Sidescape - Objections
Saturday, March 9, 2019, 6pm
March 9 to April 20, 2019
1335MABINI is proud to present Soun Hong’s solo exhibition ‘Sidescape – Objections’ opening on Saturday 9 March at 6pm. In 2018, he had a solo exhibition at 1335MABINI titled ‘Ordinary Monument’; for this exhibition he asked “can a still life show pain? Can a still life be a monument?” For the current exhibition he returns to the ongoing series ‘Sidescape’. In this series, Soun Hong re-contextualizes images based on photographic references. He analyzes how photographs and paintings can be viewed and appreciated. He shows extracts of images he has chosen from newsprint photographs. These are pictures of objects, people, current natural phenomena and socio-political happenings that are then dissected by the artist: he divides the image into segments and re-focuses on the periphery of a scene in the photograph and he paints the segment. He references a photograph by isolating areas such as the sky, the ground or a fragment from a wall or a person’s clothing. Using these sources, Soun Hong overcomes the attributed functionalities of the objects and landscapes in the respective contexts of the moment they were captured on camera, thereby emphasizing the independence and transcendence of specific and/or implied situations.
Recently Soun Hong expanded his series ‘Sidescape’ to include overlooked or little known histories. Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902) is the subject of a series of new paintings made here in Manila recently. Soun Hong voices his concern that this racist and ruthless businessman – he established a near monopoly in the diamond trade – is still epitomized by the Rhodes scholarship program and statues all around South Africa. He is recorded to have said that “the native is to be treated as a child and denied the franchise. We must adopt a system of despotism in our relations with the barbarians,” and he acted accordingly. Statues and scholarships are symbols that matter deeply and Soun Hong investigates how these can reveal underlying values.
His muted monochromes display an air of delicate and restrained effort, and the artist’s use of the brush and pigment on canvas is subdued as it is masterful.
Soun Hong (Seoul, South Korea, 1959) graduated from the Busan National University in Korea and he continued his studies at the École National Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. The artist has been awarded nationally and internationally and he has participated in numerous exhibitions worldwide. Soun Hong has exhibited at the Maraya Art Center (Sharjah, United Arab Emirates), the Mimesis Art Museum (Paju, South Korea), the National Museum of Contemporary Art (Gwacheon, South Korea) and the Savina Museum of Contemporary Art (Seoul, South Korea). He was part of the Santa Fe International Biennial in 2008 and his works are included in international institutional collections: Seoul Museum of Art, Santa Fe Art Institute (USA), Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art (South Korea) and Ho-Am Art Museum (South Korea).