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)