People #8: An Kwang-Sik, Contemporary South Korean Painter

Nature is truly aesthetic, varied and of unlimited beauty using objects to create visual and abstract images. Man’s interpretation of nature captures the essence of this beauty and feels its spirit to produce representative works of art.AN has developed a close bond with nature and through his work he has captured its ever-changing aspects. Images express his sensitivity.

His paintings have opened people’s minds by making them more aware of nature’s indescribable beauty. His depiction is never clear but gives the impression of being between hazy imagery and silhouettes-from a fluid feeling to that of vibrant warmth.
People appear to feel a sense of atmosphere in his work not just the copying of nature-the products of which-water, trees, flowers, petals and flowers in vases are all complementary factors. The glittering surface of the water only emphasises its intrinsic beauty.
The subject matter of a great number of AN’s paintings is water-seas, rivers, lakes-the source of life. This enhances other subject matter also represented in them creating landscapes which act to further inspire him.
Light on the water’s surface is the main inspiration of AN. Its dazzling quality and brilliance can be thought of as a spirit dwelling there.
Such a spirit could have the effect of creating an illusion, unreal and even surrealistic feelings in the mind of a person looking at his paintings where his reminiscences and subconscious are portrayed.

Images fade due to our memories growing distant whereas those clearly visible are real.
AN wants people to appreciate not only the visual images but also the emotional aspects behind them. Emotions felt in his paintings are from his memories. Such sentiments are akin to nostalgia.
Diverse images fill the pictures-mountains and rivers in silhouettes, flowing water gently carrying petals, rings of sukbujeng-i trembling in the wind, dead leaves in branches themselves casting shadows on the water’s surface, Japanese apricots depicted on the upper part of the canvas, white birches on the banks of rivers, azaleas growing wild etc.

AN’s paintings through inspiring memories, perceptions, sensitivity and artistic ability endeavour to purify consciousness against the harsh reality of life-an oasis in a desert is a suitable analogy.

Review by SHIN Hang-Seop
Written by Michael (Journalist in Chief)

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