Longing for a seaside village, hometown, and the source of existence
Koh, Chung-Hwan (Art Critic)
Artist Khe Don Bek was born in a seaside village in Korsakov City, Sakhalin, Russia. He is a second-generation writer, Коре́йский in local language,
and Goryeoin in Korean. Japan, which was defeated in World War II, sent ships to carry its own people, but ships for Koreans did not come to the end.
The generation of parents who were forcibly moved to Sakhalin were left in the area, and settled in the port village to heal the cold of the ruin.
After that, Ansan City provided the apartment construction site in the form of a long-term lease, and a hometown village for Sakhalin compatriots
was built in the Sangnok Tree Village that was formed. In 2000, after twists and turns, the artist's parents came to Korea, and the artist also gave
up his stable life as a professor in Russia and came to Korea to serve his parents. Even now, the artist's family lives in Russia (refer to Virgil
America 22, 2012 Volume 2 for the artist's identity).
Although this is a summary of the artist's identity, his life is a typical case that can be viewed as the epitome of the so-called diaspora, or forced
settlers. In the theory of art, there is a position that reality (and therefore life) and art are separate domains. On the other hand, there is a
position that art cannot be a separate domain as it is a reflection of reality. Rather than seeing that one is right and the other is wrong, it is
reasonable to see it as a case that reflects a different point of view of art. If so, what about the writer? When looking at the artist's painting
without prior understanding of the artist's personal background, it does not seem like art that reflects reality (for example, realist art), but as
a painting that opens his own fantasy in relation to a surrealist vision. It is read as an example of one's own original form. By the way, is the real
life that the artist would have been through and the fierce perception of reality has nothing to do with the painting? It is not. The artist's paintings
should be viewed as a case that reflects the fierce perception of reality and is a life that is in a different way from realist art. And for that
other way, it should be viewed as a case of introducing and adapting (self-made) a surrealist vision. Here is the specificity of the artist's work.
It is a picture that reflects one's own life and projected reality perception against a surrealist vision. However, clarifying why it is a surrealist
vision and how to reflect reality in a surrealist vision will be the key to understanding the artist's work.
As is well known, Surrealism inherits Freud's programme. And Freud defines humans as animals of desire. Therefore, individual humans are inevitably
anti-institutional and anti-social. Because desire tries to realize itself, and institutions suppress that desire. Therefore, somehow suppressing,
monitoring and controlling individual desires depends on the success or failure of all sound and healthy institutions. It is a dream and an art that
the desires that are frustrated in reality, the desires that are suppressed, and the desires that have been expelled from the unconsciousness can
indirectly realize themselves. Here, the dream includes a suppressed reality, so it is a more extreme reality than the reality. And art reflects that
extreme reality. Such art through surrealism reflects reality in a different way from realism. It is to see the frustrated desires, the suppressed
desires, and the desires expelled unconsciously from reality as a mirror that reflects reality.
By the way, what suppressed and frustrated desires can be seen in the mirror of the unconscious that the artist exemplifies? Georg Zimmel is a symptom
of a modern man, and as a symptom, he has a feeling of loss of his hometown. Here, hometown also means a geopolitical place, but rather, it means a
sense of presence, an emotion about the source of existence, and therefore a sense of root. It is believed that modern people have lost their sense of
presence and root consciousness, and the signs and symptoms are expressed as feelings of loss for their hometown. In the artist's paintings, there is a
sense of loss for Karreyski's hometown, and there is a longing for his hometown. Earlier, the author said that he was born in a seaside village in
Sakhalin. So, there are many unique seaside scenery in the artist's paintings. It depicts the hometown as a geopolitical place, the hometown as a
spiritual dwelling place, and the longing for the hometown beyond the far-off reality that cannot be grasped. Therefore, the sea frequently in the
artist's paintings should be viewed as a metaphor for boundaries. Reality and unreality, reality and surreality, dream and reality, and the unconscious
and conscious world must be viewed as a boundary that separates the world. Standing in front of that visible and invisible boundary, the artist misses
the source from which existence originated, and paints the longing.
