In painting, the flatness is the essence of modernist painting and suggests a significant direction and point of view to see a contemporary painting as an independent area that distinguishes it from other artistic genres.
The inventive attempt by Sunhee Lim in the exhibition emphasizes the flatness of the artist’s new perspective by focusing on the autonomous nature itself that nonobjective colors and brushstrokes possess.
‘Layered Pink Cake and Blue Guitar I, II’ (2019) series, approached through colors, the division of surfaces by colors, and space among them, does not portray an object by way of lines or shades but forms a background through elaborate color graduations and multiple layers built up delicately.
In addition, the various materials placed on the screen are not for traditional perspectives or realistic description, but by the way of different thickness of brushstrokes and colors, they reveal the existence of objects on the canvas in order to build up a natural and organic relationship through layers of colors.
On the contrary, the work ‘Lined Blue Ring Angelfish’ (2019) fills the entire screen with variety of complementary colors of fishes that consist of wide and thin lines. Diverse species of fish featured on the canvas identify their own presence with assorted colors within limited forms of each object. Objects comparted with colors and lines are individually composed from each location and concentrate on its own power that only colors and lines possess along with other objects around them.
‘King Charles Spaniels’ (2019), on the other hand, represents an artwork that accentuates the flatness while carrying simplicity and boldness. If you look at the piece, the gaze of the puppies with thick outlines and brushstrokes on the dark green background colored flatly all face the front, and the size of each object is equally expressed regardless of distance and space. Since the layers of colors that comprise the conformation of the puppies leave a perspective and spatial concept out of the canvas and show each object in the same size as involving in only the relationship among objects, it demonstrates the flatness of a painting in terms of a media concept.
The artwork of ‘African Cheetah’ (2019) reconfigurates the screen in a distorted form with materials viewed from various angels. The cheetah in front of the sofa is portrayed exaggeratedly with its front feet longer than they really are, and the grey wall awkwardly leans forward, not connected naturally with the wall behind the sofa. The cheetah, painted with relatively light and thick brushstrokes and simple colors, manifest a strange look against a backdrop of artificially decorated space and atmosphere by the artist.
In the exhibition, as Sunhee Lim expresses traditional figurative elements such as dot, line, face, and color by transforming them into a concept of ‘layer’ and displays them in comparison to line-segmented paintings, the artist unveils the concept of “medium” in contemporary painting and her own unique style in figurative arts.