The three strokes of the brush
I. A stroke of nostalgia
II. A stroke of combat
III. A stroke of dance
Living far from your native country makes you very aware of your roots. When rereading old letters, looking at old photos, contemplating works of art, KimSen has memories of her native culture and landscape in mind. This memory serves as a work base; confronting her current surroundings gives birth to a personal and introspective interpretation of landscapes.
Each scene contains a powerful emotion that she tries to develop through her paintbrush. The scene interacts with her, and she with it. In her work, she attempts to analyze similarities and differences between east and west through 3 symbols: the void, Qi and rhythm. She works along these three axes to create her own landscape. The void is linked to nostalgia and is translated by silence. In poetry, the introduction of life comes from the suppression of certain words called “empty words”. However it is in painting that the void manifests itself in a more visible and thorough way by the rupture it induces.
In the filled/void game, we need to retain a certain philosophy: In fact the filled relates to the earth and the void the sky. The relationship between the earth and sky corresponds to the internal harmony that man strives to achieve. The void, which is the unpainted spaces, the silence or even transparency, holds an important place in my painting. Without the void, the spaces do not vibrate. To produce the space, KimSen needs to express her soul state, empty my mind. But as the soul is invisible, she needs a medium other than material tools to achieve it. This medium is Qi.
The cornerstone of Asian artistic philosophy, Qi has no trans-literate equivalent in the West. We could define Qi as a “breath at the beginning of life” or “breath of life”. Qi is manifested in painting by the force of the stroke. It is breath that animates the brush on the canvas. Thus Qi allows the representation of Ying and Yang.
The principle of duality (man/woman, earth/sky, mountain/sea, far/near), Ying and yang is translated in painting by chiaroscuro and therefore by the force of breath. Inspiration of air inspires KimSen to paint an impression of the landscape. Expiration penetrates the canvas and brings everything to life. She breathes therefore she creates. But breathing is also rhythm and therefore movement. In painting, rhythm often actually relates to the spontaneity of gesture. Rhythm corresponds to the distribution of elements in pictorial work. There is always a lot of rhythm in a composition. Rhythm is reflected in the concept of lines and forms, which are energies that often react with each other.
The lines are music like in a soundtrack. The color of the line refers to the range. The lines combine to form a colored partition where the pictorial symphony stimulates the senses
The forms convey volumes. These volumes are not inanimate, they flow into the spaces like glittering rivers: deep red, azure blue, emerald green, soft sepia... to paint them you need to determine a starting point and a color. According to the Ying and Yang principle, the choice of color of the forms allows you to adapt sensorial perception of the canvas: hot-cold, soft-sharp, happy-sad etc.
In practical terms, she tears paper and sticks it to the canvas. She then drips acrylic paint on it with a paintbrush. With this technique she finds that the acrylic melted with the glue and that the water created shapes on the paper while almost naturally respecting silences. Breath then guides the brush and scatters the canvas with seeds of life that rhythm, formed by imagination, then nurtures. In fact each material, however minute, possesses void, Qi and rhythm as well as its own way to express itself; the artist needs only to be attentive to the material’s language to fully understand it.
In the end she finds the landscape imperfect, as a mirror of self. Perfection comes from absolute harmony, man’s soul may approach it but can it really achieve it?