There are barriers installed here to prevent land loss. As the years passed, the barriers were struck and tattered by seawater and sea breezes. The
artist combed the figures of people looking up to the sky on the part that was so dent and tattered. The years have passed so that the barriers are
broken and tattered, and the wounds of those who have deepened as much as those years, the sense of oblivion, and the longing for their hometown. And
here is (Time New). Time? It is a coined word created by the author. At first glance, it seems like a landscape where the sea with ripples and the sky
flowing with floating clouds correspond to each other, bordering on the far-off horizon. However, if you look still, the pattern created by the floating
clouds and the pattern of ripples are like the wings of a giant bird. Birds that are huge enough to cover the sky and sea are flying through the landscape.
That way, the landscape became a bird. If you look at the landscape long enough to become distant, the landscape becomes a bird at last. Although I cannot
cross the border, I can send a bird as a messenger of longing instead. So it’s time. The years accumulated by longing were incarnated into a new one. And
there is a huge whale. In fact, it is a shape made by clouds. Like underwater, cloud whales can swim across the sky and go beyond the border. You can send
your longing over the border instead.
The artist borrowed a surrealist vision to portray a sense of loss for his hometown, a sense of oblivion, and therefore a longing for his hometown. The
motive to note here is the cloud. Clouds do not have a specific shape. Its form is variable and changeable. That's exactly the case with a surrealist
vision. The form that the surrealist vision opens is also variable and impermanent. The metamorphosis deserves to be the hallmark of a surrealist vision.
The imagination (strictly, the unconscious desire) becomes the medium and transforms the reality into an arbitrary and arbitrary transformation. It's a
way to expand reality. When the transposition of things, that is, the arrangement (and relationship) of the things, changes, the meaning also changes.
Thus, the form is expanded and the meaning is expanded. Therefore, it is a way to expand the world.
Previously, the artist said that the seaside village was his hometown. So, in the artist's paintings, there are many materials that originated from the
seaside. They are materials such as clamshell and conch. Sora also has a part that communicates with the sense of delusion. For example, my ears are also
supported by Jang Kokto's poem, saying that I miss the sea shell and the sound of the sea. The conch shell looks just like an ear. So, when you look at a
conch shell, you seem to see your ears listening to the sounds coming from the beach. Here, the poem to miss the sound of the sea means to miss the source
of existence that would have been carried by the sound of the sea, be on the other side of the sea with no bottom or end, and in the past, even the sea
would have originated. . Perhaps that's why the artist names Sora's painting as (Sora's Dream). As we have seen, dreams are a field in which surrealistic
visions open themselves, and desires suppressed in reality indirectly realize themselves. In this way, the artist borrows Sora's ears to listen to the
sound that comes from the source where the existence originated.
And earlier, he said that the cloud and the surrealist vision communicate with each other. He said that the shape of the cloud does not have a specific
shape. He said it was variable and non-deterministic. He said that the surrealist vision is exactly that. Surrealist vision transforms reality into
arbitrary and arbitrary forms, which he called metamorphosis. As such, the conch is like a butterfly with its wings flapping its wings, and the pattern
created by the conch's curvature expands into clouds and becomes a part of the landscape. Here, the butterfly is probably focused on morphological
similarity, and that similarity connects with the surrealist vision. And it can be seen as another case of messenger that will carry longing to the
other side of reality itself. Thus, longing transforms the conch into a butterfly, into a cloud, and conventionally becomes a landscape by itself. It
is a landscape in which nostalgia melts, a landscape created by nostalgia, and a landscape like the incarnation of nostalgia.
Here, the cell structure is a peculiar point identified in the artist's paintings. In fact, the artist's paintings form a shape as cells, monads,
terminals, and pixels are integrated as a fortress. Depending on how the cells gather, it can be a conch, a butterfly, or a cloud. It has a variable
and metamorphic shape structure, and the shape structure connects with that of a surrealist vision. Cells here may be called particles of nostalgia.
Eventually, longing became air, and the air scattered and gathered to form one or another shape, combing the world that the artist imagines. In this
way, the artist drew a living and breathing sea within himself, and painted a landscape like an incarnation of longing. He painted a circular
consciousness that goes back to the origin of existence. It would be good to call it a fantasy wave, which is rare in Korea.