1 08 2012
dOCUMENTA (13) runs from the 9th June 2012 until the 16th September 2012.
Programmes have been held at Hauptbahnhof, Ottoneum, Ständehaus, Fridericianum, Orangerie, Gloria Cinema, Neue Galerie, Karlsaue Park, Oberste Gasse 4 (Ex-Elisabeth Hospital), Documenta-Halle, Untere Karlsstr. 14, Banff, Brothers Grimm Museum, Kabul-Bamiyan, and Alexandria – Cairo.
You will find the participants of this year at 
Here are some pictures taken in Kassel and I hope they could deliver the art scene in Kassel at dOCUMENTA (13) this year.
Enjoy the images!

“Floating between” Vernissage & Wine Tasting

13 07 2012
Oriental VisArt presented our current exhibition, « Floating between», on 5 July 2012 at Nest Gallery in Geneva, Switzerland.
This is the first solo exhibition in Switzerland of Korean Artist Se-Un An. Se-Un was in attendance for the vernissage. Guests were treated to a viewing of her works on a beautiful, summery Geneva evening. All the guests had the opportunity to speak with An, asking all sorts of questions and getting to know this talented Artist personally.
The wine tasting, kindly sponsored by Megie des Vins Sarl, introduced five delightful summer wines and champagne and the guests enjoyed the selection.

«Floating between » continues until Sun 15 July2012 (Nest Gallery, 14, Etienne-Dumont, 1204 Geneva, Switzerland).

Thank you to all who came to the vernissage, and if you have not had the opportunity to stop by already, we look forward to seeing you soon!

Please enjoy some images from the vernissage.

Display view

Display view

Display view

‘Disposable identity’, installation, mirror, 2012

Display view

‘Floating between’, acrylic and gold leaf on canvas,  80 x 80cm, 2011

Work details

Work details


Korean Ambassador Sang Ki Park, his wife and Artist An

Wine tasting


Guests outside

Artist Se-Eun An (2nd left), organiser Kayla Hye K. Yang (on the right) and guests

Publicity in Korea

Publicity in Korea 2

‘Floating between’, OVA 8th Exhibition

4 07 2012

Oriental VisArt is pleased to announce our 8th exhibition, Floating betweena solo exhibition featuring the works of Korean Artist Se-Eun An. The exhibition began on 2 July 2012 at Nest Gallery in Old Town, Geneva, Switzerland, and run for two weeks. The vernissage will take place 7 July 2012 from 6-9 p.m. at Nest Gallery and Artist Se-Eun An will be in attendance. There will be a wine tasting sponsored by Megie des Vins Sarl on the vernissage.


Floating Between is what Se-Eun An considers her permanent state of mind in this modern world full of ambiguity. We must wander through a constant stream of information, clusters of interrelated attitudes and values that are of a single piece.  One buys what the world calls development in wholesale lots rather than by the single item. This is not to say that a people on the path to development are doomed to become carbon copies of the industrialised nations of the world. They have real choices. But each choice made entails various other elements implicit in and related to the first, although they may not be perceived as such at the outset. The artist is bereft and confused by her choices, a constant floating between this and that, here and there, the ideal and reality, the moment and eternity, life and death, inside and outside, optimism and pessimism, reason and emotion.

An’s media are disposable, unimportant and trifling objects such as the one cent coin, paper doilies, mirrors, bottle caps and newspaper.  These objects represent for her alter egos of ourselves. Her use of doilies in her installations belie an object of precision and beauty, yet expendable and superfluous. Its existence here does not make any difference.

For An, most situations in life are not black and white but grey. This is reflected in the muted palette she chooses where although her surfaces reflect flecks of pretty colour and gold leaf, her technique of painstakingly applying miniscule dots side by side to outline the decorative patterns of single-use paper doilies tones down the overall colour, giving effect instead to the stark contrast of the black or white outlines of the doily itself.  But the works are far from gloomy. The use of gold leaf to the surface emphasises the preciousness of each doily and also its delicate nature.

