Anna Han: Pawns in Space 0.5

16 February - 18 March 2017
Installation Views
Press release

Gallery Baton is delighted to announce Anna Han (b. 1982)’s solo exhibition Pawns in Space 0.5 from 16th February to 18th March in Apgujeong, Seoul. Anna Han reveals a series of paintings and installations adopting ‘Place and Space’ as their main subject in this solo show.

Since Lucio Fontana (1889-1968) anticipated in his White Manifesto (1946), there have been attempts to actively embrace non-traditional aspects and a concept of space in a realm of art, breaking from the physical restriction—in other word, canvas. It is named as Spatialism which has made meaningful contributions to expandability of contemporary art. Space, a three-dimensional figure generated by adding another dimension on a plane, includes various objects, light, sound, and performance. Consequently, it has provided theoretical and practical foundations to enrich the postwar era’s art. Also, in Han’s practice, space is not restricted to an ancillary role for manifesting a work of art, whereas it carries out an active function as a platform, reflecting the artist’s mental image and organically accommodating an array of disparate artistic elements and paintings.

Anna Han injects her psychological approach into physical places through her working process: re- interpreting existing spaces with an inspiration evoked there: compressing and conveying her life stories and her inner world in the practice. Han engages with specific spaces, rationally at times or emotionally sometimes. This private attachment is projected in the manner of modifying the given spaces or appending diverse materials to them. As a result, it allows spectators to sense the presence and properties of the space and also to disclose their own sensitivity. The artist occasionally has taken her particular recollections and sentiments of the past as her leitmotif, while in this solo show, she concentrates on the inspiration solely produced by the space.

Anna Han tries to distort the open gallery space of Baton by employing almost all the factors that she presented in her previous works. By exploiting a variety of materials such as neon, fabrics, mirrors, carpets, LED lights, treads, paints, and vinyl sheets, she measures off the space and effectively unfolds flat components onto it. For Anna Han, a canvas signifies an object possessing a sense of independence and it is the most fundamental unit which allows her to express and contain certain spaces. Therefore, light, colour, lines and faces—artistic languages embodied in diverse media—are utilized as an extended module for her paintings. In addition, mystical colours and gradations enable her paintings to gain a visual depth. Although they are two-dimensional, the paintings attain spatiality more than installations would, and imitate the infinity of the void as well as they maintain painting’s traits. Small installations placed around the painting create boundaries and occupy the exhibition space in their own mode. Thus, the white cube operates as though it were a microcosm where each piece has a symbiosis relationship, yet developing its individual identity.

Installations and paintings have been functioning as an independent existence in Han’s work. However, in this show, she not only emphasizes formative features of installations and paintings, but also newly composes the flow of human traffic and enlarges the existing territory through her sensible directing considering the overall harmony. The artist assigned locations to each canvas and distributed suitable spaces corresponding to it. Ultimately, her installations and paintings encompass the entire space and hold individual narratives at the same time. Anna Han carefully arranged the pieces, retaining the interesting contradiction, without a collision or a disruption; in the vast expense of the gallery, the installations and paintings support each other and obtain separate spatiality so long as they do not hamper the whole space’s accordance.

Especially this solo exhibition introduces a rhythmical and rich format. Anna Han believes that space is an impression originated from experiences and so she intends to deliver this impression by applying various media, materials, colours and compositions. Viewers are invited to the space densely reconstructed by being comprised of a wide range of colours, sizes, resources and forms. Accordingly, they encounter formative and aesthetic factors of the space which sublimates into the artwork itself. Moreover, she produces zest of physical and corporeal experiences coordinated by Anna Han style’s space where small and big works deployed in diverse heights and directions outstretch the audience’s visual field towards omnidirectional parts within the limited space. For that reason, the spectators would fully perceive its physical property and a sense of existence abided in the space, beyond appreciating a piece of art.

Anna Han studied Fine Art at Pratt Institute, New York and Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan, USA. After graduating from Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, she has participated in numerous internal exhibitions at OCI Museum, Goyang Aram Nuri Arts Centre, Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Busan Biennale Special Exhibition and presented her work diverse regions in USA, such as New York, Michigan and Maine. Also, she was a selected artist of international residency programmes in Cheongju, Goyang, New York and Bad Ems and her practice is represented in several collections including Seoul Museum of Art.