Artists are fanatical no more than they are obsessed with their work!
Artists are often hopelessly obsessed with some irresistible persistence, to the point toward madness, that their creative work always expresses captivating powers regardless of their shape and form. People simply can’t help but are drawn to it and become addicted. The heart leads to places where the wind blows. One does not turn obsessed without going crazy, people say. Going madly obsessed with something, isn’t it also the way of pursuing art to its extreme? There is no idleness, sloppiness or compromise in art.
Jonathan Meese is such a mad artist, effortlessly making balance between talent and crazy. His wild genius flows between abstractist art, expressionism, collage and graffiti, which have been his obsession and his narcissism. He is caught in the juncture of reality, history, and anticipation, where the wild nature of his soul runs at will like an unleashed steed. The same goes for KUSAMA Yayoi, who weaves a web of obsession and enigma, layers upon layers, seeking redemption in her boundless winding journey. Yet there is Gary Baseman who, in his own world of fairy tales and in his own alternative ways, opposes vice and celebrates goodness; unwaveringly so, Baseman makes his pretty yet devilish images a metaphor for a paradise reborn. There is also Yoshitaka AMANO’s Deva Loka, the embryonic state of celestial beings in their earliest emergent chaos; all the beings, in their primitive ideas and images, virtues and vices, beauty and ugliness, are in a blur of virtual purity and reality, taking in the overpowering calling of wildness.
On the other hand, BAHK Seon Ghi’s return to the imperfection in nature, between affirmation and negation, happens to be true perfection; it’s an effortless, frank portrayal of a pursuit in extreme reflection. All the shades of light where Bahk persistently chases are but illusions. The shadows that the wind can’t blow away are the poet’s sighs; even the squeezed and crushed outlook accomplishes a gorgeous origin. As a coincidence, CHOI U Ram materializes and makes wonder out of his ideas. Looking at the tape measure in his hand and picturing the immeasurable work in his mind, Choi constructs his machines of the near future mobilized by the gears and the flexible, life-like tape measures. So ordinary, yet so marvelous.
WANG Pan Youn, forever embracing solitude and obsessed in his reminiscence, is a lone and proud soul of our time. He nurtures complicated colors and transform them into silent stride, speeding like a dashing hound or fantastic like the moon, the sail; it could very well be like the rain or the dream. Wang chases the grand round sun afar at the edge of the sky, the end of the prairie, forever approaching yet never reaching it. By chance, HUNG Rui Lin sketches compassion and empathy out of labor, portraying minors in and out of the mines; they are real, down-to-earth, diligent, kind people, but they are also helpless nobodies. Hung’s rough yet refined touches and his darkish colors utter the sound of pride for those most emotive faces and their silent cries.
There’s also Max Liu Chi-Wei, whose optimism and perseverance put him through all the challenges. With no time to care for the wounds, he cuts open a path out of the wilderness in the flow of time, conquers all the difficulties and makes them into his totems of adventure. From Southeast Asia to Equatorial Africa, Liu writes his own life story as a heart-wrenching, thrilling legend. Last but certainly not the least, we are presented soft yet dense, silky and puffy cat fur, as if we can feel the warm flesh beneath it; the cat extends its whiskers, comfortably yawning and exposing its teeth. So much trust, observation and love is poured in images like those that makes JANG Tarng Kuh paint on the canvas with such care, stroke after scratch and scratch after stroke for countless times. He insists to present the instant beauty of life that he captures as it is, visually and in tactual senses, even in the most expressive details. As it shows on the reddish thin ear against light.
Pain is not pain and pleasure is not pleasure, Buddha says; all is but temporary obsession. Let go of the obsession and there is epiphany. Resolution edges madness; it may be the mass of pain, or it is the enticement of necessity. Or they are actually a double-edged blade, one leading to the Buddha and the other the devil. How one handles the balance is absolutely the trial in art, going wild between the ordinary and extraordinary.