KWON YONG RAE
The Eternal Flame
Stainless Steel on Canvas
1989 College of Fine Art, Seoul National University (B.F.A)
1992 Graduate School of Seoul National University (M.F.A)
2022 19th Solo Exhibition, Gallery Moi, Busan
2021 18th Solo Exhibition, Gallery BK, Seoul
2018 17th Solo Exhibition, Gallery AG, Seoul
2016 16th Solo Exhibition, Gallery Kumsan, Seoul
2011 15th Solo Exhibition, Hotel Lotte Gallery, Seoul
2006 14th Solo Exhibition, Gallery Simon, Seoul
13th Solo Exhibition, KIAF, Seoul Arts Center, Seoul
2004 12th Solo Exhibition, Seoul Arts Center, Seoul
2003 11th Solo Exhibition, Auction Art Center, Seoul
2002 10th Solo Exhibition, Asian Live Gallery, Seoul
9th Solo Exhibition, Seoul Arts Center, Seoul
2021 DIFFUSION/CONHESION, Sylvia Wald & Po Kim Gallery, New York
Resonance, Lina Gallery, Seoul
Blue Planet Deachungho Competion Exhibition, Cheongju
Utopia : now hear, Gallery BK, Seoul
Peace, The Wind Blows, Odu Mountain Unification Observatory, Paju
Pangyo Art Museum, Pangyo
2020 Shine in the Light, Museum Jang sung po, Ulsan
2019 Blue, Choice Art Company, Seoul
Pantom City, Sehwa Museum of Art, Seoul
Korean Art - A Contemporary Take on Texture, Opera Gallery, Seoul
Hong Kong Central, Hong Kong
High Light Artbank, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Cheongju
2018 CONFLUENCE, Sylvia Wald & Po Kim gallery, New York
1992 Dong-A Art Festival Dong-A Art Award
1989 Central Art Exhibition Encouragement Award
Kwon Yong Rae works to sublimate his experiences into art. Starting with <The Study on the Intuitive Expression Between the Inner and Outer(1992)>, his works have been continued since 2004, using stainless steel, fusing paintings and sculptings. Kwon's signature series is enough to show the whole process so far. The moment the light illuminates the object in the dark studio, he paints the canvas with the light after recalling Rembrandt, who's known as the painter of light in 17th century.
Kwon refers to his work as 'light'. He says that light is not introduced to complete a work, but itself is a material, technique, and expression, and it is not to paint the light, but to make a place for it to stay on the canvas. He hammers dozens or hundreds of stainless steel units and bend the flat surface, then settles the pigment, fixes them on the canvas, and illuminates them. Ironically, the cold looking pieces of steel emit various lights as soon as they meet the light, which make you think of a warm spring wave, showing an ecstatic fantasy on the white canvas. This is the moment when the subtle and mysterious 'illusion of light' appears.
The curved pieces of steel are gathered on the screen like bowls for food. The bowls gathered in one place become clusters, scattering light, and giving the viewer a mysterious aurora. This colony can be a sparkling river, sometimes the ocean, or the sun on a hot summer day. When the lights are off, the subtle glitter of nature is drawn, and when the lights are illuminated, the joy that cannot be expressed by a simple painting arise.
When a beam of light shined through a window in the corner of his dark studio, the 17th century artist Rembrandt probably shook in awe. From the subtle light beam in the 15000B.C. Paleolithic cave art in Altamira Cave, to Monet who loved light so much to the extent he ran to the glorious sunlight with his canvasses, to the starts that brighten the sky, sunflowers and fields of juniper trees, to Gogh who took fire even to his own face … are not these artworks all part of the history of light?
My art is light. I don’t use light as a means for my light; the light itself is the essence and expression. I don’t try to represent light, but I try to house it. Human is a light of its own. The humanity—its culture, history, and life—are light.
Light leads, and objects follow.