Recalling the memories embedded in each of my paintings - recalling the process of capturing the faces of passers-by - I've come to the conclusion that my ongoing project’s defining feature could be characterized as 'the Unidentified', 'the Nameless', or better yet ‘the Anonymous'.
There are as many ways of seeing and understanding as there are individuals in the world. As such, the basic method I employ in the creation of my paintings is to convey my personal, thus subjective response to my subjects.
I am always on the lookout, searching to exploit the dynamic tension when representation and abstraction come into contact. And under the influence of Goethe's color theory I use my own sensibility as a color filter, adding spontaneous but rational logic and judgment as the mixture of reason and sentiment take form on my canvas. With sentiment I have in mind, the meaning comes from Oriental philosophy - i.e. moderation, not the Kantian view of sensitivity or sensation.
The outcome of this process results in paintings, visually rich surfaces in which the exact nature of these forces - feeling / reason - is held in dynamic tension. And it is this holding of opposing forces in free, open play that provides the connectivity between my paintings and their audience.- Taken from artist’s note, April 2013
- “It is the job of the artist to pay close attention to things, to give them the attention they deserve. This series of paintings shows a distinction about the power of existence when complete strangers become objects of interest to me."
- The artist Jaeyeol Han found his subject in Haiti. As part of his National Service, and under the auspices of the UN, his battalion was dispatched to assist in the aftermath of Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake.
Among the rubble and ruin Han was struck by the spectrum of reactions to what we, at a safe remove, casually refer to as a natural disaster. These ran, as might be expected, from despair right through to joyful resilience. But above all it was the dignity of each and every individual that deeply impressed, imprinted itself onto Han becoming his obsession.
Han' s work makes us viscerally alert to the double nature of the glimpse; the visible and the temporal as a short duration co-presence. Their conjunction might be thought of as a cusp moment, an everyday moment that only rarely becomes pivotal, capturing these is Han's achievement. His paintings resist being characterized as either sketches or studies so powerfully does he evoke the poignancy of lives lived, hinted at either side of the brief moment when their glimpsed presence is captured for us by Jaeyeol Han.
- 2013.06.12 - 06.25The Second Solo Exhibition in Seoul"Jaeyeol Han Opens Out"
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- A painter paints not what he has seen but how things seem to him. A muddy taste brushes the tip of tongue at the sight of Van Gogh’s Paris of cyan-gray sky and clouds, and likewise the stench of blood broods in a room surrounded by Bacon’s figures painted red on the back of the canvas. This is why I love the old method of playing with paint, for I believe this medium can sufficiently contain more - beyond mere shapes, colors, images and such - the very five senses.As far as I know, many artists rely on photos, printed materials and monitors. Images are flattened, motionless, unexpected events annihilated, color, contrast and resolution limited, which removes many possibilities – possibilities beyond our cognition. I advise them to avoid doing so as much as possible. For painters, seeing is no less a part of their job, and they can fluently apprehend much more when they perceive their subjects firsthand. They may be unaware, but such qualities will sufficiently be reflected in their creations and they will continue to struggle to do so. It may be sound or smell, pose or the sense of touch, as if something in the painting were touching a part of the brain. The true act of painting, I believe, is about capturing these feelings.This might be why I draw and paint faces life-size. In the midst of drawing passers-by I thought that I was trying to catch the impression of encountering someone. I imagine that, if I showed fifty portraits the viewer in that space may perhaps feel like they have met fifty people. And they will see and think, talk without voices, to each and every person as they do when they really meet a person, acquaint that person and move on. The inhabitants of my paintings are neither viewers nor my friends, just passers-by whose names I do not know. To them the viewers must seem like passers-by, just the same. Likewise, my paintings are about the experience of being a passer-by and the anxiety aroused on confronting the reality that not only are we transient beings – here today, gone tomorrow – our very lives are lived in constant transit.