Crack of collected unstableness
Chaewon Yoon (curator)
Microscope is the apparatus to help observation that human eyes can’t catch. What is seen beyond a circular lens is the detailed parts of things passing by easily in the daily life. At the same time, this is the beginning point of unknown world that is unfamiliar and unimaginable. The form and function of microscope is similarly applied in Eunkyung Lee’s work. However her work shows not something existing from the beginning but the message created by her. The work looks damaged yet vivacious, which seems the way to transform simple images to art works.
The subject matter of her work is commercial and fragmentary images in cities. They are rapidly consumed and can crumble away at anytime, yet they may be seen as flawless and perfect symbols. However, in fact, their genuine nature is skin of cities that ephemerally emerge and disappear as water bubbles do. Eunkyung detached parts from a number of those images and put them on canvas as if collecting samples. Circular format of the canvas functions as a lens from microscope and a petri dish. Distracted fragments from consumable media images are re-illuminated through the microscopic view, which is followed by reproducing new images as an organic creature mutates. Eunkyung brought ready-made images onto layers, and in the process she chose an uncommon medium- egg tempera with handmade gesso. In fact, egg tempera and handmade gesso, used from the medieval period, both lack resilence so they easily have cracks from impact and shock from outside. Reversely, in her work, this functional weakness of materials becomes advantage to support her intention brewing fragile quality. Regarding the physical unstableness of these materials, it is strongly connected to the concept of fragility and also contributes to draw effective surface expression. The process, looking as damaging works, is linked to her video work ‘Paintings on the floor’ in 2011 based on performance with multiple participants and is in the same line with the reason of employing unrelated layers with top surface. Considering that collected fragmentary images converged with layers on canvas, it broadens their boundary from mass printed structure to physical structure of the painting. Illusion of images, having virtual effect as if they visually exist even though they don’t in reality, has been anatomically analysed, simulataneously the images’ intrinsic fragility has been emphasized paradoxically. The scratching and stripping process displays constructing and deconstructing illusion. Also it generates room for imagination, widening crack of creating and destruction. If the moment of vanishing is captured and seen, it will unfold new aspects as the other side of creature is shown over the microscope.
It unravels various times belonging to her works by the erasing process which is unlimitedly repetitive on the surface brought from readymade images. In this show, she allows the audience to touch the work, leaving room for multisensory experience. Her guideline of the show may draw the unexpected.