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On Ha Chong-Hyun's Painting-Nakahara Yusuke l Art Critic     2007/08/03
On Ha Chong-Hyun's Painting-Nakahara Yusuke l Art Critic

It was sometime in the middle of the 1970s that I have first traveled to Korea. Two years later, I visited Korea again and in these two trips, I was able to see the works of a number of Korean artists. Though I said many, most of them were those invited to the exhibitions of Ecole de Seoul inaugurated in 1975. Art critic, Lee Yil has once called them the artists of the 1970s. and according to his categorization, I must have met these artists of the 1970s for the main.

Ha Chong-Hyun was the one among them. Works by the artists of the 1970s were not uniform, but ranged in expanse of width and breadth. As regards their paintings, I was able to detect certain, remarkable character commonly shot through the expanse. It was an obsession with space extending and expanding in parallel to the plane, yet extremely conochromatic, many, in particular, characterized either with white or black.

Yet, from among those, there was one which I suspected was somewhat  differentiated, removed from the common propensity of this character. The work was unicolor in light brown, and it made me suspect that its artist might have been concerned with verticalty of the plane. It was the tableau by Ha Chong-Hyun. His painting was rendered in the technique of thrusting oil is formed on the surface of the plane and the texture comes impregnated with its perpendicicular inclination toward the plane. At that time, I still remember, I was reminded of a mud wall of clay thrust into latticed bamboos.

Probably, Ha Chong-Hyun must have been concerned with oil not as pigment but as matter, intent on what could be demonstrated by oil as matter. Vis-a-vis oil, this was what called for a direct act by a hand, something different from drawing or depicting. This concern of Ha Chong-Hyun with materiality in oil still remains undiminished. Albeit, having entered the 19802, Ha Chong-Hyun's painting began to show a big change. This change can be detected from the shift of his concern to the flow paralleled to the plane. This dose not necessarily mean that his perpendicular inclination as has been shown in the texture of the plan has completely disappered. To the contrary, his painting of the 1980s has managed to come up with his own style, still preserving his perpendicular propensity yet adding his vectorial inclination in direction parallel to the plane.

On can read the combination of vectorial forces both horizontal and perpendicular from the texture of his plane. Oil on the plane is veiled with moving traces of the belted or shapes imprinted by a hand, yet characterized with the layers of traces. Traces move alongside of the plane but the layered traces do not fail to create a three-dimensional impression of the texture. These tableause suffice to intimate that Ha Chong-Hyun places the shapes created by oil as matter as the underponnings in his paintings. To wit, his painting is not by depiction or whatever sence.

The relation of oil and handx in Ha Chong-Hyun may be likened to that of clay and hands in ceramists. Oil comes closer to artists by a tactical sense rather than by a visual one. Ha Chong-Hyun has been naming his works consistently with the word Conjunction, and I imagine that he employs the word to mean a union of oil and fingers. Aspirations to reach the relation, most robust and archetypal, between man and matter, must be working as the driving force in Ha Chong-Hyun's painting. I am not in a position to tell whether the aspirations originate from the traditional outlook of Koreans on nature. Nevertheless, I cannot fail to detect something in Ha Chong- Hyun's painting that is somewhat heterogeneous to our sensibilities. For, there is some force in him that is appealing and attracting to that extent.(1990)
 초원과 폭풍우-토시아키 미네무라 ㅣ 미술평론가
 하종현의 작품에 관하여-나카하라 유수케ㅣ미술평론가
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