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Seong Tae-Jin (B. 1974)
Seong Tae-Jin (B. 1974)

The Birth of Venus

Details
Seong Tae-Jin (B. 1974)
The Birth of Venus
signed in Korean and English 'Seong Tae Jin'; signed in artists signature; dated '2013' (on the reverse)
acrylic on embossed wood panel
162 x 122.2 cm. ( 63 4/3 x 48 1/8 in.)
Executed in 2013

Lot Essay

Shrewdly veiled under the multi-coloured brilliance reminiscent of the traditional Korean costume Saekdong, Seong Tae-Jin's skillfully carved wood panels are comic parodies of modern day utopia. Through his embossed surfaces that remind of the woodblocks that create mass-produced prints, Seong takes on the visual languages of both a craft form and of manga to carve a grand image of farce on wood - a material that implies permanence and importance. These recent works are ocular wonderlands where marks of the carving tool reveal layers of colours beneath, further enhancing the textural quality of the wood surface as well as the effects of shadows and depth in the image. Seong not only continues to challenge himself in technical innovation, but also strives to blur the differences between painting and wood-carving by emphasizing marks left by the artist's hands.
Whimsical and humorous, Seong re-conceptualised the famous Botticelli painting. Here, in The Birth of Venus (Lot 558), contemporary Korean super hero mingles with the tattooed Greek Goddess in a re-imagined mythological landscape. Just like Alice in Wonderland, the artist invites the viewers into this fantastical world of colorful creatures and hallucinogenic plants. In The Letter Un-posted (Lot 557), Robots and Taekwon V battle it out in a fictional ancient city. Taekwon V signifies Seong's ideas of deterioration in societal values. The painting depicts a seemingly historic chapter in which warriors and beasts are still responsible for justice and noble service to mankind, the theatricality of the scene is amplified by the bold, whirling colours that shape the contours.

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