Volcano Duck and Three Moo Boxes

Volcano Duck and Three Moo Boxes

, Jin Han Lee, 2012, 200 X 180cm, oil and spray paint on linen

My desire to enact a reappraisal of ekphrastic hope and fear is motivated by the differences I have identified between Korean and Western understandings of time in relation to abstract painting, and of how the artist deploys his ‘life experiences’ as coordinates of productive practice.

My desire to enact a reappraisal of ekphrastic hope and fear is motivated by the differences I have identified between Korean and Western understandings of time in relation to abstract painting, and of how the artist deploys his ‘life experiences’ as coordinates of productive practice.

My research is not rooted in the celebration of cultural diversity, nor of the duality of ekphrastic hope and fear, but the assertion of the ambivalence in concepts of time found when scrunitinising the visualisation of overlaps in cultural, subjective and sensual boundaries. Drawing on this research, the innate propensity of my painting to achieve immortality, (which has both ekphrastic hope and fear to become ‘the historical succession of forms’) is pivotal to my research. When the ambivalence of the figurative scenery meets the abstract material itself, an attestation of immortality arises from the clash between the historical inherence of landscape (found in various forms of art such as traditional landscape painting), and the immediate accomplishment of abstraction via life experiences. During my research I will also engage with many perceivably and historically related resources such as contemporary paintings, Proust, Homer, Von Trier, Benjamin Britten’s semi-opera, artist statements, as well as Korean pop music as a form of ekphrastic literature.[1]

My dispute between the realisation of the figurative and the acquisition of the abstract will stem from W.J.T. Mitchell’s inference about painting’s acquaintance of time, whereby ekphrastic hope and fear are not interpreted as a hierarchy but take on different guises just as eyeballs generate meeting points where experience encounters the thought. I see this meeting point as a site that is itself a coherent whole, and where every clashing dichotomy may come true.


[1] ‘Like an airplane designer examining a bird’s wing, the artist studies life to overcome its limit’ (Clune, 2013, p.20)