to do, she tried a transforming attempt to her works in order to match wit her own intention, and even she has displdyed her desire to adapt the picture frames to her own structure of painting.

Taking a view over the expression of artistic work of Toh, she has structured her canvas from oil painting to siver screens, natural metalic objects, tatanium, and pig- ments The variety of her works as this was revealed at around right after her completion of the first exhibition toward her second ex- hibition, by getting out from use of the oil painting. attempting an exploration of a fresh changes in her art works. Especially, from her second individual exhibition she started represeting the concept of passage of time by illustration the old objects such as the abstrative and metaphoric furniture. procelain pots. stains of time rings, and protraits of old people. In her 3rd exhibition in America, fot her constant and serial subject matter, she had revealed an apparent selection of the object and figures applied in her painting. At this exhibition, through her wors, 'the image of winter season', she had indicated the 'humanity' by signifying the fossils in her painting for the increasing effect of delivery of the meaning. In this connection the works of Toh Yun-Hee is well defined as 'an exploration of image of time and nature if life through the biological fossils and nucleus.'The object she has consistently exploring in her artistic works is the exploration of 'humanity' That is to say, that she introduces some fixed subject matters indicating the meaning of time into her canbas, and thus she lads the method of expression by the images of the objects such as 'time', 'history' and 'surrounding phenomena'.

The representive objects indicating the meaning of time is the fossils. A fossil is a transformed object being existing ever since the ancient gaeological stratum of time as a remains or the corpse of plants and animals. And by applying these fossils in her art works she casts the questions of significant meaning of the time possessed by the fossils. That is to say, through the contept. accumulation, and pressumability of time with the fossils she finds the traces of flow of time as well as its space. Therefore, the very motive of her adoption of fossils in her works is not merely due to it simplicity of art objects, but to represent the image of time significantly lying in the fossils. And, the reproduction by fission of the frankton or ameba in her works is also indicating the same meaning. By expression of the record of the fission of cells through silk screen, and based on the surface of the printed drawing of the cell fisson, she has inserted the carefully weaved embriodery works with intention of equal treatment of the common behavior of man, sewing, and fission of cells together. This is the constant behavior of the created objects in an attgmpt to realize the perfect comparision of the serial activity of cells and human hehavior consequently by inserting embroidery on the image of ameba cell fission. Another obects for he subject matt in her works is that she revealed the various insets related to ancient age through screening effects including a transformed figure of butterfly.

The application of these objects is suggesting the travel of time with the pressumability and image of humanity. For example, when one finds a fossil in the mountain, one may soon pressume the fossil was original at a seaside in the ancient time. Therefore. the persistent possssion of her is the very explorarion of the time and space.

Through her exploration of the time and space. she applies a mirror in a meaning to look into the time. And, then she used to look into the objects being printed by screen of those sigurs representing the image of time, or she covers the surfac of painting, such as the screen-printed images and the drawings of the ground by transparent synthetic resin liquid, and then casting the imaes to be exposed through her unique tableaux. After all, the image of time revealed in her artistic works is an object of puruing importal figures in the passage of time expressing the plants and insects which maintains a serial life ever since the ancient time in order to materialize the time in which they are. She referred to this point. "I would often portrait the fossils, ameba and insets as well in my canbas as painting objecs, and thus I would explore the importality of time and space. That is to say, that we may find the truth of immortality of the fossils, insets, ameba and frankton in the passage of time of the glaciers, ancient geological stratums, time and space. Therefore. I would exert to express the truth and eternity of time that would never changes." In this quotation of her explanation, we find the object of exploration of Toh Yun-Hee is the invisible time and the tide of time as well as humanity.

Another charactristic feture in her works is the expression of 'nature of life'. By expressing the fossils, ancient plants and nucleus of plants she has revealed her strong attachment to the nature of life, especially she is particuarly interested in the source of life. The fossils and nucleus are representing the most original source of life. Toh has revealed the crude figures of the ossils and plants in order to reveal the life by the screen or pencil dring. In fact the exploration and study in thisnature of life has become more important at the end of 20th Century and its environment of earth and the space as matter of controversy. In this state of the situation, the exploration of forming a farmative figure for the nature of life will have the increased impotance in its meaning. The expression of nature of life being portrayed by Toh Yun-Hee is represented with the image of man as referred in the above, that they are the very expression of fossil which possesed life in the ancient time, and the fission of cells of the plants in her works. She added, "On the ground of my artistic world, there lies a great portion of the digity of life. Especially those objects I have expressed are with the source of life of the living objects." Therefore, we may find the importance of the nature of life in the bottom ofher artistic works. The material or objects she has adopted for her painting are metal sustances, tatanium, pigment, and coloring materials together with application of the transparent synthetic resin and silk screen. The process of her creative work is to draw the objects by pencil orby silkscreen the accurately portrait the images she desire to express, and they are covered by the transparent sunthetic resin liquid which increases the effects of drawing to be reflected a certain mystic image.

On the other hand, for her composition of the canbas, the viewer may fail in finding the above explained articles of her characteristics in painting if one is looking into them carelessly, for they are abstractive in someway through arrayment of the objects. Especially, some obscure looking objects are scattered around the canvas as if they were floating around the space which adds an inceasing difficulties for indentification. However, if one would pay a little more attention, one may soon figures of ancient shellfish and plants in a form of record, and it looks as they are a living creature of the ancient plant nuclei in the process of cell fission.

In her canvas filled with the creative expressions, she placed much more importance on the composition of the canvas rather than on the pursuance of her pupose of drawing. Because, the independent figures of the shellfish and other objects represented in her canvas are rather much more helpful to the total treatment of the canvas compsition by their integrated images than emphasis on each object. And, by her transformed composition of the canvas she emphasized on the formative figures of the sturcture of canvas rather than the illustration of the contents of painting.

As stated in the above of the artistic world of Toh Yun-Hee. we find her works filled with her exclusive method of art work by adoptng the ancient entities of fossils, plants and biological nuclei in a particular form of form of painting. The further suggestion to her, if any, will be to expand the contents of the painting with stronger images. and trengthening the aspect of style along the objects. Because a new changes and a new formative experiment will only be adaptable to the expression of 'contemporary'.

OH SE-GWON, Art Critic