Critic's Note: The Recirculation of Flower, Star, and Sense
“Jang, Jun Seok’s ‘Flower’ is like Rene Magritte. We can describe it like Michel Foucault, “This flower is not a flower.” Jang’s art starts from a sentence that anyone can understand.
If one sees Jang’s ‘Flower’, the reaction is “Awe!” His Flower Series has significant presence, which is completely isolated.
Each flower we see in nature is a physical object and a phenomenon simultaneously. For example, a nosebleed is due to a ruptured blood vessel within the perfused nasal mucosa. At the same time, it is a sign of the weak body condition or a symbol of failure which is a result from hard blows to the face. The flower symbolizes the beauty. Inevitably, the flower blooms (although there are cases that flowers skip their emergence) and the appearance and structures are different. However, Jang’s flower doesn’t follow aleatoricism. His cruelly, inevitable flower is already planned, systemically considered and standardized.
In the creation of arts, planning and execution is an undivided process, but Jang’s working process draws an obvious line between conceptualization and execution. The three dominant elements in Jang’s operation are: the possibility of calculation, the efficiency of distributing the tasks for creation and the consistency in producing the work without error. Decisively, his flower is created under these strict disciplines and yet does not have a floral shape. It does not have the property of a flower. The lump of a cubiform square is the Korean character, Kot (flower), which is made of a metal or synthetic resin. Jang exceptionally adds lights (light hues) (Byut). It is his new attempt. The word ‘Byut’ is a noun as phrased, ‘Haet Byut (Sun Light)’, ‘Bom Byut (Spring Sunshine)’, ‘Tang Byut (Scorching Sun). In Jang’s work, ‘Byut’ is replaced by artificial LED (Light Emitting Diode) and is reproduced, expressed or indicated in the exhibition space. Jang excludes the actual object or phenomenon like the flower or light. He intentionally tries to include a few natural environments; such as, grasses on the floor and natural lights through the window. In art, when artificial or natural elements of nature enter our creation, we call it landscape. Therefore, Jang entitled this exhibition ‘Landscape.’
The word, Landscape, which is derived from Geography, requires large-scale cognition. The coherent imagery in the landscape is indifferent to the individual object or the presence. For instance, the headlights of the cars in the cityscape inhabit the entire image dreadfully, and sometimes beautifully yet remain unrelated to the value of the work of art. However, there are individual images intentionally created to be a simple sign with certain meaning. For example, there are signs like: billiard,※, church,†, and public bathhouse, ♨. There are terrifying signs on the wall, 가위. There are pharmaceutical signs for the Pharmacy, book signs for the Bookstore, and flower signs for Flower shop. During his childhood, Jang focused on the ‘flower’ among the signs of the city. Personally, Jang’s experience of the flower sign is not an extremely special because the flower is a common and well-exposed sign in daily life. Also, it is hard to say that Jang was that fascinated by the beauty of the flower. He doesn’t like the flower very much, because he has another purpose. He resists the communication system, which has little room to question the conventionally stereotyped object. At the same time, he uses the already existing belief system in his work that the flower is beautiful. As an artist who works with human psychology, he has a right to do so.
Artist's Education: Keimyung University, Korea. B.F.A., Western Painting.