The ornamental nature of An’s work is derived from her upbringing with an architect father and an artisan mother specialising in the traditional Korean knot (Maedup, 매듭).  Traditional knots inKoreahave been used for various purposes throughout history including for hunting, decoration and clothing. Its usage was first only limited to the royal families and later spread to common people.  WhilstKoreawas under Japanese rule from 1910-1945, the demand for knots was so high that it was commercialised to the public. However, during this same period of Japanese colonisation there were policies to obliterate Korean culture along with the surge of Western culture into the Korean peninsula.  The number of types of basic Korean knots is around 30, however combined with knots that now derived from other cultures, the number is endless.  The number of dots, not unlike knots, on the surfaces of An’s work are also uncountable, random yet applied to the surface with machine-like precision, no dot jostling another, man-made, fabricated, reproduced and lifeless, despite their unifying beauty.

An derives much pleasure from the creation of her work despite her craft being labour intensive and time-consuming.  Her site specific wall work of thousands of pieces of mirror demands physical presence, patience and commitment from the artist during installation, yet it is a space that she enjoys – a meditative state within which she allows herself to appreciate the precious value of a moment of pleasure and transience of life. In a similar fate to the doily, her installation is also a one-off, and will come down, with all its pieces, glimmering in all its glory, trivialised, speaking of tomorrow without knowing it dies today.

Se-Eun An was born in 1971 inSeoul,Korea.  She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Western Painting at Ewha Women’s University inSeoulbefore relocating toNew Yorkand completing anMFAin New Forms in 2000.  An’s work has been included in numerous group and solo exhibitions theUS,EuropeandAsia, and she has taught inAsia.  An currently resides inGeneva,Switzerland.

Sascha Gianella

July, 2012

Image‘Floating between’, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 50cm, 2012


‘Floating between’, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 50cm, 2012

 ‘Floating between’, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 50cm, 2012

Vernissage “Externalisations of the mind” Chinwook Kim

27 05 2012
Nest Gallery, 14 May – 27 May 2012.

It is Oriental VisArt’s 7th exhibition, and we had the chance to have the artist himself to present wonderful works, some award winning and all  just beautiful to look at!
Please enjoy the selection of photos, the exhibition finishes 27 May, so there is still an opportunity for those who missed out!

Monologue and Conversation

14 05 2012

A monologue is a dramatic device in which a character speaks to an audience under the assumption his counterpart cannot hear what he says. Just as we know his idea, although he talks to himself, artistic work should be objective despite subjective expression. Through the world I view, my subjective thought and interpretation, and indirect, diverse metaphorical expressions of the world, I arrange visual elements and attempt to communicate others, as if in a monologue in a drama.

 The landscapes made through a subtle concealment of images reflected from the unconscious, relate in an ambiguous boundary between reality and unreality. To this my monologues, over this incomplete space are expressed in diverse ways. Images and spaces naturally represented, like a custom we are familiar with for many years, present a recombination of unfamiliar space and time as if in surrealist automatism and depaysement (another technique,forming dreamy, unrealistic scenes by setting ordinary, familiar things in unfamiliar contexts,   generating a psychological shock in the viewers’ mind and liberating their unconscious). I seek a remarriage of unfamiliar space and time. This unfamiliarity is akin to the landscape of my reality, but I make more delicate, diverse attempts for change within it.

 I spend most of my time sticking to something within some restrictions and habitual regulations. More attention and observation is required for this obsession. I present the possibility to discover something more visible, and a special space to capture fleeting daily scenes.

Discovery and Excavation
I think a daily scene flowing in the same direction is the re-composition of various elements that look different every time in the same or different place. Everyone feels inconvenience and tension in an unfamiliar place, due to an awkward landscape or things. Over time however, one realizes they are almost the same, without complete difference. That is why their unfamiliarity has changed from something unfamiliar to something familiar.

