● Millenary butterfly made by celadon handing
Hwang Sunhyung(Morris Gallery, ARTHUB Director)
The touch of both wonderness and perplexity comes when facing art work of Moon soo man, the well-known artist for his butterfly exhibitions, that stems from the accuracy of work which may cause an optical illusion. The work of Moon soo man that seems to use the technique of tromp-l’oeil looks as if it's a real photograph, a stuffed butterfly specimen or possibly, a live butterfly which is about to fly up lightly. Moon‘s pictures are not likely to be perceived as a work drawn with a brush if you appreciate it as the common paintings. However, even when one observes the pieces meticulously, there seems to be no recognizable difference, but only adds one's curiosity and confusion. Only after one's minute observation with a magnifying glass and hearing a lucid explanation regarding the work, one begins to learn that every stitch of the work was painted sophisticatedly with a brush. But it is clear that Moon‘s ultimate goal reflected through a series of butterfly works is not confined only to seek either realistic reproduction with a detailed description or illusional effects. It has its purpose on the revelation of artists' free will that also leads us to experience marvelous art form crossing the borderline between the solid and the void, reality and unreality as well as fiction and existence.
Moon soo man has been pursuing the subject of butterfly series continuously since the exhibition of 'the Taxidermied freedom' in 2009. The current exhibition of Morris Gallery continues prior line of butterfly series. So, there is a need to summarize and understand prior exhibition even in brief manner in order to comprehend the latest works correctly. 1) April. 2009 (Seoul, Insa Art Center, - the Taxidermied Freedom) ; establishment of artistic identity through a revelation of free will , presentment of a formative language in style of Moon soo man standing for the harmonious ensemble between truth of Hyperrealism and Aesthetics of structure of space. 2) September. 2009 (Daejon, Morris Gallery, - The Butterfly, Le Papillon) ; breakaway from a bondage of earlier exhibition the Taxidermied Freedom, acquisition of dynamics and unrestrictedness in a way of formative arrangement for freely dancing butterflies in a flock. 3) April. 2010 (Seoul, Gallery Is) ; presentment of the new concept Digilog genre in line with a mixed composition between photos and paintings, converting elaborated analog butterfly works to digital sources. 4) April. 2011 (Seoul, Gana art space, The Butterfly) ; realization of works' formative diversity and higher quality in line with materialization of various backgrounds such as hanji(traditional korean paper), marble and ramie fabric, presentment of works' future direction and directing point, plus, completion of continuing the butterfly series, Act I. If say so, how do the current exhibition and prior four times butterfly things differ? The answer to this question might be solved with the artist's note. Just like the novelist of “Celadon and butterfly" used to give full stretch of imagination on a squared manuscript, artist's imagination is also in full career. One thousand years ago, I was a potter, shaping a celadon, and I used to revolve around a celadon. People belonged to the butterfly are now to tattoo the butterfly on their own bodies. The butterfly inscribes its name on its own wing. The artist is trying to talk about the issue of reincarnation through the writer's note. The artist put a narrative regarding the reincarnation from a potter to a butterfly, opening the Act II, the butterfly series after overcoming the stuffed state with revelation of free will using the butterfly, the Act I. Not long ago Moon released a video clip on the social network service, showing his long production process. It was to solve the curiosity associated with the process, especially, the aim of the current public release is to explain that technical revelation is not all the things he seeks. Many people who saw the video footage were moved with admiration in terms of repetition of the complicated process, various technical revelation and amazing concentration. The following poem is a tribute to poet, Oh‘s commitment to the work. -The potter's wing
The features of the current Moon's exhibition in Morris Gallery are commonly defined as the major two things ; setting up the narrative for the reincarnation of both potter and butterfly mentioned in the artist's note, creative and technical revelation of working method. One of them is dramatic reproduction of the Goryeo inlaid celadon porcelain technique (around 1 thousand year ago) on a circular canvas. Moon would do anything to overcome technical restrictions whatever he face in order to embody the work in his pursuit. It is kind of like the act of repeating numerous experimental researches designed to prove the new theory by scientists. Reassurance of modern sense applied by the inlaid pattern of the traditional celadon, using a computer illustrate program, in order to implement the technique of inlaid celadon porcelain on a canvas. The picturesque inlaid technique was achieved by the means of printing out bright film in a state of being cut and attaching it to a canvas. A pictorial pottery was made by repeated experiments with numerous materials in an effort to make an effect of 'Crack' on a surface of ceramics.
Moon‘s works are being invented in process of complicated things with these unique and creative technical manners. In order to enhance works understanding, working process could be delineated as follows: 1) inlaid patterns for the work are made of using an illustrate program. Although it is as part of digital process, the result of that cannot be gained without lots of hard work and time-consuming. As every piece he applied patterns is all distinct, so it is needed to produce each patterns based on the number of the work. Usually, the work of gaining a pattern takes a clear month. 2) The work of basic compaction on a canvas should be firstly performed. The dozens process of both painting gesso with a brush and drying is also must be repeated, then gnawing the surface of it with a sandpaper is on the same lines as before until reaching optimum state. 3) Bright film printed out of a plotter is being attached to the settled circular canvas 4) Spread light paints of celadon green color over on the attached film and dry. Repeat this process several times. 5) Taking off the film that is supposed to be remain as a space except for patterns along with the tailored film. 6) And then, spread light paints of celadon green color over the surface and dry. Repeat this process several times, gnawing with sandpaper evenly in order to reproduce the Goryeo inlaid celadon porcelain technique. 7) Paint with a brush, marking a dot in an effort to describe both butterfly and reflection of it at the work's prime location graphically. 8) Finally, Paint vanish on it in order to describe the effect of the celadon's crack. With this, the work of cycle is completed. It's obvious that the working process requires much concentration and patience. However, the artist is ready to endure hardship in the process of the work.
What is the ultimate purpose of the art for Moon soo man who is trying to seek in line with lots of process involving extreme difficulty? What it comes down to is, both confirmation of self existence by his own free will and completion of formative language in Moon's style through the highest completeness of the work could be defined as the above question's answer. Now, the curtain has gone up on the opening of the butterfly series, Act II. The current exhibition is expected to show the Koguryo Murals, ' Koguryo progressive on Anak Tomb No.3‘ restored as a digital thing after a long period of time, apart from the work of the inlaid technique featured by the narrative of 'incarnation of potter and butterfly’. Moon has been maximizing his artistic capability with his journey on the struggling Act I that also left in its wake a possibility about the work. However, it is obvious for him to face new challenges and numerous obstacles again in the process of launching his the butterfly series Act II. But, the problem with worrying about the artist's expected adversity may not be a matter for us. As you can find out the reason for not caring it in the recently updated artist's note.