Anarchistic Choi Woolga - Jean Pierre Taldare Art critic
Lately, Europe has undergone many changes.
As the Soviet Union disintegrated, various new nations were born.
The Eastern European nations who had been trapped in the darkness would begin to fall in the sweet capitals, being reigned by them, only with the slogan 'Toward the Future.'
In contrast, such Western European nations as France, Germany, Spain and Italy began to adopt various socialist policies, focusing on the social welfare policies rather than individuals' comfortable life.
The dark-faced messengers were collecting the tax from every businessman and worker without even an error of one EURO.
Thus, both newly and conventionally rich people were losing their wealth gradually.
As a result, the cultural contents would be worse as 10 or 100 times as before.
On the other hand, the Asian nations including China were overflowing with indifferential capitals and labor force, and their cultural contents were appalling.
Among them, paintings or picture industry was attracting more capitals than any other genre of culture.
Such Asian nations as Korea and Japan might be influenced by the huge China.
Meanwhile, I could have many opportunities to meet the Asian artists. The paintings championing the realistic realitism popular recently in China were pouring out as if the water contained in a reservoir were pouring out as the dam collapsed.
I have no idea how long such a boom would sustain.
In any age, good artists or those entitled to be recorded in the art history were only two or three, but now in China, the artists whose works are priced between tens and hundreds of thousand dollars exceed a thousand, and thus, a variety of collectors are buying Chinese paintings as if they were diamonds of the future.
While observing the Asian fine art communities with some skeptical view, I happened to see a Korean painter's works. I even doubted my eyes for his fresh works. Quite unexplainably, his paintings were very joyful and humorous.
When the Korean fine art was dominated by abstract images in fashion, I met Choi Woolga's paintings.
Honestly speaking, the contents of his paintings were not about unprecedented issues or subjects.
Nevertheless, what fascinated me was freedom of forms.
The freedom was being evoked within the framework of modernization by some primitive way of thinking that could not be easily conceived by our modern men who are dominated by the modern knowledge.
What is visible is apparently of the contemporary fragrance.
However, what is hidden in the contents is more fragrant.
If interpreted mistakenly, his paintings may be misunderstood as children's ones, but his painting behaviors themselves are never near children's behaviors.
Even if his painting are not processed actually, they may be produced according to some sophisticated calculations.
However, such calculations can never be perceived, and recently, his works seem to be more refined.
He literally freely creates the forms of thick colored texture within an enclosure as if he were freely walking on the clay ground. Probably, his consciousness is not modern but primitive; the Paleolithic or primitive people who lacked the linguistic ability unconsciously created art as required by their society or as dictated by their senses. Such unconscious art may well be a basic human genre which would not disappear eternally.
We can find in his paintings a modern technique or abstract element, namely a seemingly slanted sculpture plane like cloth wrapper on the edge or outside of the canvas. I once asked him about it, and he quite unexpectedly answered, "When the kids are playing freely beside a creek, they would be dispersed or dangerous if they should not be watched. In order to allow them to enjoy their free play, some watcher should be near them. Then, the by-standers would not worry about their play. Likewise, such an abstract element in my paintings is essential to keep other elements of painting from being astray. It is essential for a sense of stability."
He added, however, that it was too hard and difficult to insert the rectangle or the sophisticated plane there.
Choi Woolga may have been dreaming of a perfection since his life in Paris.
However, he could not realize such a perfection even in New York.
According to him, he could enjoy a pleasure of perfection when he was sojourning in Japan for a month, working for Kita Gallery.
His paintings would change quite due to such seemingly trifle rectangular plane to join the contemporary sense.
Anyway, he has established his own milestone among numerous genres, which is unprecedented in either China or Japan.
As long as his daily images existing in the past, at present and in the future are not degenerated into ideas, we will continue to, I wish, find in his paintings a fresh sense of unconsciousness which can always be shared and perceived.