Rene Magritte (1898-1967, Belgium) formed abnormal relationships between familiar things and reproduced objects, portraying them in diverse metaphorical, associative, and contradictory ways. He modified an object into another through erratic marriages with ordinary images, and created somewhat disquieting images by confronting things, to blur boundaries between reality and unreality through such images.

In some of his paintings, clouds merge in a room through an open door; a vase alters into a landscape in a window; a picture before a window is reproduced as part of the landscape outside the window. Likewise, Magritte intended to create something unfamiliar and disparate by adding his poetic ideas to familiar things, making efforts to exchange with others through the manifestation of his philosophical creativity in his paintings.

I attempt an expansion to another unfamiliar space in ever-changing daily life. I insert an image I discovered in a familiar place in another space, randomly, and endeavor an attempt to excavate another aspect buried between image and image, space and space, through new assumptions and suppositions. This is much like an attempt to create another world, (an unconscious world that cannot accurately or theoretically be elucidated, but is obviously existent), by drawing out another reality under the surface of reality, and by presenting another passageway in reality made up of similar landscapes.

This awkward scene seems like an unfamiliar bridge linking reality and unreality, but alters to a familiar appearance through a repetition of discovery and excavation. I wish this scene could be reinterpreted as another space where I can communicate with others.

The images, made through direct or indirect experience, appear through a process of deformation, repetition, combination, and abbreviation. These images return to their original appearance in a two-dimensional or three-dimensional space, or are modified into degraded unfamiliar appearances. The expansion and distortion of artificial thinking spreads to an unpredictable sphere, disregarding the distinction of space and things. The objects associated with one another, through unconscious assumptions and suppositions, represent an inner space, through coarse, simplified hieroglyphs, as clues to another world, likely to be somewhere between the conscious and unconscious.

Zhuangzi spoke his dream of a butterfly to his disciples: Once Zhuangzi dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself. As he was so pleased, he forgot his existence. He didn’t know he was Zhuangzi. Suddenly, he woke up, and there he was. But he didn’t know if he was Zhuangzi, who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi. “Is this present I the real ‘I’, or am I the butterfly that became ‘I’ in my dream?” he said.

After hearing his remarks, a disciple said to him, “The story is too absurd, and is thus of no use in reality.” Zhuangzi explained again to his disciple about the distinction between usefulness and uselessness. He put it that, “The land that is useful for you is as large as the land you can stand on with your foot.

Collection Other areas of land beyond it are of no use. However, if you lose other areas of land, except for the land where you   stand, how long can you endure? The land truly necessary for you is the land on which you’re not standing, and this useless earth for you props up your existence.” In these narratives, Zhuangzi underlines the relationships between dream and reality, usefulness and uselessness. These Zhuangzi stories talk about whether I am the real ‘I’ in reality, or an ‘I’ existing in another world, confined to a frame of reality, emphasizing another space, propping up reality and the value of abstract space.

Henri Rousseau in his mature years portrayed exotic tropical landscapes through a primitive approach. Although he never visited such tropical areas, he delicately depicted unique landscapes at an intersection of reality and illusion, through what he heard from those who travelled there. Characterized by exotic plants, his paintings look like a repetition of abstraction and expression. Rousseau created unique landscapes through a combination of his memories and information from others, which he himself had never experienced. By using such information, collected from an external world, he gained a momentum, to move beyond the limitation of his expression.

I also endeavor to execute diverse expressions, gathering information from external, indirect experience. A number of images I collected in the same canvas are organically combined and enlarged. These images linked through contours are delicately depicted like Rousseau’s work, and thus look abstract. A repetitive movement of lines with the sense of speed and force divides space, creating equilibrium and order as a whole.
In Oriental painting, the use of lines signifies the completeness of personality as well as dexterity. The lines rendered without modification depict the core of things, often evoking vitality and tension. A conceived structure should be thus in mind before drawing lines in Oriental painting. The images rendered through articulate lines are deformed and deconstructed for an entire structure. The colors occupying some part of the canvas are used to distinguish space and things, and to underline a specific area.

