RSS RSS
태그
Filling, Heaping, and Flowing - Lee Kyong
Abstract Painting Artist
Kyong_Lee, Contemporary_art, Abstract, Color-Adjective
20788
page-template-default,page,page-id-20788,page-child,parent-pageid-1024,qode-quick-links-1.0,,qode-title-hidden,side_area_uncovered_from_content,qode-theme-ver-14.1,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.5.2,vc_responsive

채움, 쌓임, 흐름

글 : 정 현(미술비평)

증거없는 회화
2008.05.07~05.25
갤러리 도올

« 나는 아직도 노란색과 파란색, 그리고 초록색을 볼 수 있습니다. 흰색은 사라졌거나, 아니면 회색과 혼동되기 일쑤입니다. 빨간색은 나의 시야에서 완전히 사라졌습니다. 그러나 나는 계속 치료를 받고 있고, 그래서 언젠가 시력이 나아져 그 위대한 색을 볼 수 있기를 바라고 있습니다. 시 속에서 환하게 빛나는 그 색, 수많은 언어에서 그토록 아름다운 이름을 지니고 있는 그 색을 말입니다. (…) 나는 그런 색의 세계 속에서 살고 있습니다. » 
– 호르헤 루이스 보르헤스, « 칠일 밤 » 중에서.

 

보르헤스는 실명 이후, 어둠의 세계를 얻었다고, 매우 용기내어 얘기했다. 실명은 유전이지만 용기는 유전이 아니었더라는 그의 말은 ‘어둠의 세계’를 인정하기가 쉽지 않았음을 대신 설명해 주었다. 실명은 실체적 이미지를 시각으로 감지할 수 없게 만들었지만, 오히려 그는 기억에 의존하면서 언어 자체에 더더욱 몰두할 수 있었다는 사실은 내겐 예술행위의 영속성을 시사하는 내용이었다. 그의 말처럼 실명이란 또다른 삶을 살아가는 방식이었다. 그러나 실명의 삶이 완전한 어둠의 세계로 추락하는 것이 아닌 의외의 색이 등장한 세계였다는 그의 증언으로부터 나의 글을 시작하고 싶다. 왜냐하면, 이 경의 작업은 색이 주제이자 곧 대상이기 때문이다. 그리고 무엇보다 그녀 역시 그런 색의 세계 속에살고 있기 때문이다.

이미 그녀에게 색은 도구 이상의 의미였을까 ? 2000년도 독일유학시절 제작한 « 색깔적기 »란 텍스트북에서 그녀는모두 140개의 색을 적어 넣었다. 체계화된 색이름이 아닌 주관적이고 비논리적인 색이름은 내겐 이 경 작업을 읽기 위한 가이드북이 되었다.

비논리적이고 때론 감정적이거나 감상적인 느낌마저 드는 « 색깔적기 »는 1. 심심한 색으로 시작해서 78. 생 색 을 거쳐 140. 민감한 색으로 끝이 난다. « 색깔적기 »는 한 페이지에 모두 20개의 색이 적혀져있고 왼쪽엔 한글, 오른쪽엔 독일어가 적혀있다. 숫자의 나열은 중요하지 않으나 하나의 색이 다음에 나올 색을 인도하는 출발점이 된다는 점에서 이번 전시에 소개되는 색띠회화가 완성되는 과정과 흡사하다. 색깔적기는 작가의 색분류법을 대신하는 자료로서의 가치는 물론 주관적이고 자유기술법에 가까운 무의식적인 색채 사용법을 언뜻 넘겨볼 수 있는 확장된 드로잉으로 해석이 가능하다.

 

1.채움
이 경은 방산시장에 가서 덕테잎 (duck tape)을 구매한다. 절단되지 않은 테잎을 다양한 크기로 절단하면서부터 이미 작업은 시작된다. 캔버스에 밑칠을 한 후 테잎을 붙여 첫번째 공간을 열어준다. 대부분 한쪽 면 끝에서 시작되지만 간혹 중간부터 색띠가 시작되는 경우도 있다. 긴 수평의 면이 준비되면 그  속을 중간색의 아크릴물감으로 채우기 시작한다. 물감의 발색에 따라 적게는 서너번 많게는 여닐곱번을 바르는 과정은 공간 속에 시간이 중첩되는 일종의 « 숙성의기간 »이다. 색띠 하나가 완성된 후 다시 새로운 공간을 만든다. 최초의 색띠는 출발점이다. 색띠와 색띠 사이의 관계는 스스로 연동되는 듯 보이지만 작가의 팔레트는 끊임없이 새로운 색, 차이를 가진 색을 추구한다. 이런 집착은 예술가의 생리일 수 밖에 없지만 말이다. 예를 들어, « 하얀 그림 »의 경우 색띠들 사이의 차이는 미세해서 쉽게 확인되지않는다. 그러나 자세히 들여다보면, 아니 그보다는 그림과 함께 이야기를 만들다보면 섬세한 차이를 발견하게 된다. 완전한 순백도 아닌 푸른빛이나 혹은 노란빛들이 흰색 사이에서 그 차이를 만들어낸다. 색띠는 그처럼 시간의 경과, 의식의 변이를 미세하게 감지하는 매우 감각적인 시공간적 경험으로 채워져있다.

