SchoolArts Magazine

December 2017

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 21 Exploring the In-Between YOA H N H A N S U R R E A L I S T- I N S P I R E D V I S U A L A R T I S T L O O K I N G & L E A R N I N G Artist YoAhn Han's scintillating paintings invite you to let go of your grip on the physical world and explore a world of half-possibilities and fleet - ing glimpses. His paintings are typically executed in either high-key complementary colors or muted tints and shades of a single hue. They present a kalei - doscope of half-realized forms, some bordering on the objective and others that are fantastic combina - tions of patterns. Some of these combinations hint at recognizable forms, such as mountain landscapes, as they waft between substance and suggestion. Surreal Moments The merging and shifting forms in YoAhn's paint- ings are symbolic of his ongoing interest in depict- ing surreal, transcendent moments—the half-there states that are neither tangible nor throwaway. He thinks of his paintings as a summation of his sensa - tions that are not part of rock-solid physical reality, but that could not be evoked without the certainty of such reality. His works are monuments to abandoned moments that, in the end, prove vital to existence. He explains that his works are "like used dishes," neither full of food nor empty, but latent with the rich pos - sibilities of development within the in-between. YoAhn Han was born in South Korea and currently lives in Boston. He studied at the School of the Art Insti - tute of Chicago (BFA) and Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MFA). Process has played a major role in his work, particularly in repurposing a variety of materials. The Visual Impulse The challenge of translating one's life experiences into an understandable and visually stimulating experi - ence for the viewer has existed since prehistoric cave paintings. However, the visual representation of the innermost musings and feelings of an artist has been a guiding factor in art creation only since the late 1800s with the advent of the Symbolist movement. This move - ment blossomed into Expressionism in the early 1900s, and subsequently into Dadaism and Surrealism. With the evolution of the concept of the "world vil- lage" in the late 1900s, the borders between art ideolo- gies eased as did the concept of national boundaries. This development has encouraged artists to explore their innermost feelings, with the assuredness that such a journey is a universal visual impulse. Such feelings can run the gamut from outrage that leads to social protest to feelings of euphoria or isolation. Artist YoAhn Han with several of his works at his Boston-based studio.

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