Focus on Exhibition
William Blake advises that we should see the world from a single grain of sand. Then, we would be awakened of the essence of the world and the meaning of purity. His advice may well be reinterpreted from a contemporary perspective. The 'Big Bang' theory informs us that the universe was created by a big bang concentrating the elementary particles. In the same way, Blake's advice may be reinterpreted in such a way that the order of the world is contained in the most basic elements forming a material.
Let's look at Ji Yong-hyun's works from the perspective of Blake's poetry.
The world opens again within a grain of sand. Then, the grain of sand becomes the universe, and at some point of the universe, an egg opens again. It may be the beginning of a world or its re-beginning.
The landscape with the eggs being broken depicted by Ji Yong-hyun and the movement of lifes being prepared for some moment seem to hint a moment of an opening world. He shows us wilting and falling of all these opening scenes. He depicts the moment of wilting and falling with hands and therefore, his works attempt to capture the eternity.
Exhibition introduces Ji Yong-hyun's works deemed to describe a journey prepared for a festival for an egg or the sun appearing from the gray darkness. Like an air flow serene but tense at night just before a storm, a quiet, cozy, stern and mysterious world opens in his art works. Every life dances and sings, waiting for a new birth.
Upon reviewing his among his Space Ritual series, we will be aware that the egg looks like the pupil, and that a strong unity and an organic order is immanent in a beehive-like new world unfolded on the canvas. The grace of the blue sky is pouring onto the life which is about to break the shell to be born.
Ji Yong-hyun's works have a structure similar to that of the 15th-century Dutch painter Hieronumus Bosch. Both painters' works show numerous human images and unknown animals and plants mixed, and thus, in their works, 'an epic of imagination' breathes alive. However, while Bosch wanted to contrast a world of judgement with the mundane desires or a world where good and evil confront each other extremely, Ji Yong-hyun's works connote a desire for a pure world and a geometric spirit. In his works, we can easily find the flowing lines crossing the primitive earth in the beginning of the world. For example, Ji Yong-hyun's works show a lizard whirling and rotating (Space Ritual - Green Man), a sky roof drawing a circle to unfold (Space Ritual - Blood and Bone), cubes like the pagodas stacked with the simple lines repeated (Space Ritual - Brain Hill), and other geometric linear elements. The flow of such geometric lines rises from between the parts of the primitive earth or crosses over a plant or embroiders the dark sky. When we look closely at the flow of the geometric lines repeated on the delicate earth, we feel that the world of eternity he wants to depict is about the world where the fine beginning of the world and the geometric spirit are pregnant together.
According to Blaise Pascal's concept of geometry, the spirit of geometry is a reasonable spirit starting from the principle of decimal to demonstrate an axiom along an order. Building the geometric cubes onto the delicate earth in the beginning of the world and laying out the human figures between its parts may be equated with the praying behavior for a more correct spirit to be harbored in the world which would open anew. The cubes rising from within the nature seem to express the plants bursting their flower buds and blooming as well as 'a human spirit to be born within the order of the nature.
When I met the artist Ji Yong-hyun for the first time, he talked about the books and poems he had read interestingly rather than explained about his works in details. He said he had been interested in William Blake's poems and Pascal's Pensees. Since fine art is a spiritual activity, Blake and Pascal must be important guides for understanding of Ji Yong-hyun's works, as he said.
• I inscribe my shadow in the abyss where the columns built of veins and thorns stretch and the darkness glares by itself for me.
Longer than before.
It is a landscape.
It is where everything dreams of unending resurrection and eternity simultaneously. - From Artist's Note