Sin Park, Dance With the One Who Brought You, 2021. Patricia Fleming Gallery, Photo: Keith Hunter
Consisting of six large paintings and a series of drawings, Sin Park's solo exhibition at Patricia Fleming features a selection ranging from her recent work 'Dance with the One Who Brought You' to works from a few years ago. Her paintings attract viewers using dashing brushstrokes and mark-making that go from top to bottom, left to right, and corner to corner on the canvas. In her paintings, figurative images such as plants and interior spaces, as well as abstract images, which seem to disappear from one moment to the next, are intricately intertwined as though the paintings were presenting a chain of visions that keep transitioning. Such scenes are also seen in 'Drawings from the Isolation,' which are the 200 drawings she made every day and night during the first lockdown in the UK.
The lifestyle enforced during the lockdown, a period of solitude with no social contact, had no small influence on her painting practice. In 'Drawings from the Isolation,' she saw the window as a place where she could locate, escape and continue to make drawings inspired by movement of what she could see from the window of her house. Park's 'window' was inspired by how the previous occupant of the room she rents, an elderly woman living alone, distracted herself from her loneliness by looking out of her window at the cars on the motorway and imagining them as her friends. In addition, Michel, a child in David Levitt's book, 'The Lost Language of Cranes' gave her inspiration for the window. Neglected by his mother, Michel spent his time in solitude in his room and began to imitate the movement of a crane on a construction site, which he saw outside his window. He became obsessed with the movement of the crane and that language.
The solitude and the window are linked by an ambivalent relationship that reinforces or, conversely, comforts solitude with the window's ability to connect and distance the person from the outside world. For example, Edward Hopper's 'Nighthawks' depicts the loneliness of the city at night, as a large window exposes the inside of the restaurant. On the other hand, I found a similar example to Park's inspiration in Hans Christian Andersen's 'A Picture Book Without Pictures: And Other Stories.' The main character, a poor lonely painter, called the moon seen from his window his friend, and the moon said to him, 'Make a sketch of what I tell thee, and thus thou shalt make a really-beautiful picture-book!' The painter relieved his loneliness through the window and found inspiration for his creation. In either case, the window provides an object for the lonely. A car on a motorway, a crane, and the moon unveil their own movements and bring changes into a static interior. We can only recognise ourselves when we have an object. Park's artistic practice, which she describes as a record of her life and a map to better understand her feelings, is as if the paper, the material of her drawings, is a window through which she can communicate with herself.
Park's recent work 'Dance with the One Who Brought You,' made after 'Drawings from the Isolation,' hangs on the wall next to 'Drawings from the Isolation.' Compared to the drawings, this painting shows layers of attentive brushstrokes and represents a figurative image of a plant. In these two works, I sense Park's painting practice in terms of distance and space, the experiential proximity and remoteness surrounding her. From 'Dance with the One Who Brought You,' I perceived a close distance between her and the plant, which is why I feel a particular intimacy from the painting. She attempts to anchor the movement of herself and her subject in the painted surface to respond to her perceived movement. The movement continues to reverberate between Park, the subject, and the painting, rebuilding each present moment over and over. 'Dance With the One Who Brought You' means 'be considerate and loyal to the one who has been supportive, attentive, or helpful to you.' Park's eye for the monstera is attentive and implies the motif is domestically important to her during this uncertain era. The proximity of the monstera to the viewer, as implied by how the monstera occupies the entire space, represents the distance between dancers as the title 'Dance' suggests. Appreciating the time encapsulated within, the painting delivers an experience and evokes a tempo that is echoed in the interrelationships between Park and her space.
Sin Park was born in Seoul, South Korea, and currently lives and works between Glasgow and London. She is currently a PhD candidate in Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art. She completed an MA in painting at the Royal College of Art, London in 2017, and a BFA in painting from Ewha Womans University, Seoul, in 2012.
Sin Park / Dance With the One Who Brought You / 2021 (patricia-fleming.com)