Lee Jin Yong: Trunk I 68m2
Gallery Baton presents the solo exhibition of Lee Jin Yong, TRUNK I 68 m2, from April 15th to May 24th at the new exhibition space in Apgujeong. For this exhibition, the artist begins to focus on painting, presenting a diverse and in-depth variation in the essence of painting through bags and books. At the same time, the exhibition holds its significance in that the artist has concretized his unique approach and interpretation on realism. In particular, the highlight of this exhibit is Trunk Series, consisting of twenty six paintings, and the images of the bags that have existed within the artist’s intimate ceremonial area are installed compactly in a dozen of canvases on the large exhibition space (68 m2). Since the interaction, between the independent realities of the images of the bags, depicted densely along the wall, subconsciously reminds of the 'valley' of endless bags over a simply horizontal joint, the work becomes a highly figurative installation reflecting the artist’s intention and is led to a stage of 'admiration' in the end.
In order to better understand the artist’s world of art, which could be interpreted as photo-realism at first glance, it is crucial to look at his method for production and the source of the depicted image. Above all, the artist is a serious collector who has collected tens of thousands of objects that have multiplied their value and flavor over a long period of time; the objects range from old books, bags, musical instruments, cameras, and typewriters to puer tea, eaglewood and fossils from both the East and West. Especially, the artist says that he is fascinated by the beauty of books and bags as containers of spirit and substance and as the delivering media. He is also captivated by the history accumulated within them and the aura created by the craftsmanship soaked into them, and all of these have led the artist to pay attention to the bags and books as the subject matter of his works. One of the striking aspects is that all his works are the products of his imagination only, not based on real models. For several decades, the artist has observed many books and bags, and the relationship, value, and time that are soaked within these objects. Through this, the memories, images and visualization of physical feelings have been accumulated naturally, and the artist has reached to the stage of 'pictorial visualization of the subject that does not exist in reality'. The artist says, "By depicting what does not exist, I have been free from being obsessive about mechanical reproduction of the outer appearance. In other words, I have been able to focus on the artistic idealism of materializing universal and invariable protoplasm". Such artistic approach is the catalyst for sublimating the images of depicted books and bags into the result of an artist’s extreme pursuit of the essence of the objects, not mere Vanitas’ products that are randomly combined.
This exhibition will show extreme inquiry about the essence that exists somewhere beyond the outer appearance of the bags and books and the idealistic combination of disciplined artistic techniques, and the viewers will be able to see the artist’s Essentialist approach which went a step further than realism, thus making this a great opportunity for both domestic and international art lovers who have been waiting for the artist’s exhibition for a long time.