JEONG JIHYUN: NAKED LANDSCAPE
92 PECKHAM ROAD, SE15 5PY
27 JUNE – 2 JULY 2012
Becoming: A hazy glare on a stripped consciousness
In Naked Landscape, Jeong Jihyun invites us to diffuse the boundaries between self and otherness by offering a sensorial space in order to inhabit as one entity through perception. The exhibition presents itself as atmospheric scenery of hybrid embodiments and a slow motion feeling that sets up the illusion of constant transformation.
When looking at Jeong’s paintings, an immediate feeling of dizziness quickly evolves to a comfortable space that invites to change position. Placing the viewer in a doubtful position initiates a process of dislocation in terms of perception. Analysis and interpretation are pushed away by the initial feeling of a physical failure on the viewer’s body: the eyes. Once the viewer is able to locate himself in relationship with the painting, a rich field of sensorial feelings have already trespassed both body and mind, preventing thought from taking over.
The composition of the images normally reinforces the elusiveness of perception. Composed by hybridising representations of life forms and preconceptions of beauty, ugliness, pleasure and disgust, Jeong’s paintings become alive entities, making difficult to pin down their nature. With allusions to animal and plant, reality and fantasy, beautiful and grotesque, the work is in permanent movement despite the medium. Through impeccable technique, Jeong plays with sensorial displacement, melting both concepts and representations of body organs, plants and animal references.
Flatness in her painting is challenged through an airbrushing technique that diffuses the images, creating the illusion of depth by combining occasional appearances of focused silhouettes which seem to emerge from a hazy atmosphere. Her paintings reference clearly a haptic space aiming to extend a two dimensional media into the strangeness and textures of a three dimensional world. The atmosphere feels almost fluid, suggesting movement, even introducing a hint of four-dimensional qualities. Evoking a tactile experience, subtle motion and deepness are suddenly flattened by coloured dots, defined shapes of flowers or animals. Defined dots giving temporary focus, or emerging butterflies permanently test the viewer in a sensorial and intellectual way. Flatness and deepness generate a motion that mirrors the constant intrusion of the self into the otherness and vice versa; continual displacement of perception touches in the inevitable process of fusion established between viewer and painting. Naked Landscape induces body and mind to explore the oddities of losing their specific qualities and becoming mixed entities. Both intellect and body are dispossessed of their respective attires. Always between the boundaries of perception, the work constantly refers to an intricate dynamic amid subject and object, senses and thought, movement and stillness.
Standing on the shaky grounds of uncertainty and imprecision, Jeong’s work has solid references to the notion of change, permeability, self and otherness. Existence in a present continuous form implies an ontological perspective. Something that ‘is’ somehow represents no movement, it is defined and fixated. Something that ‘was’ is also an existence trapped in the past, ontologically speaking. But something that ‘is being’ implies to be positioned in an a-temporal instance, as every occasion one tries to pin it down, it’s gone already. This has implications in the existence of reality. If everything is in permanent change, reality then becomes a mere illusion. Somehow ‘being’ and ‘nothingness’ are closely related. They constantly transform into each other and it is not possible to snatch them in order to define them. Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher from the antiquity, was famous for his thought based on permanent state of motion. There is no essence, and in that sense, there is no defined way to talk about anything: no subjects, objects or things are immutable. Contrasting with other philosophers that believed our senses to be tools of deception, Heraclitus relied on them as the way of realising that everything is in never ending motion. His famous words, πάντα ῥεῖ, (everything flows) suggest that existence is an ever-present state of change and becoming. In the same way Jeong keeps pointing out the flowing nature of perception and physicality. Prompting consciousness towards the crucial importance of perception as constant change, Naked Landscape positions the spectator in a constant state of dislocation leaving the viewer immersed in permanent motion and perpetual state of becoming.
Lucía Gómez-Mejía Du Silence, Independent Writer