이 경의 색띠들은 층을 이루면서 완성된다. 하나의 공간은 색으로 채워지고 다음 공간으로 이동한다. 마치 접혀져 있던 세상의 표면이 펼쳐지는 것처럼 말이다. 다시 말해, 이 경의 회화는 주관적 경험으로부터 발췌된 시공간의 집합이다.그리고 하나의 시공간-색띠는 연속적으로(progressive) 펼쳐진다.

 

2. 쌓임
무언가 쌓아져 있다는 것은 축적됨을 의미한다. 이 경의 회화가 수평적 질서로 진행되어지지만 뉘어져 있던 색띠 화면이 수직으로 세워지는 순간 그것은 시공간의 겹이 쌓여진 지층으로 뒤바뀐다. 그러나 이것은 수직이란 형태가 발산하는 기호학적 의미인 상승이나 방향성과는 구분되는 수직이다. 지층화는 두께를 가진 수평의 쌓임이다. 마치 우리가 밟고서 있는 이 대지가 지층으로 이루어진 것과 마찬가지로 내 위에 펼쳐진 하늘 역시 여러 층의 겹으로 이뤄져 있지만 우리의 시선은 표피에 머물러있지 않은가.

또 다른 해석으로, 무언가를 쌓는다는 것은 무엇인가를 건축한다는 의미처럼 들리기 쉽다. 들뢰즈가 자주 거론했던 지층화 (stratification)는 깊이와 표면의 관계에 대한 성찰이었다. 들뢰즈의 지층은 쌓여짐을 의미하지만, 높이와 크기또는 신성이나 힘의 상징을 대변하기 위한 은유가 아니었다. 그의 지층은 지금 우리가 바라보는 세상의 표면들을 모두 아우르는 것이며, 모든 표면은 그만큼의 깊이를 지니고 있음을 의미하는 것이다. 들뢰즈의 지층화는 시간성과 공간성의 깊이이며 끊임없이 살아 움직여야만하는 생성의 논리를 얘기하고 있다. 그래서 이 경이 그려내는 지층은 두께를 가진 풍경이다.

풍경은 재영토화에 의해 이루어진다. 기독교 문화에서 에덴의 동산이 천국을 대신한다면 그 공간은 의식적으로 구획된 풍경의 원형이다. 풍경은 이처럼 자연을 형성하는 재료들을 구성하고 공간 속에 구획하면서 ‘자연의 풍경화’와 ‘척도의 인간화’를 이루는 것이다. 동서양을 막론하고 풍경화 (風景化) 또는 풍경-되기란 세계관을 대신했다. 화가는 자연을 화면 속에 배치시킨다. 이는 세계를 가시화하는 행위이며 그래서 일종의 재영토화가 진행된 장소라고 할 수 있다. 작가란 생리적으로 스스로 자신의 세상을 만드는 사람이다. 이 경 역시 그림 그리기를 통해 자신의 세상을 만든다.이 지점에서 들뢰즈의 생각을 살짝 들춰볼까 ? 그는 예술이란 어떤 사건으로부터 만들어진다고 얘기했다. 쉽게 빠질수 있는 오류, 즉 존재의 문제가 아니라는 점을 강조하면서 말이다. 재현과 형상이 사라진 회화를 바라보면서 관객은 이중적 기준을 대입시키곤 한다. 하나는 이해할 수 없는 주관적 색과 형태를 감성적으로 읽으려는 태도이고, 다른 하나는 추상 속에서 자연이나 풍경의 비유를 읽어보려는 자세다. 왜냐하면 삶의 궤적에서 누구나 한 번쯤은 그림같은 경험을 만나기 때문이다.

