They can’t avert their eyes despite the shock of what’s been seen. ‘Artist, The Red House’ can be seen as proclamations and confessions of faith, telling the artist what she needs to hold onto for her own sense of being.
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Title: The Red House
Creator: Li, Set Byul
Date Created: 2010
Physical Dimensions: w379 x h455 cm
Medium: Oil on canvas
Critic's Note: The artist collects certain types of articles from the Internet, newspaper and other media and rearranges them into a new scene on the canvas. The types of issues chosen are concerned with inhumane violence. As each image is presented devoid of its context, the unrelated images are composed into a complex scene that creates an uncanny feeling, which is familiar and at the same time strange. It brings together dramatic and magical situations.
Li’s canvas is a space where an object’s gaze emerges as the subject’s perspective slips, as the subject’s fear is drawn to the surface by the flowing gelatinous lump. The dripping matter’s role is to hide the impulsive violence in the inner being of the artist, as well as to represent a reincarnation of fear. (By Choi Tae-man)
The reality is composed of two endpoints in distinct phases. The first endpoint is nature that occurs during the night. The second endpoint is the night itself, where every object enters into a world of symbols in order to attain a particular meaning within a chain of signifiers. However, the symbols are far from perfect. The symbol has a hole, a passage of night, and it is “the objet petit,” as described in Jacques Lacan’s theories on desire. The objet petit is a signifier of absence and something unattainable. It is an enchanting flower that blooms brilliantly on the stage of fantasy. Therefore, Li’s flowers are located directly at the origin of the fantasy-obsessed gaze, in the eyes of her figures.
Li’s exploration between the relationships of the surface and what lies below, the background and foreground and the subconscious and the conscious, are as meaningful as the search for an endpoint – or a disconnection – from the situation where human subjects are reduced to objects. Where there is a shift towards the fantastic worlds within.
Artist's Education: Seoul National University. M.F.A., Painting.