Asian Reflections

Stemming from Asian origins and residing in Europe, Korean artists Park Byung-Hoon and Keun Woo Lee allow their Western environment to influence their techniques and interpretations of the traditional landscape.

Employing paint and acrylic plexiglass, Park Byung-Hoon creates a unique synthesis of geometric and ethereal forms. Stylistically comparable to the Minimalist movement and approach of the 1960s, Byung-Hoon’s work engages the audience in an exclusive dialogue, affording viewers a singular opportunity to interpret independent from suggestion. As with the Minimalist precedent, the ever-present prospect of impossibility of interpretation exists as well, intensifying personal experience of Byung-Hoon’s work.

Capitalizing on the transparent nature of glass, Byung-Hoon is able to create elegant, dream-like abstractions. Rather than attempting to control the paint, he allows the medium to flow freely within the acrylic before capturing its progress mid-motion. Such a reductive method of creation calls attention to the materiality of the work, while simultaneously allowing the artist to focus exclusively on the hues and patterns created as a result of the process. The pronounced three-dimensionality of the acrylic glass enables Byung-Hoon to take a deliberate step away from the traditional distinction between painting and sculpture, and toward a more personal exploration of the physical nature of art as an object.

Park Byung-Hoon was born in Korea and currently lives and works in Paris, France.

Abstraction is courted, yet ultimately tempered in the work of Keun Woo Lee. Traces of figuration persist; plants, flowers, and other elemental features of landscape remain visible in Lee’s creations. These forms, however, serve as a mere framework for the “nothingness” that holds the artist’s true interest. Lee has developed a keen sensitivity for the exploration of absence’s impact on depth, successfully immersing the viewer’s attention in the concave reductions of the final image.

A classically trained landscape painter, Lee has worked with a variety of media. Her latest body of work is characterized by painted porcelain from Jingdezhen, China, known for nearly two millennia as the “porcelain capital”. The artist’s creative process is an arduous one— Lee paints, then fires, large porcelain sheets within a single kiln in order to achieve the desired aesthetic. Working quickly and intuitively, and believing corrections to be taboo, the artist’s process ensures that each brushstroke and implementation of color acts as a gestural invocation of emotion.

Keun Woo Lee was born in Korea and currently lives and works in Kiel, Germany.

Manitoga: Peter Bynum’s Ecstatic Light

May 13 to November 14, 2016, Garrison, N.Y.

Untitled # 321 Acrylic paint on 3 sheets of tempered glass 24 in. X 36 in. X 3 in. D  2013The Russel Wright Design Center is pleased to announce Ecstatic Light– the illuminated paintings of 2016 resident artist Peter Bynum. A site-specific installation of Bynum’s works will be on display in Russel Wright’s House and Studio, marking Manitoga’s first presentation of a contemporary artist within the interiors.

The installation will be on view during seasonal public tours and special programs, including artist-led tours. A Member Opening Celebration will be held Saturday, May 21, 2016, 5-7pm.

Says Executive Director Allison Cross, “Peter Bynum has conceived a new way of painting. He presses paint between multiple sheets of glass to release its primal energy, then infuses it with light to expose paint’s intrinsic branching behavior. These three-dimensional,illuminated paintings on glass, with their energy and ecstatic beauty, evoke the life-force found in ecosystems throughout nature.”

“In all life-forms, energy circulates through a nervous system,” says Bynum. “In animals, energy flows through a system of veins and arteries, in plants, through roots and branches. Paint has within it this same sophisticated intelligence — an organic ability  to express the life force in action. When paint is suffused with light, this ‘secret life’ of paint is revealed.”

According to Cross, Russel Wright, like Bynum, experimented with light, elements of nature, the effects of layering, and new ways to use materials at Manitoga, pushing boundaries and our expectations. “Peter’s ethereal illuminated paintings represent a significant departure from the history of painting. And like Manitoga, they offer an immersive experience. Our viewing of the installed work will unfold, becoming part of the choreographed whole and intimacy of visiting the site.”

Peter Bynum’s paintings will be a featured element of Manitoga’s 2016 tour season.

Registration for tours and other Manitoga programs and special events is available at Visit Manitoga.