ARTIST EXHIBITION PROLOGUE
Plane of Meditation & Awareness by Heui-yeong Yi (Art Critic)
This exhibition was planned to retrospect on Cho Choon-Ja's artistic development and to introduce recent changes of the artist who has dedicated herself to colored figure picture to maintain and develop traditional painting for about 30 years. She is well known as an artist who represents bare women by a clear drawing and a clean coloring to clearly, meditatively do women's beauty. The women exposed on her canvas make us recover a pure pleasure of seeing and meditation beyond a conventional notion of exposed women as sexual object. This characterizes her figures in her work.
She studied art in the mid/late 1970s when there were opposing opinions on art issues. Young artists confronted at that time situations of dualistic oppositions such as oriental painting versus western painting, Indian ink painting versus colored picture, content versus form. She decided to synthesize these oppositions by her own method without choosing either one or the other. Her method became known to the world by her figure picture in the early 1980s. Since then, she has experimented on restoring the clear forms of figures on plane.
Her coloring is done by a new method by which color soaks through the surface, different from a traditional colored picture which is totally dependent on layering on it. As soaking is a tradition of Indian ink painting, therefore, her plane is a soaked coloring. This is a trial for her to synthesize an imposed confrontation of the opposed aspects such like coloring versus Indian ink as plane, a concrete characteristic. It might be said that a solid drawing of figures is soaked through the surface, with depended on coloring. Her experiment like this has been evaluated as important for giving notice of a new development of traditional painting and opening its possibility. And her artistic fruit like this has been recognized by receiving Chunchoo Art Award and Woljeon Art Award.
Our eyes have been recently caught by the works of art which stimulate the nerves and seem to be hurriedly created for commercialism. Much concern is being voiced about a crisis in painting by the introduction of media with cutting-edge technology and extreme experiments. By synthesizing the illusion of a figure seen beyond the plane and the physical truth of the surface on which the illusion is, Cho Choon-Ja's painting shows us that coloring which has been neglected since modern times, is, in fact, a visual factor inherited in Korean blood. I expect that, through this exhibition, we could see the possibility of the painting which wakes up our lost nature and restores it.