• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2707

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    25 May 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1080


    Price Realised  


    (b. 1951)
    After Diamond 0802 - Lemon
    signed and titled 'After Mt. Diamond 0802 Lemon Inkie Whang' in English; dated '2008' (on the reverse)
    crystal, acrylic on wood panel
    199.5 x 144.5 cm. (78 1/2 x 56 7/8 in.)
    Executed in 2008

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    Whang Inkie's work aspires from a sense of universalism by the resuscitative compromise of two different cultures of East and West; old and new; a personal and societal history with his grandiose mixed media puzzles, conflict with the desire of creating a new order and yet maintaining customary Korean art methodologies.

    Utilizing golden crystals as his brush, Whang recreates masterpieces of Korean literai art, Geumgang jeondo (fig. 1) by Jeong Seon in After Diamond 0802-lemon (Lot 1080) to reverberate the beauty of the national treasure in sheer opulence which at first glance may appear as a mere epitome of modern, commercialized reproduction, or even an overtly exoticized rendering of an oriental painting with its rich and bracing yellow. However, Whang's work extends deeper than its charming superficial panorama, as his artistic value remains fundamentally intact; the serene realm of the concept and the naturalness. The spatial relationships are formed through their relative brightness and coolness of the lighting spectrum, where illumination precludes the shifting play of shadows, controlling the degrees of definition. The infinite transition landscape extends beyond the planar continuity verifying the 'naturalness' of his work. Also discernible in Pla Mountain 0906, (Lot 1079) (fig. 2)but composed under a different approach, Whang adopts Georges Pierre Seurat's pointillism in allowing the perceptive eye to gradually develop a landscape with the interplay of pure colors of synthetic lego blocks to diffuse into one mixture of complementary color. The vibrating colors of meticulously assembled blocks also provide a textural depth, impressing a relief like impact, playfully toying with light in a new manner and constantly stimulating the eye with shifting illusion. Whang exploits the intimacy and distance to authoritative effect in appreciating his works as the landscape disappears with distance and reappears with intimacy, physically rein acting the abstract quality of traditional landscape paintings as a landscape of the mind, hence the 'naturalness' of it, whilst simultaneously implying the artificiality of digitized pixels of technology.