Hakgojae Gallery in Seoul has brought together two artists from Germany and South Korea, Thomas Scheibitz and Park Young-ha. While the two artists' works may feel different in style, visitors may find one thing in common: They both reveal their inner thoughts through visual language and make people think outside the box.
It is the second solo show for Scheibitz at the gallery following his last in 2019. The newly opened exhibition titled “Thomas Scheibitz: Jennifer in Paradise," on display at the gallery’s Space 1, shows the artist's inspiration from the very first image to be manipulated using Photoshop. The Photoshop image, named "Jennifer in Paradise," was made by Thomas and John Knoll, the original creators of the tool.
The artist said he had had the idea for the exhibition for some time. His paintings are filled with mysterious signs and symbols that are somewhere between abstract and figurative art. Viewers may find it intriguing to explore the meaning of the image, matching the image to the title of each work that adds humor to the painting.
“As a tool for artists, Photoshop has become commonplace, so much so that we are inclined to forget its effect. The editing of images has significantly influenced and fundamentally changed the readability and so-called credibility of images.
"For artists, this applies in a figurative as well as a literal sense. The documentary aspect of photographs is questioned and the copyright aspect of images in general,” the artist said in a conversation with the show's curator, Lisa Shin, that was released by the gallery.
Scheibitz created the German Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005 together with Tino Shgal.
Another exhibition, “Park Young-ha: Thou To Be Seen Tomorrow,” is running at Space 2 of the gallery. Park has painted for decades, sticking to the single theme of “Thou To Be Seen Tomorrow,” influenced by the artist's father, Du-jin, a famous Korean poet.
It is Park's first solo show in 10 years. Hakgojae Gallery started to represent the artist last year.
“Looking back on the past years, I realized that I needed more time alone to paint, and in doing so, I felt a real sense of freedom through solitude. The freedom gave me the strength to create many paintings, and painting truly became my vocation and joy,” the artist told the curator.
The texture of Park’s paintings is reminiscent of an earthen wall or "buncheong" ware, a blue-green ceramic earthenware from the Joseon era. The texture of the paintings evoke a sense of comfort and humility, a feeling that is amplified by the silence in the gallery.
“I think the source of that strength (to stick to one’s own style of painting) lies in sincerity," Park said.
"I think a good artist is someone who has a firm understanding of their art. Someone who is faithful to their personality, constitution and sensibilities, while simultaneously possessing a flexible mind and the spirit of being concerned about the times and the world."
The two exhibitions run through June 17.