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2017년 3월 26일

Hye Ja Moon’s Dynamic Breath

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Hye Ja Moon’s Dynamic Breath Author: Jill Smith

It is no question that Hye Ja Moon is not frightened by color. Her rapturous canvases are imbibed with primary yellows and blues along with kelly greens and burnt oranges—she even includes small rainbow crescents parading as flower leaves and rocket ships amidst her abstract works. Her large paintings writhe with dynamicism, ushering anyone who views her work to be swept up and blown away by it. Like a dancer in the midst of their final leaps and turns, the viewer’s eye darts from corner to corner, unable to rest on any one pulsating image.

Works such as Music for Yearning is reminiscent of a Hoch collage and imbued with a found-object sensibility. The canvas’s lines are interrupted by the intersection of seemingly random objects, which, though they are painted, have a pasted-and-placed quality to them giving the painting a heightened frenetic energy. The spaces surrounding these collage-like objects work just as hard as the objects themselves to complete the painting. They act as small pauses, allowing the canvas to breathe in between brush strokes. Though unable to be claimed as negative space, they too are a space of action, but an action antithetical to the jirating lines present in the majority of the painting. With everything revolving around the diagonal line, it is easy to see that movement is an integral aspect of Hye Ja Moon’s painting style.

I was fortunate enough to sit down with Hye Ja Moon and briefly discuss the methods and philosophies she employs to create her art.

JS: How long have you been painting? And how did you arrive at painting in this unique and fascinating way?

HJM: When I was in the 3rd grade, in elementary school, I won a special prize in an art contest. I have been painting ever since. The master post-impressionist, Paul Cezanne left fine blank spaces among brush strokes in his paintings. I was fascinated by them and resolutely determined to employ it as one of my abstract painting techniques. I’d like to dramatize such unpainted spaces of the canvas and present how the spaces give off their energy efficiently. The spaces should be both improvisatory and thoroughly planned. The improvisational nature is employed on my canvas to communicate an energy similar to that of an improvised musical riff in a performance. Musical performers breathe, but their play, secretly crosses the border between the breath and breathlessness. And the latter means that for the last fifteen years I’ve challenged myself to advance my painting techniques without pause. I feel that I have mastered making the unpainted spaces function as the respiratory organ in my paintings. That is the breathing canvas.

JS: Is there a message you want to communicate to the viewer?

HJM: “A part controls the whole” is my slogan while painting. However small it is, the spaces adjacent to the colored parts have greater importance than they look. So, I paint all my paintings with a very fine brush (#0) to transfer the energy of the uncolored spaces. The thorough plan, free from mistakes, is prior to others. I have trained myself to leave spaces around my images by moving my body constantly on the canvas as musical players do when they perform on stage. We can pass our energy onto others in the process of our movements. With the finest brush (#0), I move very freely on the canvas during the whole work, and surely the viewers are able to feel the infinite youth and revitalizing energy within themselves through viewing my works. We die unless we breathe. Our breathing leads us to move and gain energy to live. The theme of my work is contemporary music containing chaotic and harmonious stories with its rhythm. As a musical piece does, my paintings containing breath and movement, and I hope that through these canvases I can fill my audience with the energy and passion that is contained in my paintings.

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  • Admin
    7월 17일

    *The latest works by Hyeja Moon can be considered as the landmark that shows her long thoughts in her mind have reached to the starting point of her painting career all the way again. That is “Matisse’s colors and Mondrian’s abstracts geometric.” She titled the works <Compositions of Two Light Sources>. And the two light sources are, of course, Matisse and Mondrian who have long occupied her heart ever. What influences on Hyeja Moon’s work did those two great artists have? Matisse and Mondrian respectively. *First, according to Matisse, sound is granted its unique characteristic by music, and colors get their beauty by the composition of visual arts. Matisse also had an effort to revive the beauty of pure colors and to limit pictorial details so that he was able to focus on his themes. *As mentioned above, Hyeja Moon influenced by Matisse also shows a similar usage of colors and composition: using pure colors without mixing them on the pallet and leaving out details to focus on the themes. Especially, in the series of <Composition of two light sources> 2019 she expresses her dynamic energy with the least pictorial elements like lines, faces, and colors. The two light sources are not drawn or painted, but they can be inferred by the composition. On the canvas the undrawn light sources are composed with the lines, colors, and faces. The two light sources let the light rays go anywhere forward even though they are not drawn. *Secondly, the artist’s notes are going to be cited to see how Mondrian’s abstract geometric influenced Moon’s upcoming series. Mondrian expressed the idea that we were able to get to the essence when we analyze and simplify something through the creation of the De Stijl movement. In fact, Hyeja Moon the artist, in her note in 2015, mentioned that she was greatly influenced by Mondrian’s <Broadway Boogie-woogie>. She was startled to the work of art by Mondrian because the straight lines and dots and colors that separates the screen seemed to be dancing for music. Moon in her note in 2015 wrote that she wished the viewers to have such free feeling of fullness through her works as if she experienced through the work of Mondrian. In conclusion, Matisse and Mondrian are the two light sources (the motives) through the world of her work. The decorative and dynamic energy she has analyzed, observed and implemented for a long time is represented solely in lines, faces, and colors in the upcoming series of her work <Composition of two light sources>. This work is the result of her always agonizing over “how to draw the most liberating painting without being tied to everything” (artist note April, 2000). – Critic Soyoung Cho, April 8, 2019
  • Admin
    1월 1일

