Dreaming of free Soaring of Solitary 'Self'
The appearance of a goose that cannot fly- when I face Im,eun-ja's recent work in which the appearance of a personified goose is drawn, Director Carol Ballad's movie 'Beautiful Flying"comes to my mind- a story about birds who were raised through artificial incubation after wild goose eggs were picked up on a development site by Amy and lived believing Amy to be their mother- this movie spreads its story that Amy's father, who was an environmentalist, trained the birds destined to live as house geese because of forgetting how to fly, with the idea that birds have to live as birds do, and finally made them join the location of migratory birds.
Indeed, the scene of flying into the blue made me strongly feel that birds are beautiful when they fly. It has been far more than 10 years since this movie was released, but still vividly remains in my memory the strong message of the movie that nature is fully enough as it is, and humans can be happier only to watch it from far away than to be involved in it.
The image appearing on the canvas of artist Im, Eun-ja is no other than a goose.
It is a bird that becomes fowl, which used to be a wild goose, after missing migration according to a season and then settling down. A wild goose, which is not accustomed to flying, lost its instinct of transcendence of a territory unique to a bird unawares, and shows an appearance of sticking to its own territory like resident birds, or the dog family, or mammals belonging to the cat family.
The artist Lim is reminding her memory of a goose which she raised at home when she was young. The appearance of a goose the artist is portraying is not the one of normal appearance; it feels like heavy gravity because of getting fat, or it is transformed into the appearance just like mammals. The geese appearing on the canvas mostly have bigger heads or their wings atrophy or featherless deformity ,and sometimes assume the appearance just like a living organism at a state of the umbilical cord.
The bird that cannot fly like this, and the bird whose existence is greatly distorted in its existence itself in a deformed way, has only pitiable appearance with its true appearance seen nowhere. Its appearance of wobbling or playing tricks looks even awkward. Nevertheless, the goose has an appearance of solitary existence which never stops dreaming while recollecting its vague past. It never forgets its sweet dream of enjoying a rest setting down on its nest while habitually doing beautiful flying and showing off its lofty spirit while keeping up their ranks with family siblings in the remote blue sky. Though wearing a crown of thorns, artist Lim is also drawing a laurel wreath of glory.
Isn't the appearance of the goose on the artist's canvass no other than a self-portrait of humans who are faced with existential crisis?
We, humans, who are holding the dark shadow of death in the midst of turning our back on nature itself, are solitary enough or at least tragical.
It's been a long time since humans lost its unique beauty and value in nature as a result of turning aside the win-win wisdon and the virtues of adaptation to Providence. However, as shown in the appearance of a dreaming goose, humans are still waiting for tomorrow to come while cherishing hopes. Her painting seems to give forth a will for life and eagerness for hopes toward our period suffering from solitude and anxiety.
The artist's recent work is exposing a meaningful transition-expression of the inner side through paintings. The artist initially used to draw mostly academic pictures conveying deep impressions of pastoral nature.
In the meantime, once she began to diversify subject matters after leaving for France, her paintings also began to assume expressional aspects of erupting her inner feelings and threads of consciousness, Color contrast became stronger, not to mention her abstract transformation.
Likewise, such an expressional aspect is shown also in her changeable composition and atmosphere of her canvas, let alone brush strokes loaded with sentiment.
This means the sentiment-conveying method itself contains profundity.
I am just wondering if the appearance of the goose portrayed on her canvas stands for the conflicts or something like that between an ideal and reality as the artist herself.
The anxiety and agony about vivid reality, with which the artist herself is confronted, would be indeed a new phase that the artist newly achieved after returning to her wholly naked inner side while getting rid of miscellaneous elements. In short, the strenuous efforts of the artist, who is agonized about how to find a way to draw a picture deserving worth as a real work, are approaching as her new possibility.
Art Critic, Lee Jae-eon.