Many artists utilize digital tools to expand their art media and carry out various artistic experiments. A recent example is Hong Seung-Hye (b. 1959), whose solo exhibition is held at Kukje Gallery until March 19, 2023. Based on her interest in geometric space, Hong has been creating installations and media works using pixels since 1997.
Hong began using automatically generated pixel images to create wall pieces as well as pixel-shaped furniture and installations. Later in the 2000s, she began creating video works and moving images with pixels expanding and contracting like living creatures in response to the music she composed using apps such as GarageBand. Recently, instead of using the pixel units in Adobe Photoshop, she has started using Adobe Illustrator, which allows images to be infinitely expanded to create more organic forms.
Just as Hong has been attempting new artistic practices using computer graphic images since the 1990s, more younger artists are now using digital tools to expand the art media and conduct various experiments using digital devices that incorporate the aesthetics of image editing, distortion, and duplication. These artists have a strong command of embodying the grammar of visual art created through digital, developing geometric and abstract images.
Park Hyun Jung is one of these artists who uses hand painting and digital editing tools to create geometric images. She collects and hand-draws images of the smallest organisms found in nature, such as mold, moss, cells, and volcanic ash. Using Adobe Illustrator and various other application tools, she then converts these drawings into digital files and divides them into even smaller pieces. The artist not only creates these dismantled images but also embraces the accidental changes that occur during this process. She saves the images as samples and incorporates them into her works. Through her practice, Park attempts to expand the traditional method of abstract painting by creating images using the smallest units that exist in digital space and reality.
Park Hyun Jung (b. 1986) received a BFA and an MFA in painting from Hongik University. She has held solo exhibitions at Yellow Pen Club Space (Seoul, 2023), Hakgojae Design Project Space (Seoul, 2019), Archive Bomm (Seoul, 2019), and Hapjungjigu (Seoul, 2017). Park has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including those at Art Space 3 (Seoul, 2022), Hakgojae Gallery (Seoul, 2021), and the Ilmin Museum of Art (Seoul, 2018).
Through her works, artist Kim Inyoung explores the properties of digital images by materializing them in the physical world. Digital images projected on devices are smooth and sleek. Kim brings these images into the real world using acrylic boards and other mediums. By folding the outputted acrylic boards or making their surface uneven, the flat digital images become three-dimensional, giving the digital environment a new perspective. On the other hand, the artist also digitizes her paintings with digital tools, bringing physical artworks onto the screen. Through her artistic practices, the artist attempts to emphasize the difference between digital images and images that exist in the physical world.
Kim Inyoung (b. 1983) received a BFA and an MFA in painting from Seoul National University. She has had solo exhibitions at Incheon Art Platform Window Gallery (Incheon, 2021), Insa Art Space (Seoul, 2019), and Gallery Dos (Seoul, 2017). Kim has participated in group exhibitions at institutions such as the SNU Museum of Art (Seoul, 2022), the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Gwacheon, 2020), and the Korean Cultural Center in Hong Kong (Hong Kong, 2019).
Artist Yoon Doohyun searches for words such as “utopia” or “paradise” on the internet and collects the found images to recreate them in the real world. His most recent practice focused on free wallpaper images for computer operating systems and free background images for smartphones. These are some of the images that, in the artist’s opinion, represent the contemporary conception of utopias. The artist enlarges, distorts, and recombines these desktop and smartphone images in Photoshop, outputs them, and then dismantles them to create installation works. Yoon’s practice incorporates the digital into the analog to experiment with the transformability and weight of digital images and explore the difference between the virtual and the real.
Yoon Doohyun (b. 1986) majored in environmental sculpture at the University of Seoul and earned an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, USA. He has held solo exhibitions at Sindoh Cultural Space (Seoul, 2022), Incheon Art Platform Window Gallery (Incheon, 2019), and CR Collective (Seoul, 2018). Yoon has also participated in group exhibitions at institutions such as the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Gwacheon, 2019) and the 4th AIM Biennial at the Bronx Art Museum (New York, 2017).