a solo show by Soun Hong
Hong, Soun – born 1959 in Seoul, South Korea – he graduated from the Busan National University in Korea and continued his studies at the École National Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France, where he resided for thirteen years. In 2016, 1335MABINI showed his solo show titled Manila. Feb. 2016. Soun Hong has returned to Manila for his second solo exhibition titled Ordinary Monument, which opens February 17, 2018. As a painter, his main focus was landscapes and portraits, but now he also shows still lives (nature morte in French, literally ‘dead nature’). He asks: Can a still life show pain? Can a still life be a monument? On the morning of April 16, 2014, the ferry MV Sewol sank, carrying 476 people of whom 304 died, mostly students of Danwon High School. Soun Hong felt compelled to go there, he felt deep sorrow and heartache over this tragedy. He wondered what happened. What mystery occurred? And he started to ‘talk’ to objects in the vicinity. He treats these objects as witnesses to a tragedy and he kept the objects as keepsakes so not to forget. More recently, he attempts to immortalize memory by visiting one large demolition site, a place where he spent his childhood, in Seoul. And he gathers objects to keep the memory of himself and others and their places alive. Soun Hong makes the objects present by presenting them to us in an altogether new context. And in this new context, he hopes we can feel the mystery of life and death, a mystery that cannot be put into words. His use of colors is minimal, and presented on the gallery’s white walls, his paintings are testaments to life and loss.