Park Young Hak Text
The Black Garden, the intersection of reality and ideal world
Choi Jeong-ju (Independent Curator)
Beyond the scenery, the ideal world beyond the reality
For a long time, Park Young-hak has been brought the atmosphere of nature with mountains, trees, paddy fields, fields, and sea in his painting. All are close to the essence of nature. It is a human being is only 'invisible' in his paintings, made up of distinctly visible subjects. And what human touches, so-called civilized things, only take the outline of the black line and can only guess the existence of that void. As if trying to keep 'nature' from 'artificial', all kinds of traces of human being are disappearing or evaporating from the picture. On the contrary, it is the tree that exposes the natural vitality and implies. With a precise description, the space on the picture is meticulously filled up with white backgrounds and empty beings.
It is a bizarre atmosphere like a montage, which described a tree that explains and emphasizes itself, a rice paddy, fields, mountains that has been empty, and a geometric black line that circles around it. It is a space where the emptiness and filling are blatantly confronted. Furthermore, it is like a scene where nature and civilization are heterogeneously contrasted and unfamiliar and disagreeable. Or it may be a different expression of resistance and antagonism about the social alienation and maladjustment of contemporary people. At what point does Park Yeong-hak try to pursue a goal? Contrary to this rigid suspicion, the artist's viewpoint of creation is to find the traditional and pure values of painting and the contemplative comfort of human life.
Park Yeong-hak defines his painting as 'the scenery of time and space that revives what is memorized in aesthetic moment that he saw and walked through the mountains of reality'. This is a viewpoint that is like the original meaning of the landscape painting left by the attitude of "Wayu and Hyungjungguhak' the painter of the Song Dynasty, it can be found out the action of creativity based on 'Naturalism' and 'Expressionism'. Therefore, Park's artworks are reconstructed as an ideal space out of the reality and filtered through only the beauty. Through this, the viewer is able to experience the transformation of the visual perception through the ideal or the reality.
This is also the point of view of the phenomenological ontology mentioned by Maurice Merleau Ponty. The phenomenological value of starting from the reality and distracting the essence of the object is the concept of combining it with the rationality measured by the experience of extreme subjectivism and extreme objectivism. The concept of phenomenology, which focuses on the 'transparency' that is clearly seen, overlaps the 'beyond' mentioned by Park Young-hak, that is, 'beyond reality'. And the beauty of the reality, that is, the outcrops of civilization excluded from the ideal scenery, are not able to settle in 'Beyond' due to the weight of human desire and greed, but they are only announcing the absence of existence. This may be a sign of meditation and reflection required of human in the circulation structure of life.
When we return to Park Young-hak's paintings again, the beautiful landscape remaining in his memory is the tree, for instance, it is nature or pure vitality that symbolizes nature. In order to preserve this 'naturalness', the artist completes the scenery of nature by taking materials such charcoal and stone powder as a part of nature. In other words, it is a consciousness that brings new life and energy to 'nature' brought from nature and sends it back to nature in painting again. And the outcrops of civilization that should be with the nature seem to be intent on returning to the vacant place after having self-conforming and harmonizing value of oneself by exposing their absence with a certain black line.
In this way, Park may have been constantly consulting with us on where to find the value of our lives by rediscovering the beauty in the space and time of reality that can be overcome, that is, the beauty of nature. 'Beyond the scenery' is not to show the group of the four seasons that are projected on nature but rather to invoke the paradox of reality that has not reached the ideal world, and the rumination of life in reality. It is a moment to realize that the journey to the ideal world 'beyond reality' was finally a sight to return to reality.
Black Gardens, the New World beyond the reality and the ideal
The series "Black Garden" shows the opposite point of Park Yeong-hak's artworks until now. The macroscopic gaze, which descends from the sky in a way that is far from the reach of the hand, is now a close-up of the near-reality garden where the hand reaches the ground, resuming micro-space-time travel. This sudden change is caused by the change of life environment in the artist's reality. After moving to a terraced house, he began to cultivate a garden with trees and flowers, and the artist reaffirmed that it was nature that gave him a real rest and comfort. It is embodied in the nature that can be encountered in reality, especially the 'black garden' as the natural space of self-cultivation. Without having to prepare a whole bunch of minds, just slip into the space with all the strength and comfort, and unfolds the ideal world of healing.
For this reason, the landscape newly found in the artist's paintings seems to capture a scene in which the tree trunks, flowers, grasses, and strange stones are mutually intertwined with each other, as if they themselves enter the subterranean corner of the forest and observe with a microscope. Here we can no longer find empty margin of forests or trees or waiting for beings to harmonize with nature. In addition, the tree representing the vitality of nature does not appear as the best beautiful appearance without disturbance. The black gardens are dark and somewhat submerged, appearing the trunk of a tree have been broken and bent, with flowers and berries left with traces of blooming trees, and cracks that have been punctured and broken by old weathering, They are scenes that show intact process situations it never reveal the cycle of four phases of life with glamorizing expression. It is just 'moments' of 'as is' breathing in 'there'.
In the 'Black Garden', he has become motivated like this, "I am going to work in a relaxed posture without desire to draw well." The ideal of 'beyond the scenery' would have been a projected 'greedy to be drawn' to him. Because artificial civilization is a risk to nature, it is because of the inevitable reflection and artistic rewards of consciousness. Therefore, the landscape of his 'beyond the scenery' has found the beauty of nature and the preciousness of existence of nature, and clearly revealed the attitude respecting about nature. To him, nature is the ideal world perceived as being. And the new 'Black Garden' series presents the most definitive answer to the ideal world he followed. In other words, the artist is not satisfied with confirming the existence of ideal beauty in nature, but emphasizes the value of the circulation of nature, communication with nature, and the value of giving and receiving of life. Now, the beautiful memory in him is not the natural landscape of the stuffed ideal world but the shared experience of space and time that face to nature and breathe together in real life.
In "the Black Garden", chaotic freedom is more prominent than strict discipline. The geometric black line drawn with charcoal strips away the monotony of the past and emits vibrancy with each autonomous rhythm. It also gives a strong impression of red and blue, rather than an achromatic of black and white, which also seems to emphasize the vitality of nature. The coloring method of "Black Garden", which uses charcoal and pastels, gives a feeling of dryness and opaque at first glance, but it conveys nature's simplicity and ruggedness.
The new challenge of Park Young-hak is to say that the ideal world is 'ideal', even if it is constructed and built endlessly, and that the comfort and peace that are found in reality is an 'ideal world'. Perhaps this is similar to the ambivalent attitude of trying to get closer to the sanguine in the life of the MaeRanGukJuk in the image of the literary men who tried to see the vast mountain as a bird. It is also the mutual understanding aspect of the phenomenological reduction of Merleau Ponty who is moving into the world and existence beyond transcendental idealism. Park shows that there is a 'black garden' in 'beyond the scenery'. It reminds us that 'ideal world' is the other side of 'real world', and 'beyond' is a transparent passage between these two worlds. In other words, Pak Young-hak's "The Black Garden" has always exists an ideal in a reality, a reality in an ideal before us, it has to be reaffirmed that it is rediscovered in the relation of communicating with me.