Yun-Hee Toh

Mutual Response with Life

I. It seems that the telecommunication today has enabled man to enter into a no- madic life, making themselves free from their long settlement of inhabitancy. The pattern of mobile life, that is to say. a new pattern of nomadized life. This transition of life reveals us a new settlement of life which is quite different from the pattem of Set- tIed life of the past days. The settlement of within a secured state of settled life of the past days. The settlement of within a secured state of the highest rate of mobility and fluidity of population; from this pattem of life the concept of time will become changed. If man has lived with modem histohcal view together with developmental and Progres- sive view of time or lived with fantasized view of time of metaphysics longing for tran- scendence of life, now, he is concentrating his attention on a oattem of flow of time, which is not' progressive nor conservative, In the modem age, the huge volumic and super speedy time, which deteriorates the rhythm of life and ecological direct emotion, has been a dominant force, that is to say, if the time has prevailed the modem times. the aspiration for genuine recovery of time and a strong desire for exploration of a new view of time for life have come to fore(Ref. Millan Kundella's 'Tardiness' and Kim Ji-Ha's 'Life and Self-Governing'). That is to say, it is the phenomena that, getting out from the man-centered belling, and breaking the frame of what we call man, and to keep it on dispersed and expanded toward the forward direction as a view of time; and in the same time, it indicates the concept of renewed time which accompanies a new dimen- sion of width, depth, and distance. Now, in this situation, the point is not the limit of direct emotion, but it is the phenomena in which the present and past revives together. There is the time of complexity between the span between oast and present of the all, including the both. organism and nonorganism. The fact that there is phenomenon of generation of flow of time, getting out form the unique and unifonnspeed of time, and this has become a most attracting topics among the circles of human science and phi- losophy in these days. Along this phenomena, there has rised a new recognition of about man and nature, and it seems the reason for many artists have paid their atten tion on this topic of humanity and life is caused partially by the influence of this fact.

II. The serial transition of artworks of Toh Yun-Hee covering from 1990 to these days have revealed a consistent flow of artwork. The object she desire to represent with her moderate and refined language of abstractness is of 'things in the past', that is to say, the objects of stemity, old, and thus vaugue and dimmable, but has the impact of delicate shades of meaning, and from these, we may find the echange of some thoughts secretely, and has the physical attractions, in addition to the above, her works thickly implies the scent and tints of mysticism, probably, because of her subjects matters are of or related to life, universe, time, and traces of history of man, we may feel from her works a kind of myscitistic touch. In the same time. her canvas maintain a self-satisfac- tion with delicate installation apart from the both extremities of painting and object. With her concentrated spirit and instant intuition, she grasps acutely the breathing flow of emotion for her canvas. which always show the state of water, such as wet and f1ow- ing canvas as these objects of her works are the traces of life and emotional essence. In this connection, her canvases of works are imilar to a container contained with full of the excitement of living existence and emotional aspects plus the every instant figures of the flesh. Life is such as a thing so affluent, wet. viscostic and liquidity. This the es- sence of life. Probably, we mankind are the existence that makes a persistent effort to represent the object for himself of the perceivable excitement and fantasy, and one who can ex- pose these aspects of man are the artists, The very efforts in reaching our excitement make an artist to be genuine artist. The very excitement, sensitivity, and imaginative gift are mostly derived form the source of antique. She persistently mains the childhood in- fluence in affection to old furniture, and the white porcelain products of past royal dy- nasty of Yi, and her such a sensitivity and artistic bent has enabled her representing old and eternal objects, something sad and remote time, taste of historical affairs, and aes- thetic emotion. Thus an individual has so far succeeded in the art by one's delicate and keen fondness of the objects concerned. And. after then, her interest in her subject matter was transited to fossil and at last, recently, the mitf has come so far at the single cell. In fact, in a work, we may call them all together, 'nature/life'. The old things, the immortal objects-like the scent of body and tints, the unique possessions of theirs so much as the accmulated time and experience. The artist who has nurtured and Con- stantly refined her discerning eye for the particular scent of body and tints coming out from the old things and antique has been materializing and expanding her own scent of body and excitement through physical objects being rather materialized into fossil and cells, transcending her own sensitive dimension later then. And. through these objects. she has represented the integrated excitement which is the feeling of her own exis- tence that is to say that will enable her to confirm her own entity, the most realistic sensibilities, the eternal humanity/infiniteness. The very excitement and fantasy have been imaginized artistically. The artist's cultural creativity is the product of wisdom of life and the result of positive imagination rather than a plain information, and Conse- quently it is based on the deep spiritual ground in her life, and also it is caused by the profound mutual reponse with nature.