    *1. The artist Hyeja Moon considered the philosophy of off-loading as something meaningful in the composition series (2018) and she still pushes it forward. She has split the image in some ways without putting the light source in the center while being obsessed with the light source. Recently, however, she left the center of the canvass unpainted, where she used to paint the light source. Instead, after drawing the radiative lays of the light source, she draws a few dotted circles multi-layered. These circles remind of waves. The latest works are two types. One has the layers of dotted circles around the center which is left with the background color. The other has a little dark colored center and a distinct circle around it. Also, the latter has many layers like annual rings or light waves. *2. Her previous works showed the intense light source in the center which was considered as the origin of dynamic power in the context. Therefore, by leaving the center alone is quite new. Also, by leaving the center with the ground color the radiative rays change their direction toward the center not out-going, convergence not diffusion. The previous works of the light series represented giving off the light, energy, and dynamic power etc. On the other hand, in the recent paintings she changed the direction of the power and energy toward the center. Emitting the light turned into collecting and focusing the lays like the eye, photoreceptor. That is very intriguing change. *3. Through her established works, she tried to give off her creative energy with impromptu dynamism. Now, all the changes of her paintings taken together, her attitude of life may have been changed into something like contemplation and meditation. The music the artist always keeps at hand while painting changed. The album full of beautiful songs is produced by her own daughter, Young-im Lee, and the several song lyrics are written by Bub-hueng, a Buddhist monk. The meditation music she listens to while working backs up my speculation above. Artist Hye-ja Moon equipped with such meditation music will walk on and on until she found nowhere to go. 2018-12-29 by Soyoung Cho
  • Admin
    2018년 5월 14일

    *The attachment on <Composition – The philosophy of offloading> (2018) * The philosophy on light dug into by Hyeja Moon through her paintings as <Music for charms of the night sky 005> (2016), <The Sun> series (2017), and <Composition> series (2017) _ Soyoung Cho, Art Critic, 2018. *Over the past three years, Hyeja Moon has spread out various points of view and colors on the canvas for a theme, light. Year by year, it has been a challenge for me to follow the trace of her toil on light. Hyeja Moon’s recent work <Composition – the Philosophy of offloading> (2018) is the quiescence and ensemble of her previous works into which she wanted to put the thrill and joy that she got on the way home from her studio a few years ago when a light of street lamp hit her eyes and quickened her heart beat. *The artist Moon has a peculiar aptitude for the pictorial composition, and makes a new work by adding or subtracting pictorial elements with dexterity. The latest work of hers, <Composition –the Philosophy of offloading> got its subtitle on account of her attitude of light source, one of her main themes. First of all, she puts all the ideas on the light and colors on the canvas. Then, she paints the light source out of it. It was the most impressive part of all. She has occupied herself by filling elements on the canvas for some time. However, this time she beautifully filled the elements of light with the canvas, but no described the light source. That is, the artist tells nothing about the light source, but it reveals itself by not describing. *In 2016, Moon painted her intensive passion about light which was shown through her work <Music for Charms of the Night Sky 005>. In 2017, serial works <The Sun> and <The Light> demonstrated the nature of light: 1) Light travels in straight lines. 2) Light particles vary. She experimented how different effects were resulted according to the ratio of the two composing elements in the small sized <Composition> series in 2017. *After years of studying, she filled <Composition – the Philosophy of offloading> (2018) with all the elements of past works such as <The Music for Charms of the Night Sky 005>, <The Sun>, <The Light> and <Composition> series (2017). The light source that had captured Moon’s heart in a moment positioned in the center of <Composition – the Philosophy of offloading> (2018). Now, it is ready to capture the viewers’. Whereas the spatial effect of convergence and spread out in the work <Composition – the Philosophy of offloading> (2018) seems alike with <The Light> (2017), linear division in <Composition>series (2017) changed into circular in <Composition – the Philosophy of offloading> (2018). * This way, Moon collected all her toils about the theme of light for the last three years into this work. Nonetheless, she put all the stories and explanations away. Colorful plastic episodes hide themselves. The artist does not say, “The light is there”. She just says, “Let it be”. This is the part where her sagacity and experience appear.