 

3. 흐름 : 접힘과 펼쳐짐
이 경의 그림은 강물을 연상시킨다. 높이 오르지 않고 끊임없이 구비구비 흘러가는 강물은 평등한 매력을 지녔다. 강이나 바다를 바라볼 때 우리는 움직임에 반응하고 표면의 색에 의해 그 깊이를 가늠한다. 끊임없이 율동하는 물의 흐름은 생명의 움직임이다. 끊임없이 흘러가는 물의 이동처럼 이 경의 색띠회화는 그만의 율동과 리듬을 지닌 채 그렇게흘러간다.

그림을 그린다는 행위, 예술가로 세상을 바라본다는 것은 감춰진 세상, 다른 말로 바꿔보자면, 접혀져 있는 세상을 펼치고, 펼쳐진 세상을 접는 행위일 것이다. 이 경의 그림-되기를 살펴보면 마치 점진적으로 파도가 밀려오는 것 처럼이 세상의 표면이 가지고 있는 그 주름들이 펴지거나 접히는 과정을 자신만의 방식으로 채워나가는 듯 하다.

이번 전시에 소개되는 작품들은 모두 수평의 색띠들로 이루어진 « 흐름과 쌓임의 그림 »으로 채워져 있다. 표현적 요소는 전혀 찾아볼 수 없으며, 감정의 기복도 없이 동질의 힘과 동일한 톤으로 완성된 평등한 매력을 지닌 색띠의 조형성은 예견된 흐름이었다. 왜냐하면 흥미롭게도, 이 경이 지금과 같은 그림 그리기에 도달하기 전, 독일 유학 시절 물그림에 몰두했다는 점이었다. 물 그림은 현재의 그리기와 차이를 가지고 있다. 요동치고 추락하거나 분해되는 듯한 물그림은 표현적이고 무엇보다 그림 그리기의 손맛이 남아있다. 그러나 어딘지 모르게 불안한 느낌을 받는 까닭은 아마도 작가가 가진 물에 대한 공포때문일지도 모르겠다. 그럼에도 불구하고 물 그림에서 감지할 수 있는 운동감은 색띠회화에서도 확인된다. 주름이 펼쳐지듯 연속성을 지닌 조형적 특성은 뒤샹의 « 계단을 내려오는 나부 » 처럼 감정이배제된 채 어디론가 흐르고 있기 때문이다.
 
4. 경험의 재영토화
김 훈의 소설 속에는 풍경의 묘사가 자주 등장하곤 한다. 그의 소설세계에서 풍경은 역설적이다. 사건의 전개와는 무관하게 풍경은 자신의 질서로 분리된 채 진행되기 때문이다. « 날리는 눈가루 속으로 햇빛이 스며들어 무지개빛을 튕겼다. 가파른 성벽 위 허공에서 빛의 대열이 바람에 흩어졌다. 군인들은 눈이 부셨다. » (김훈, 남한산성) 전장의 긴장감 속에서도 자연은 찬란한 무지개를 선사한다. 이 경의 회화에서 풍경성은 어쩔 수 없는 아포리즘이다. 즉 풍경적 인상에서 자유로울 수도 없고 그렇다고 그녀의 회화가 풍경화도 아니기 때문이다. 관객의 응시는 그들의 몫이지만, 김훈의 소설 속 풍경처럼 자연이란 감정을 지니고 있지 않다. 그저 의외의 스펙타클이 펼쳐질 뿐.

이 경은 풍경을 재현하지 않는다. 그러나 그녀가 경험한 주관적 인식의 토대는 자연의 스펙타클임은 분명하다. 그녀가감지한 스펙타클은 신비주의적 환영이 아닌 마치 보르헤스가 보았던 색의 세계와 유사하지 않을까. 그래서 이 경이 그려낸 색띠의 조합은 ‘경험의 재현’이라기 보다는 주관적 경험을 새로운 시공간에 재배치한다는 의미로서 ‘경험의 재영토화’로 해석하는 것도 좋을 듯 싶다.

