Hi-Fructose is a contemporary art magazine which has been producing quarterly issues since 2005 and is aimed towards those who ‘are seeking to satisfy their craving for new and unique art’ to quote the websites about page Hi-Fructose_About, as well as keeping readers informed to current trends in mainstream media. HI-Fructose offers a diverse assortment of artists and their work with its format of showcasing and reviewing work from all aspects, drawing attention to new, emerging and well established artists equally as well as a special spotlight on particularly spectacular or inspiring pieces; creating a fantastic opportunity for any contemporary artists to submit their work in hopes of being featured.
For my review I will be looking at Hi-Fructose Vol. 54 which featured the works of Eunjeong Choi, Riika Sormunen, Eyvind Earle, Bisa Butler, Taku Obata, Luis Toledo, Mitsuru Watanabe, Kati Heck, Phil Tippett and Ozabu.
I shall be highlighting and commenting on Eunjeong Choi, Eyvind Earle and Luis Toledo’s work, which I will be doing in three separate blog posts. (Just to avoid a real WALL of scrolling text)
Eunjeong Choi, Article written by Clayton Schuster
Eunjeong Choi’s work is like if bright coloured paints, 3D software and Photoshop had a baby; which then exploded onto a canvas. Vivid, overwhelming and chaotic like a grand visual cacophony; a art style which creates a dramatic first impression and requires a second to acclimatize before really starting to see the imagery underneath. Choi explains how her work is to be viewed during her article piece in Hi-Fructose quoted saying:
Choi (2020) ‘When viewing my artwork, one gets to enter the scene, and then the images come out, wriggling and screaming. Such space is not a utopia where nature, human beings, objects and concepts are in harmony. instead, its Heterotopias, where many objects are mixed together and cannot be clearly distinguished or defined.’ (p.20)
I find this quote to be quite inspired as it accurately sums up her style and the experience you get when looking at her work, as well as really opening up the understanding behind the pieces. Wriggling and screaming indeed.
Distortions of colour start to form shapes and structure, creating remnants of buildings and city skylines with scaffolds of straight lines to form geometric skeletons, combined with dense foliage akin to forests and jungles with rivers of paint appearing to melt from their origin. It is unclear weather this is to be viewed as a representation of flowing water or may have more literal roots in something melting away.
My attention was initially drawn to her work by the bright colours, the sheer nonsensical images which had no solid discernible form, reminiscent of drug trips seen in films and TV, but once I started to process the imagery my enjoyment developed beyond bright colours to the almost abstract city landscapes which held such complex intricate designs, like looking at a exaggerated virtual circuit board; very similar to another quote from her Hi-Fructose interview:
Choi (2020) ‘I wish to produce a unique painting that mixes a rather fancy, ideal world with a chaotic virtual world. In my recent works, various pigments have taken over the scene, creating a shape of space that’s even harder to define.’ (p.25)
Well in my opinion she has achieved this aesthetic in her latest pieces as well as touching on the development that can happen during her process. When creating her paintings she starts by gathering reference images which she can use as inspiration which consists of photographs, predominately her own as well as desired emotion evoking paintings and music; a fantastic quote by her is:
Choi (2020)’I’m inspired by, for instance, music that unexpectedly combines certain genres with other different genres, or plants that have been transformed in a bizarre way in urban environments, or heterogeneous and irrational relationships that are found in everyday life and news. My works are the tools that express irrational views of the world and the resultant emotions that surround me’ (p.20 & 25)
If nothing else ill give her this, she has a gift for articulating her process’s, inspirations, meanings and purposes behind her work which I have rarely experienced in other examples of artists interviews and has really allowed her work and words on it to speak to something deep in me; as well as, I think; demonstrating this true passion and self awareness in her work, explained in such a masterful way is something I would like to strive to emulate about my own work, but I digress.
She takes these inspirations and starts planning and sketching ideas out, taking the approach of each piece being able to be viewed as its own independent abstract artwork, however due to the nature of her work and the workflow she uses, she tends to leave room for work to be further developed as and when inspiration strikes; creating a ever evolving piece which can only be considered finished once the ‘Paint dries’ as Clayton Schuster describes it. Said paint is nearly always oil paint for deeper and more vivid expressions of colour, additionally using acrylic for particular effects.
Overall I really enjoyed her work, the balances of bright happy colours and geometric shapes formed to look vaguely recognizable that is then twinned with this abstract style which I can only describe as; it almost feels like chasing a piece of string, just when you think you’re about to catch it, to see it clearly, to understand it as a whole; it manages to to move away just out of grasp, it changes direction and you must try following it again in this new direction, seeing it all over again in a completely different way.
The only small issue I have and its literally just because of my own personal preferences, is area’s of dense repeated patterns or random dots of gradients, like someone has finished a piece and turned all the test layers back on in Photoshop, random streaks of colours which stick out starkly against the rest of it compared to other area’s which have the same effect but they are balanced and harmonize with the piece as a whole; but I have a hard time grasping its real involvement even when viewed from a abstract sense they truly seem to have no context or link to the piece, unless their purpose is to evoke a confused frustration at their presence or is falling under ‘irrational relationships’ which it is certainly falling into, in my eyes.
Some of the key points I can take away from this to improve and develop my own work is:
- I’d like to explore this style but using Maya, to try and use the software to arrange geometric shapes which could form an abstract piece.
- Don’t be too ridged on a ‘finished’ design, leave room for any future additions to improve development workflow.
- Really try to explore the significance and purpose of the works I create, were I interviewed could I explain it as thoroughly as Choi.
- Inspiration can come from many different area’s and forms, don’t become anxious at explaining the origins of my idea’s.
Schuster, Clayton (2020), ‘Eunjeong Choi, Hi-Fructose, Vol 54, Albany, CA: OuchFactory YumClub.