(Korean, B. 1954)
signed in Korean (lower right)
oil on aluminium
244 x 122 cm. (96 x 48 in.)
Painted in 2011
Sale room notice
Please kindly note that the dimensions of Lot 1419 should be: 244 x 122 cm. (96 x 48 in.).

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Felix Yip
Felix Yip

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Lot Essay

Kang Hyung-Koo's deceivingly hyper realistic portraits are not merely dedicated to significant figures of art history, but are also intended to be a sensorial experience based on an enigmatic illusion balanced somewhere between Surrealism and Hyperrealism. Rodin (Lot 1419) is in simple perspective, an outcome that is powerfully effective with its striking visuals full of emotion and character in aesthetic extension to Hyperrealism's immediacy of impact. Kang's technical virtuosity in assimilating emotional, political, social and cultural themes in singular visual motif of portraiture is further intensified by a balance between pragmatic adjustment of photographic composition and expressionistic painting technique and medium, allowing space for his celebrities from the past to revive their spirits.
Kang's acute observation extracting the essence of Rodin, the cultural icon, is manifest in his simple use of the most representational snapshot that has multifarious effects as a universal language, ultimately, demonstrating the cultural hero and his iconic influence in the world. The physical scale echo the emotional variety through bold composition, appearance and medium, perhaps as a figurative manifestation of Rodin's unnerving artistic supremacy. The artist focuses most of his attention on painting the eyes as he aspires for the audience to experience a silent communication with his subjects. The gaze that occurs between the audience and the portraits are deliberately created by the artist to intensify the existence of the paintings. The overpowering existence of these paintings conjures a vagueness of whether the audience is the viewer or the ones being viewed.
Though flawlessly accurate in its depiction, the medium of aluminum bestows a quiet gravity as the level of reflection icon radiate transcendence and timelessness through the glossy surface of aluminum. Kang utilized the mirrored surface as an allegorical reflection of the illusionary against its utterly realistic depiction in his endeavor to resemble the subconscious and the conscious, dream and reality as believes that Surrealism and Hyperrealism both deliver the same sensation by providing an illusion of reality and a sensorial misguidance through persuasive illustrations that simulate reality, which can both be the product of an improvisational automatism from the artist's psyche.

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