• Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sa auction at Christies

    Sale 2726

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    30 November 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1501


    Price Realised  


    (B. 1954)
    Salvador Dali
    signed in Korean; dated '07.10' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    194 x 260 cm. (76 3/8 x 102 3/8 in.)
    Painted in 2007

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    'The subjects are chosen by my own intuition. Sometimes I get requested to depict someone specific, which is something that I could do without a problem, but for some reason I don't feel inclined to take up on their request. Even if I fail, I feel more passionate about portraying people I admire, I wanted their great influence to carry on over and continue to live through art.'"

    Kang Hyung Koo

    Kang Hyung Koo's sensitivity in critically manipulating the very formulae of hyperrealism is clearly attended in his paintings; one that begins with the emphasis of realism but makes intriguingly illusory promises of its existence. However manipulative and aware Kang may be of the attributes of Hyperrealism, however deceptively realistic and representational his paintings may appear, his works are purely intuitive and truthful as a primitive portrayal of his subjective aesthetics driven by his psychological connections with the protagonist he endeavors to bring to life.

    Whirling the prosaic depiction of portraiture into an enchanting composition, Kang balances the resemblance between Surrealism and Hyperrealism to bestow a sense of illusion in dedication to revive the celebrated Surrealist, Salvador Dali (Lot 1501). The peculiarity of the green palette creates a slight distracting yet attractive charisma, metaphorical to Dali's character. The untainted white of his pupil alerts his intense gaze with Kang's witty cropping of the canvas in quirky solitude composition; closely focused in his eyes, the viewer is forced to confront the immense energy of Dali as he stares piercingly through our soul, intimidating and captivating us in a spell with his majestic existence. Conjured in somewhat as a psyche automatism of Kang, Dali relives in his canvas, under his symbolic but surprisingly fitting monotone of green that evoke a dreamlike and ethereal aura; deeply complex, indescribable in its sensorial effect, parallel to the persona of Dali.

    This sensorial reflex cleverly embodies Kang's initial principle that Surrealism and Hyperrealism delivers the same sensation by providing an illusion of reality in sensorial misguidance through tangibly realistic paintings or in direct portrayal of the psyche automatism of the artist through their dreams. Equally provocative and mystifying, the adroit technicality of Kang is what grants him the possibility in composing sophistication to his melancholy on life and reality, analogous to Dali's curiosity and inability of his consciousness to distinguish reality from fantasy.


    Saleroom Notice

    Please kindly note that the signature of the artist is located on the side of the canvas and not on the lower left as stated in the catalogue.


    Arario Gallery, Hyung Koo Kang, exh. cat., Seoul, Korea, May 2009 (illustrated, p. 67).