Taking over 60 to 80 overlays over a 6 month span to complete one paiting, Huh Myoungwook’s repetitive act of painting captures the essence and preciousness of time in his new exhibition Overlaying. Each layer is added over time until the perfect tone and shade of color is produced. Arario Gallery in Bukchon will present around 15 new works of the Korean artist in various mediums including paintings, photography, installations and a video.
The paintings, lit beautifully by the gallery, have an astounding presence. A dichotomic composition of a thick color and gold leaf on a rectangular painting is created using ottchil, a Korean lacquer traditionally applied on woodwork. Not only is ottchil helpful in making the pieces last longer, but it also helps increase vividness and visual depth of the color as time goes by. It is a technique the artist began using in 2008. Although confined within the frames of the rectangular canvas, Huh follows a strict rule of not naming his pieces as to free the viewer from any initial thoughts. For him, it is important that the audience connects through energy the pieces give off. Whether it is through the stunning relationship between colors, the subtle differences in texture, or the profound details of brush strokes, Huh manages to showcase visually the delicacy of time. Maybe the blurred reflection of yourself seen within a piece is a representation of the past and future at the same time.