Artist Statement: Kyu Nam Han was born in Inchon, Korea, He obtained his bachelor's degree at Seoul National University, his master's degree at Ohio State University, and, became an American citizen in 1972. He has exhibited in various parts of the United States, including Manhattan as well as in Korea. He has also produced public murals, including one for American Express headquarters at the World Financial Center, the another for the Peace Plaza in Tenafly, N.J. Han interprets Korean Modernism within Western context and vice versa—Western Modernism within Far Eastern cultural context. He incorporates traditional values and methodologies, such as perspective and chiaroscuro of the West, and Chun (passage and grid) from the East. He blends Eastern isometric perspective with traditional Western linear perspective painting to create a fusion of both depth and flatness, and then apply calligraphic principles to recreate new pictorial images.
In his works, Han mixes two cultural genes together. The images of the street include cars, buildings, lights, etc. and the mosaics of fragmented color are masterfully demonstrated on the canvas. Han repeatedly superimposes and substitutes structures and images by overlapped lines of contours. The images, the whole drama of the surface come under the relationship of deconstruction resulted from the effective usage of various grids. At the same time, Eastern conventional calligraphic methodology has been employed as a key element in Han’s painting: 1) Hieroglyphic images correspond with structure and meaning. 2) Signified becomes signifier. 3) Meaning correlates with form resulting in an altered sense of totality, providing both irony and ambivalence. 4) Calligraphic gesture creates action. 5) Binary opposition issues transform into new perceptions. There are continuous processes of forms deconstructed and reconstructed of their meanings occurring between the elements of hues, gradation, textures, strokes, broken lines, etc. Han creates his own form of pictorial hieroglyphs. He highlights the drama of his paintings by introducing dots on dots, orchestrating a symphony with a theme—a synthesis of opposites: a) figure/ground; b) image/structure; c) signifier/signified; d) internal/external; e) language/being; f) perspective/flatness. Together, these ambivalent elements are converging into one single totality. Han is a Formalist and Multicultural Pluralist. He has searched for new generative sources within a global cultural context in order to invent a new way of making an art form from his past and present, which, in art vernacular, can be deemed Modernist, Post-Modernist, or Neoclassical Modernist. Perhaps a better way of saying this is that he is a “genetic engineer in painting".
Exhibition at Lord and Andra "Transference of the Quantum Era" Solo Exhibition November 9th, 2017 - January 5th, 2018 Artist Reception: November 11th, 2017 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Past Exhibition at Lord and Andra: "Big Action in Small Spaces" Group Exhibition October 6th - October 28th, 2017 Featured Artists: Hillary Korn Fontana Kyu Nam Han Jesse Sanchez
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