ARTIST:

Seung Ah Paik

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Seung Ah Paik
Autolandscape, 2012-13
Pigment, charcoal & rabbit skin glue on canvas
400 x 180 cm (each)

Large raw canvases drape from floor to ceiling upon which monumental expanses of flesh are rendered. With this ensemble of cracked heels, bud nipples, broad hands, and mess of limbs, artist Seung Ah Paik offers a poignant and uniquely truthful depiction of her relationship to her own flesh.

Seung Ah Paik
Maitreya, 2013
Pigment, rabbit skin glue, charcoal on cotton calico
Left panel: 345 x 178 cm; Middle panel, 312 x 177 cm; Right panel, 369 x 176.5 cm

“I want my skin to be present in the painting, rather than be an image of my skin in the painting. I want the viewers to experience the self-meditative process inside the landscape of my corporeal body.” Paik draws her painterly technique from the Korean portrait tradition of 육리문법 (yuk-ri-mun-bup), an artistic style through which the identity of the sitter is revealed through showing the minute details of a face – indeed, here Ah Paik’s own identity is positioned as intrinsically expressed through the physicality of her body; “Every wrinkle, scar, callus, dead skin, and lump of cellulite reflects one’s history and personality.” In a time where flawlessness is celebrated as innately beautiful, and when the separation of mind and body is ever more initiated by our reliance on technology, these landscapes of flesh present and celebrate the inescapability of our own corporeality.

© Natasha Hoare, 2015

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