 

마지막으로 이번 전시에 처음으로 소개되는 « 투명한 그림 » 으로 내 글을 마치고 싶다. 그녀의 작업이 가진 속성 상어쩔 수 없이 부산물이 생산된다. 아크릴물감을 겹쳐채우는 과정에 마스킹 테잎 위에 안착한 결국 버려져야만 하는 색면이 바로 그것이다. 작가는 버려진 색면들을 조심스레 벗겨내 널어놓는다. 그리고 투명아크릴 판 위에 다시 재배열시킨다. 투명한 그림은 이처럼 완성되는데, « 색깔적기 » 텍스트 중 41. 우연한 색 + 52. 투명한 색 + 121. 사이에 낀색 + 131. 부서진 색 은 이렇게 재배치되는 것은 아닐까 생각해봤다. 투명한 그림은 현재의 그림그리기에서 다른 장소로 이동하려는 과도기로 보여진다. 채움과 쌓임의 반복에서 이제 작업의 잉여물을 새로운 공간 위에 재배치시키면서 이 경은 그리기란 행위에서 한 뼘 쯤 더 멀리 이동하려는 듯 하다. 우연한 발견으로 완성된 투명한 그림들은 의식의 흐름을 섬세하게 관찰하기보다 자신의 손 안에서 놀이를 하듯 꼼지락거리면서 완성된다. 이런 부서짐과 즉흥성은 작가가 만든 틀을 스스로 조금씩 해체하는 행위이며, 아마도 기존의 규정으로부터 이탈해가는 과정의 시작일지도 모르겠다. 

 

2008 © 정 현

Filling, Heaping, and Flowing

Jung Hyun (Art Critic)

Painting with no Evidence

2008. 05. 07 – 05. 25

Gallery Doll

“I can still see yellow, blue, and green. White disappears and is often confused with gray. Red has vanished completely from my eyesight. I am being treated now and hope to recover my eyesight so I can see such great hues like the colors brightly glittering in a poem and the colors that bear such beautiful names in numerous different languages. I want to live in the world of such hues.” – Seven Nights by Jorse Luis Borges

 

Jorge Luis Borges speaks about the world of darkness he faced after losing his eyesight. He remarks that the loss of his eyesight is hereditary, but it is his own personal courage, not anything he inherited through genetics, that accounts for his unwillingness to give in to this world of darkness. Although he becomes unable to sense substantial images, he remains intent on language itself, relying on his own memories. This suggests that all artistic activities are indeed perpetual and longstanding. As he mentioned, losing eyesight is just another way of life. I would like to start this essay from the premise that losing eyesight is not falling into a world of complete darkness, but instead, entering a new world that can still be filled with extraordinary colors.

The theme and object of Lee Kyeong’s work is color, which is also the world she lives in. For the artist, colors are perhaps more than just tools. Lee recorded 140 colors in a book, Writing Colors that she made while studying in Germany in 2000. The color names, which are non-systematic, subjective, and illogical, become a guide for me to analyze her work.
Writing Colors, which at times appears illogical, sometimes emotional, and even a bit over-sentimental, begins with a dull color (1), moves through a vivid hue (78), and ends with a sensitive color (140). 20 colors are written on one page of this book, in Korean on the left and in German on the right. The arrangements of the figures are of no significance, but one color leads another hue to emerge, which is quite similar to the process of completing her color-strip painting. Writing Colors can be interpreted as an extended drawing, suggesting Lee’s subjective, unconscious use of colors much like the process of automatism, and in addition reveals her own color classification method.

 

1. Filling 
In her process, Lee Kyeong purchases duct tape at Bangsan market. Her work begins when she cuts the tape into various sizes. She generates the first space by priming the canvas and applying these pieces of tape. The color strips usually begin from one end, but sometimes start from the middle. Lee fills the horizontally long areas with intermediate acrylic tints, applying them at least three to seven times. This process of applying paints is the “period of maturation,” demonstrating the layering of time. Lee creates another space after completing one color strip, which acts as a departure point. One color strip seems to be closely linked to another and the palette she employs shows a subtle difference among hues. In White Picture, for instance, the color difference among the strips is so minute and subtle that it cannot easily be sensed. Upon closer examination, however, we may find delicate differences. Bluish or yellowish tones unveil their differences between the whitish, yet not purely white hues. The color strips are filled with extremely sensuous, temporal, and spatial experiences implying the passage of time and the transformation of consciousness.
When completed, Lee Kyeong’s color strips form a pattern of layers. After completing one space, she moves to another, as if spreading over the folded surface of the world. Lee’s painting can be said to an aggregation of space and time that has been extracted from her subjective experience shown through continuously unfolding color strips.

