In Bae Sangsun's artwork there appear two different manifestations of the creative act, one is to paint with a pine tree smoke ink stick and charcoal upon a white surface of Gesso. The other is to draw countless thin lines of Gesso using 'menso-fude', a fine brush used for painting details, on black velvet ground so as to emphasize its jet-black colour.
Both techniques give rise to the feeling of an as yet unidentified existence. The artist seems intent to produce these two ways of creating images of inverted contrast in black and white simultaneously.
In the former, she produces a physical and realistic space suggestive of organic tissue. For example, a tube drawn in black ink diverts the eye outside of the image, with a hint of the existence of deep red blood and viscous body fluid flowing within.
Meanwhile, in the latter work Sangsun produces a mental and ideological space, projecting an image of 'outer' space. In other words, while the former may be regarded as dynamic, an image of 'life', the latter becomes altogether more static, giving rise to an image of 'death'.
Could it be that in future these two different images may become integrated in their excessive removal of any other colours except black and white? We shall have to carefully watch how these images develop with great expectations.
Associate director of Toyota Municipal Museum of Art.