It has become one of my long-held habits, collecting and arranging the traces of my memories, then recomposing and keeping them in a specific place. This habit, derived from an unconscious impulse, forms a new space naturally and presents a new possibility, disregarding the limit of reality. An example of this interpretation is found in the following:
“A habit is a pattern repetitively unveiling an individual’s inner state. Accordingly, a habit is one’s mental attitude practiced into a behavior. Our habit refers to a way with which we exist and assemble life fragments. This is also a symbol signifying who we are. Francis Bacon thus concluded that a habit is a daughter of our behavior.” (Eric Booth, Everyday Work of Art, translated by Gang Joo-heon, p.163)
I strive to find new meaning from many memories discarded in everyday life. Through this process, I am able to focus more on myself and gain momentum to observe the verge of time we pass over without noticing it.

Standing before an enormous wall, I look at it. The wall is filled with countless doors. A dim light exudes out of a door, while a disgusting noise from another door stimulates me. I imagine depth among such doors. I choose one door, wondering which space and time this door links to, and which unexpected incident it hides. If the door distinguishing a real world and an unconscious world opens, the world behind it approaches me to compromise the world I live in now. I thus assume the role of a passageway in the middle of these two worlds.

I offer these worlds, derived from the unconscious, a position and role to find something in common and become more like each other. Spending most of my time in an isolated space encircled by walls in all directions, I imagine landscapes outside this space and draw them into my space.

An encounter of two completely different spaces might be unnatural, but they become a new landscape, unexpectedly according with each other. Some parts akin to each other are connected and modified to insert one space into another. Its resultant landscape exists like an isolated islet. To be isolated means being separate from one’s surroundings, but in a sense, it also means maintaining an innocent, not deteriorated state. I wish the environment I create should remain pure and spontaneous.

If an empty space is filled with the visualized traces of memories, unintentional modification arises. Just as harmony is created by performers in an orchestra, playing instruments with different characteristics, each object exists for the whole. My work, spread from a standard image to the whole, has a result that is not expected. If one image is chosen, other images are continuously set to this. By putting them together, one by one, like a puzzle, an entire image appears naturally. It resembles an everyday scene I make. By putting together pieces of life, one by one, someday an entire appearance appears gradually.

I am making a journey to find proper puzzles, following the traces of my memories. The destination of this journey is in reality, but it remains ambiguous. What’s above all else significant and invaluable is the process to reach the final destination.

Between Inside and Outside- a philosophy

14 05 2012

Here is a text to help understand the exhibition and the philosophy behind it.

In 1920, two young girls living with a wolf were found in a small village in India. It is known that the two girls who lived like wild animals in the jungle, thoroughly isolated from society, acted like beasts. They were eventually saved and given rudimentary education to adapt to the new environment. But, it was not easy to make them members of the community. One of the girls died shortly after she was discovered, and the other girl mysteriously died after nine years without reason. It is presumed some determinant elements formed in their subconscious while living with the wolf were a grave burden that clashed with civilized reality.

Most people facing a new environment try to compromise with the reality to adapt themselves to the new and unfamiliar. If one tries to keep their inner self, they will be confined on an isolated island. Mowgli syndrome is a term applied to those who depart from reality and lose their identity, becoming trapped between the worlds of humanity and animal. Feeling uneasy in a community, they try to hide themselves or commit incomprehensible acts. Only a few people suffer from this syndrome, but those who do suffer greatly. People usually distinguish familiar scenes from the unreal by building a high wall between the conscious and unconscious. Those who cannot distinguish the two worlds are diagnosed and cured. I consider myself an agent healing, and try to look for proper treatments.

