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 challenges 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.
Assuming the popular character of the Korean heroic robot, Taekwon V, Seong narrates tales and dreams that reveal a combination of patriotism, violence, debauchery, and triteness, as a channel for his escapism and role-playing. Seong's jagged urban landscape as depicted in White House Night Club (Lot 1733) is satirically banal and rude. His intense, electric palette shouts of the artifice and tension in the lives of the off-duty superheroes engaged in debauchery under the neon lights.
In some instances, such as in Spring Awakening (Lot 1735), he alludes to the imagined creation of an early city. Depicting 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. As Taekwon V signifies Seong's ideas of deterioration in societal values, in Manjeong-ri 637; & Manjeong-ri (Lot 1734), we witness the abandonment of their heroic roles of legacy as they are forced to adopt regular lives of ordinary citizens abandoned by the society that he once protected.