III. "The source of concept of time is a finding of the invaviableness, purity, and genu- ineness, and thus this fact will be reflected to us a signification of eternity, It is constantly concentrated toward the eternity, and is existing infinitely within the time. The talent which is.possessed by anyone, much or less, will be tried in confirming through the artworks with time and space. The porcelain pot. the tints of faded impres- sion of old tree, the smellina old book being wom out, and the life with the enduhng existence of the single cell, and the moveless fossil existing toward the eternal time... thes are flowing in the eternal time. By the existence of these objects, the inferrable ob- jects of the time of past and future, water, earth, woods, swamp, and the earth layers... the eundurance and expectation for the mature of time, and in the finite time, 1 do look into the infinite time."(from the note of the artist) The colors of porcelain, old tree, fossil, and sngle cell, etc. which are seen to be beau- tiful objects in imagination are in fact the objects of the artist's taste, and they all are from the source of nature. We may find the image of nature is broadly and deeply breathing over the entire canvas of her works. The paintings which enable us expehence in nature, and by the influence of thought to feel nature gives an expanded feeling of the coagulation of life on the compressed surface of the plane canvas. In this connec- tion, we feel as we look into the sections of the earth layer being excavated or watching the state of movement of the single cells through a microscope. This is a particular ex- perience of very unreality being suggested by her canvas. The objects on the cavas seemed to be directly connected with the presentation of visualized scene of the whole creation of 'concealed order' which is visible and in the same time it is invisible life it- self. Her canvas which reveals the state of activity of microscopic and invisible disrup- tion of cell is looked as if it were not a painting but is giving a feeling of massive lump of pigment flowing down on the canvas of itself. This action may be illustrated as a mystic organism unexplainable and is represented by a measure of coping with by painting, however, it is chiefly due to her drawing sense and devices fitted with to cre- ate the peculiar amenity over the entire canvas. The existing beings in the objects such as tree, petal of flower, earth, or swamp, inside of the ice, the sky, night and the earth layers, and objects in the earth, life, and the objects which once had their own lives are manifested on her dark and viscostic canvas, and there are also fossils or cells being buried or afloat. The dead stuff of fossil may revive itself life by burying themselves under the clay, sand. and earth. These fossils being buried in the earth for the past mil- lions of years will keep on the dead image of organism, and is the integrated symbol of biology, chemistry, and physics regarding its porcess of transformation, and is the com- bined susbtance of material and time. Through these fossil, we may imagine the process of geological transformation, the ohgin of life, and may infer the total time of the earth since its birth with interest and mystic feeling. This is extended toward our interest in organism and to have an awful excitement and eventually let us think of about man- kind. All kinds of material and substance have been presented, and through the sensible composition of canvas she is desirable to awaken the viewers for about a life, by direct- ly and openly reflect her thoughts and sensitivity, and plane canvas is positioned on the delicate location in her attempt to combine the image, the concrete medium, on the canvas. In the same time, as a conclusion, her paintings give us the infite thought of the contemporary arts/Painting wo dosely related with nature in a certain relation. It gives us the clue to think of, and accept the relations between man and nature.

Park Young-Taek/Senior Curator of Keumho Gallery, 1996