 

2. Heaping
Heaping refers to accumulation. Lee’s painting is contained to a horizontal order, but her color-strip picture is set up vertically, turning the strips into the layers of time and space. This verticality, however, is distinguished from any symbolic meaning of the vertical form and is not a reference to an ascent or upward direction. Stratification refers to the division of something into layers, all of which have some thickness. As if the land we are standing on is made up of several layers, the sky can also be composed of a group of layers.
Heaping something can also be interpreted as an act of construction. Gilles Deleuze frequently argues that stratification is a reflection of relationships between depth and surface. His stratification refers to accumulation. It is not a metaphor for height, scale, power, or divinity, but a remark about the surface of what we see, signifying that each surface has its own depth. Deleuze’s stratification refers to a temporal and spatial depth, which hints at the logic behind acts of incessant production. This being said, Lee’s layers can be seen as landscapes with thickness.
Landscapes are made by re-territorialization. If the Garden of Eden replaces Heaven in Christian culture, the space is an archetype of a consciously sectioned landscape. Landscapes are one of the materials forming nature, replacing the view of the world. The painter places nature in a canvas, as an act of visualizing and territorializing the world. The artist, by nature, is one who creates his or her own world, and Lee makes her own world through an act of painting. At this point let us consider Deleuze’s thought. Art is made from an incident, he stated. The audience often has a dual standard when seeing paintings with no form and representation. One is an attitude to analyze undecipherable subjective color and form in an emotional manner, and the other is to interpret nature or landscape in abstraction, because everyone once experiences painting during his or her life.

 

3. Flowing: Folding and Unfolding 
Lee Kyeong’s painting can be associated with a stream, having the attraction of ann endlessly meandering river. When seeing a river or the sea, we measure its depth and the color of its surface, responding to its movement. Unceasingly flowing, rhythmic water is the movement of life. Like the never-ending flow of water, Lee’s color strip painting streams with its own rhythm. The act of doing a painting and viewing the world as an artist is, in some sense, is an act of unfolding a folded world and again folding a world which was once unfolded. Lee’s work seems to be a personal representation of this process of unfolding and folding.
On display at the exhibition are her flowing and heaping paintings composed of horizontal color strips. The continuous attractiveness and plasticity of the color strips is formed through homogeneous force and tonality that doesn’t reveal any expressive elements or emotional unstableness. Her infatuation with water painting while in Germany is the precursor to plasticity of her current work. Quite expressive, her water paintings give a feel of both swirling and falling and appear somewhat unstable. This can perhaps be attributed to the artist’s fear of water. Despite this difference, a sense of the movement also appears in her recent color strip work. This sense of flowing motion, like the successive spread of wrinkles, excludes all emotions, much like in Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase.

 

4. The Re-territorialization of Experience 
A description of landscapes often appears in novels by Kim Hoon. His description is paradoxical since a landscape has its own order, apart from specific occurrences. Kim wrote, “A rainbow of light stands out when sunlight seeps through the floating snow dust. A line of light is shattered by the wind blowing over the steep wall of a castle. Soldiers’ eyes are dazzled by the light.” Even amid the tension in battle, nature presents a splendid rainbow. The scenic quality in Lee’s painting is an inevitable element and is readily apparent, but her work should not just be considered a landscape. That is an aphorism that cannot be free from an scenic impression, but her work is not a landscape. Like the scenery of Kim Hoon’s novel, nature appears apathetic and presents just a spectacle.
Lee does not represent landscapes, but the basis of her subjective perception is obviously the spectacles of nature. The spectacles she sensed are analogous to the world of colors Borges witnessed, rather than a mystic illusion. The combination of color strips Lee rendered can be interpreted as the “re-terrtorialization of experience”, rather than the “representation of experience”.

 

In closing, I would like to examine her work, Transparent Painting. By-products from the process of making her work often left behind. These are the color areas of the masking tape that are to be thrown away. Lee rearranges these pieces on a transparent, acrylic plate. I consider occasional color (41), transparent color (52), intermediate color (121), and shattered color (131) in her Writing Colors rearranged like this.

Transparent Painting lies in a transition phase, moving from filling and piling to the rearrangement of surplus materials on a new space, which expands far beyond the act of painting alone. She brings Transparent Painting to the state of perfection as if casually playing with her own hands, as opposed to trying to delicately and meticulously observe her own stream of consciousness. Such shattering and extemporaneousness are acts of deconstructing the framework that the artist made for herself and marks the beginning of a process of deviation from her own established rules and norms.
 
2008 © JUNG HYUN (Art Critic)

exv_2008.2  Painting with no Evidence – Solo Exhibition, Gallery Doll, 2008