The first treatment is to stimulate a monolog. Utterances made, following the stream of thought, account for each symptom as it is. Narratives from the inside and outside are naturally linked like putting together a puzzle. The second treatment is a walk. After walking along a mountain path, I enter a deep forest unconsciously. As my trail disappears in the shadows cast by densely growing trees and fragmented skies, I recognize where I am. My directionless walking leads me to an ideal place in my subconscious. The last treatment is balance. A struggle to maintain a balance between two different drives generates afterimages. An ideal state is when the conscious and the subconscious are in a balance. If one is lopsided, one will deny themselves due to a sense of psychological emptiness. The subconscious has to hide under the conscious, and the conscious has to accompany the shadow of the subconscious. When I am awake, I agonize in the boundaries of the two worlds, simultaneously creating dreams. The interior and exterior of the conscious become blurred when numerous images are linked. I intend to capture images evoked from the observation of myself.

The first treatment is to stimulate a monolog. Utterances made, following the stream of thought, account for each symptom as it is. Narratives from the inside and outside are naturally linked like putting together a puzzle. The second treatment is a walk. After walking along a mountain path, I enter a deep forest unconsciously.

As my trail disappears in the shadows cast by densely growing trees and fragmented skies, I recognize where I am. My directionless walking leads me to an ideal place in my subconscious. The last treatment is balance. A struggle to maintain a balance between two different drives generates afterimages. An ideal state is when the conscious and the subconscious are in a balance. If one is lopsided, one will deny themselves due to a sense of psychological emptiness. The subconscious has to hide under the conscious, and the conscious has to accompany the shadow of the subconscious. When I am awake, I agonize in the boundaries of the two worlds, simultaneously creating dreams. The interior and exterior of the conscious become blurred when numerous images are linked. I intend to capture images evoked from the observation of myself.

I sometimes look into a mirror to confirm the effect of treatment. But, the black mirror reflecting nothing tries to swallow me like an unfathomable cave. I experiment with other remedies, and record the results. I am trying to cure a terminal illness. Like a protagonist in a film, I am probably confined to the imaginary environment I have designed and become more seriously sick, denying reality.


Mowgli syndrome is a term used by Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty in her 1995 book Other Peoples’ Myths: The Cave of Echoes to describe mythological figures who succeed in bridging the animal and human worlds to become one with nature, a human animal, only to become trapped between the two worlds, not completely animal yet not entirely human. – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chinwook Kim

7 05 2012

‘Externalisations of the Mind’
Mon 14 – Sun 27 May 2012

Oriental VisArt is pleased to present Korean artist Chinwook Kim’s first solo exhibition in Switzerland, and Oriental VisArt’s 7th exhibition.

At first glance Chinwook Kim’s works appear as semi-abstract landscapes filled with life and nature. Works that are soft in palette and intricate with organic forms, reminiscent of detailed Japanese woodblock prints in which the figures inhabit a narrow foreground space and are defined only by simple ink outlines filled with flat areas of colour or textile patterns.

However there is a sense of uneasiness and eeriness to the twisting forms that impose on each other, layer after layer, which reveal a far more complex and sober nature of what lies beneath and behind the tightly bound, gnarled forms. Only rarely is shading employed, and then it is confined to depictions of blurring the distinction between the detail and what appears to be black holes, spaces void of information or recall.

Kim is an accomplished draughtsman; the works are drawn with dense hatching to create tonality, yet some of the most beautiful works in the series have black spots or areas that are drowned in shading, creating a haze where detail struggles to emerge. These works tell us about the mind of the artist; the surfaces are so dense with detail that the images feel airtight and dense. Spidery calligraphic lines create organic shapes that feel as through they are in perpetual motion, while washes, drips and glimpses of colour suggest second thoughts and erasures. Over a piece of white paper his horde of creeping forms are influenced by the mastery of medium and imagination of Heironymous Bosch, or the consummate delicacy and refinement of Aubrey Beardsley.

Chinwook Kim’s works unfold as his conscious and subconscious state of mind does. His works are the externalisations of his mind.

Born in 1972 in Korea, Chimwook Kim undertook his undergraduate Bachelor of Fine Arts in Seoul, before relocating to Europe and completing a second Bachelor of Fine Arts followed by his Masters in Germany, then after relocating to the UK he completed a further Masters of Fine Arts. His works have featured in numerous group exhibitions in the UK and Switzerland.