Kyu-Nam Han, Korean-American (1945 - )
Han interprets Korean Modernism within Western context and vice versa—Western Modernism within Far Eastern cultural context. He incorporates traditional values and methodologies, such as perspective and chiaroscuro of the West, and Chun (passage and grid) from the East. He blends Eastern isometric perspective with traditional Western linear perspective painting to create a fusion of both depth and flatness, and then apply calligraphic principles to recreate new pictorial images.
In his works, Han mixes two cultural genes together. The images of the street include cars, buildings, lights, etc. and the mosaics of fragmented color are masterfully demonstrated on the canvas. Han repeatedly superimposes and substitutes structures and images by overlapped lines of contours. The images, the whole drama of the surface come under the relationship of deconstruction resulted from the effective usage of various grids.
At the same time, Eastern conventional calligraphic methodology has been employed as a key element in Han’s painting:
1) Hieroglyphic images correspond with structure and meaning.
2) Signified becomes signifier.
3) Meaning correlates with form resulting in an altered sense of totality, providing both irony and ambivalence.
4) Calligraphic gesture creates action.
5) Binary opposition issues transform into new perceptions. There are continuous processes of forms deconstructed and reconstructed of their meanings occurring between the elements of hues, gradation, textures, strokes, broken lines, etc. Han creates his own form of pictorial hieroglyphs. He highlights the drama of his paintings by introducing dots on dots, orchestrating a symphony with a theme—a synthesis of opposites:
a) figure/ground; b) image/structure; c) signifier/signified; d) internal/external; e) language/being; f) perspective/flatness.
Together, these ambivalent elements are converging into one single totality.
Han is a Formalist and Multicultural Pluralist. He has searched for new generative sources within a global cultural context in order to invent a new way of making an art form from his past and present, which, in art vernacular, can be deemed Modernist, Post-Modernist, or Neoclassical Modernist.
Perhaps a better way of saying this is that he is a “genetic engineer in painting".
1974 - 77 The Ohio State University - Graduate School, Dept of Painting: M.F.A in Painting
1972 - 74 The Ohio State University - Graduate School, Dept of Theater, Stage Design
1978 - 79 Joe Brown Sculpture Studio: Rocky Hill New Jersey
1967 Seoul National University: B.F.A in painting
2003 Atelier International Art Group, New York
2002 Anne French Fine Arts, Miami - Gold Key of the City of Bay Harbor was given to the artist by mayor
Atelier International Art Group, New York
2000 Michail Lombando Gallery, New York
1999 Artsforum Gallery, New York
1998 Blue Hill Cultural Center
Ellen Kim Murphy Gallery, Seoul, Korea
1996 Mi Gallery, Seoul, Korea
1995 Hong Kong International Art Exposition, Hong Kong
Walker Hill Art Center, Seoul, Korea
1992 Yuna Gallery, Seoul, Korea
1991 Sun Gallery, Seoul, Korea
1990 Azart Gallery, Seattle WA
1988 Sun Gallery, Seoul, Korea
1984 John Harms Performing Center,Englewood, New Jersey
1977 Hopkins Hall, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Commissions & Collections:
L.H. Funk Foundation, Basel Switzerland
American Express Headquarters, New York
Supreme Court, Seoul, Korea
Samsung Corporation, Seoul, Korea
Hoam Museum, Seoul, Korea
Sun Kyung Corporation, Seoul, Korea
Commercial Bank of Korea, New York
Han IL Bank, Seoul, Korea
Sung San Corporation, Oregon WA
Tristar Corporation, Seoul, Korea
Gana Art, Seoul, Korea