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2017년 3월 26일

Music as afflatus and the variations of paintings

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Music as afflatus and the variations of paintings

[Oh Kwang Su (Art Critic)/August, 2008]


The relationship between painting and music has been scrutinized by a number of prominent artists since the late 19th century. Quite a few artists have been found to be fascinated with music. Many of the cases the artists were deeply inspired through music to produce a creative work. Delacroix, a Romantic artist mentioned a lot more frequently about musicians than artists around him at an era in his diary. It should not be so difficult to infer how Delacroix's theatrical works with liberal colors were painted. In the 20th century Dufy, Kandinsky,  Klee, and Delaunay seem to have rushed to the happy point of contact shared with both worlds of music and art. They must have been born to be a musician if they had not been an artist. Dufy left numerous works which musiccal themes were applied to with lighthearted,  rhythmic strokes and bright tunes. In that he adapted music into colors, he opened the possibility of a pictorial embodiment of music: Mozart into pink and Debussy Yellowish Green. Mondrian would be a more intriguing example. During the period of warding off the World War Ⅱ toward New York, he was charmed by Jazz and embodied it into his work of art. <Victory Boogie Wood> and <Broadway Boogie Woogie> representing his grand finale would not have been born if he had not come to New York nor bumped into Jazz .(Unfortunately he died in 1944 without witnessing the victory of Allied powers>

We often happen to find some of the artists around us erudite on music or indulged in it. However, we can rarely meet an artist whose source of art comes directly out of music. In such a sense Moon, Hye Ja is surely an exception. Many critics point out that classical music and Jazz inspire her to do the art works. Her fragmentary thoughts and essays are dominantly filled with words on music rather than those of artists. Concerns about how to embody the excellent music with sculpture are to be found here and there. She deals with the range from classical to contemporary music such as Beethoven, Wagner, Chopin, Bach, Chaikovskii, Gustav Mahler, Leonard Bernstein, Stavinsky, and Schoenberg.

Music is considered to be a means of rest or mental enhancement for many people. Even for Moon Hye ja music would be served the same purpose. However, the difference between Moon Hye Ja and people in general lies in that music for her comes more directly and more fundamental. Music not only serves as spring water which produces joy of life for her but functions as a representation of direct emotional movement while creating a work of art. This is a unique case found nowhere else. We could verify how deep inspiration she gets from music by witnessing the interactions of colors and shapes being formed and fading away without stopping. Rhythmically entangled lines, almost bursting touches, and transparent layers of colors are determined by the author's interpreting music rather than by the context of general painting. The work seems to be making an allusive shape with a lump of colors rising upwards as a flower blooms. Due to this, in her paintings certain contours or allusive shapes turn up for time and they sink into shallows of daydreaming colors for anothertime. As Singleton once pointed out, "The emotional journey across the world in reverie composed of shapes and contours" might be the author's pursuit through her painting. Paint is transparent and fresh ever. As if new buds sprout in May, in her paintings purity of nature is coated. The process of collision of rising tunes with paints is analogus to that of harmonizing with sounds getting weaved and entangled in music. The dynamic process of hearing well being replaced as seeing is found. Here is a quote by Marie R Pagano to point the meaning above, "She is seeking after a visual language that can convey not only the spontaneity of an impromptu Jazz but also the energy and complex similar to an Avant-grade symphony by Stravinsky or Schoenberg. In doing so, she successfully makea up the dynamically wiggling structure with the combination of dark colors and sparkling ones in oil paintings as well as sculptures." Her recent works of art can be involved in jazz directly. In many cases Jazz counts upon imprompu. The true attraction of jazz is to frequently crossing in and out of the frame at any moment according to the moment's feeling and to weave a new one. Not the formation but the spontaneity of Jazz must win her heart. Fluently drawn lines and harmoniously clear and transparent colors are not to be separated from the emotion touched by the deep sound of soul raised from the bottom. Such rising sounds bring out the purity of life as if a flower or a leaf with sprit. So lines thrill and colors burn like a flame. Her painting might be a song of glory by a pilgrim on the run for the purest moment.

Oh Kwang Su (Art Critic)

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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.