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李正雄 Lee Jeongwoong  韓國 b.1982



對於第⼀次⾒到他作品的⼈來說,最令⼈驚艷的,莫過於其作品風格讓⼈想起19世紀晚期的英國浪漫主義。他的作品呼應了勞倫斯·阿爾瑪-塔德瑪(Alma-Tadema)、約翰·威廉·沃特豪斯(Waterhouse)以及雷頓男爵(Lord Leighton)等浪漫⼤師的作品。藝術家維持著維多利亞式風格的影響,利⽤精雕細琢的模式,表現他極度細微的觀察與微妙的敘事情節。但是,當我們仔細近看,並不難發現,在這承載了多種符號與暗⽰的外表之下,藝術家所獨具的韓式風格與個⼈感性的⼀⾯。


其作品細膩的顏⾊與明暗,表現出夢境⼀般的構圖,充斥著各式各樣的⼈物,演繹著獨具意義且神祕的儀式。畫中的⼈物居住在古典世界的建築空間裡,但在服裝與外表上,卻又明顯地充斥著東⽅的⾊彩。我們在這發現與模糊不清的境地之中意識到這種⽭盾,讓我們不禁提問:他們是誰?他們在做什麼?這代表了什麼樣的意義?藝術家在他的作品裡表達了許多他想傳達的訊息,最主要是來⾃⽇本的殖民主義、韓國的快速發展以及對於西⽅世界(價值)所存在著的⽭盾⼼理,現代化與傳統之間的議題。在他所描繪的世界裡的居民表現並象徵著這些概念。他從各種⽂化來源中擷取出他所想要的符號與故事,像是強納森·史威夫特(Jonathan Swift)的格列佛遊記、古典希臘神話、⽇本與韓國的傳統故事及童話都是他的材料,甚至有些是來⾃於電腦遊戲的⼈物,⽽這⼀切都轉化成他優雅的形式呈現。



- Tim Wright -

Lee Jeongwoong is a Korean artist, born in 1982 in Seoul. He graduated from Sungkyungkwan University in 2008, after which he exhibited extensively in Korea. He has shown a number of times with Shine artists at Albemarle Street and now presents a selection of new works at the Pontone Gallery.


On first seeing these paintings, what is perhaps surprising is their stylistic evocation of late nineteenth-century, English romanticism. Resonances with Alma-Tadema, Waterhouse and Lord Leighton abound. His method is a highly crafted model of observational representation which expresses fantastical narratives, much in keeping with these ‘victorian’ influences. However, on closer inspection, we see that this outward appearance carries a multitude of symbols and clues to a particularly Korean and personal sensibility.


Deploying subtle colour and tonality the paintings present dream-like compositions peopled with characters enacting significant but mysterious rituals. They inhabit the architectural spaces of the classical world, but are manifestly oriental in appearance and dress. Aware of this contradiction, we find ourselves in a realm of invention and ambiguity. It prompts us to ask “who are they?”, “what are they doing?” and “what does it mean?”.


The artist has said much about the meaning and messages in his work. They are multiple and various. He articulates ideas about Japanese colonialism, Korea’s rapid development, its ambivalence towards the West, and issues with modernity and tradition. The inhabitants of his painted world act out and symbolise these concepts. He raids a wide variety of cultural sources for ‘symbols and stories’: Jonathan Swift’s‘Gulliver’s Travels’, classical Greek myth, traditional Japanese and Korean history and fairytale are all quoted. There are even references to characters from computer games. All is rendered in keeping with his elegant format. This dense and complex layering of meaning underlays the calm, languid and ‘romantic’ atmosphere of the images. The controlled application of the paint, clear delineation of space and lucid, ‘Mediterranean’ light are an eminently seductive vehicle for the sometimes turbulent, and thought-provoking, ideas running through Lee Jeongwoong’s work.

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