About Dokkebi (Korean goblin) paintings...
Kurosawa’s film Dreams has a scene where a beautiful snow spirit drapes a fallen hiker with layer upon layer of shimmering fabric. Despite the warmth, these blankets of snow, fatigue and slumber, must be shaken off for the hiker to survive. Art historian Irving Lavin’s take on the Baroque drapery refers to another kind that separates the fictive from the real world, connecting the past with the present like a curtain at a theater. My recent paintings explore these different connotations of drapery as a subject. In one sense, it celebrates the simple beauty and the tradition of Korean brocades saved for special occasions, birthdays or New Year. Then the drapery transforms into mountains and oceans inhabited by creatures to suggest stories from the past eclipsing the present, such as the image of the victorious smile on an infamous dictator as a mythic goblin on top of Paektu Mountain, in North Korea.
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