Gallery Afternoon is pleased to announce <Painterly Garden>, a solo exhibition by Jaeyoung Choi (b.1987) from September 1 to 23, 2023. Choi graduated from the Korea National University of Education with a BFA in Art Education. His current painting practice is based in Cheongju.
The artist delineates the boundaries between nature and humanity, consciousness and unconsciousness. From livestock carcasses such as chickens or pigs, or in the depiction of cuts of meat, he encapsulates human experiences of inner anxieties and hidden desires. Through figures garbed in hazmat suits, he reminds us of our stance toward nature. His recent focus has been on works that incorporate transformations and distortions of nature, like flowering plants.
Choi pursues the most painterly painting, engaged in means to take his practice beyond mere reproduction. After creating an image, he intentionally subjects it to destruction and modification, intentionally infusing randomness. By layering gestures, his works gain temporality, depth, and obscurity.
Jaeyoung Choi's inscrutable mode of expression, reliant on chance and intuition, is his distinctive style. He builds up bold layers of paint with brushes and knives, but uses hands, tissues, and rags to just as boldly erase contours of forms or boldly remove entire sections. His use of vibrant, captivating colors hold the viewer's gaze, invoking a mesmerizing aesthetic experience.
Recent few years of my artistic journey have been earmarked—perhaps even tattered—by an exhaustion and weariness of having to represent on canvas. I have dearly wanted to paint through my own substrate, unburdened by the teleology of objects and phenomena. Through iterations of intentional destruction and modification of images that emerge in my creative process, I gradually came to understand certain habits or symbols that appear in my practice.
These artifacts seemed to manifest across numerous things, such as the movement of the brush, preferred color combinations, proportions on canvas, and contrasts. There was a sense of arrangement to it, like a pattern, perhaps the kind seen in a plant's organic form, or in an arrangement of flowers. Could this be some sort of familial influence from my mother, who has worked as a florist for over four decades? Or is it the thousands of days of impressions ingrained since my childhood with flower arrangements at her flower shop?
Whichever or whatever these artifacts were, I set out to revisit the landscapes featuring plants that I had drawn only sporadically before.
Painting plants came with the relative freedom to deform and distort; and it did the same to my physical movement. Painting became an odd dance of gestures and strokes. The longer I worked on a painting, the more laden the canvas became with depth and ambiguity. Chance often added more meaningful layers and materiality as I repeated the process of application and subtraction until I achieved what resonated with my heart.
Expressions emerging spontaneously out of my foggy mind were particularly good, as they pushed beyond what was predictable and departed the ordinary. This step toward the inscrutable required a lot of courage and a willingness to start over if things went awry. I am still striving to find balance through iterations of addition and subtraction, with an ongoing experiment with my distinctive painting style.