When Art Is Sceptical of Itself, Andrew Russeth, δημοσίευση στο ArtReview Asia [16/3/2023]Marilena Pateraki
Noh Sangho is also concerned with breakdowns in the legibility and veracity of images. His paintings brew together photos and graphics he generates with AI. Sesame Street’s Elmo holds the form of a crucifix (a meme) before a church window in one airbrushed work; a grinning skeleton sits astride two overlapping horses (an AI glitch) in another. (Both are titled The Great Chapbook 4 – Holy, all works 2023.) As many artists mine disparate sources to make compositions that have an exotic veneer but are ultimately quite tame, Noh deserves credit for making paintings that are genuinely tasteless – as awful as the digital wastelands inspiring them.
The excellent Lee Dongwook’s romantic irony takes the form of shocking self-abasement. He goes through hell in his art. Using pink, fleshy Sculpey clay, he fashions himself as a tiny, usually nude figure undergoing abject trials. In Crane his naked body supports long beams festooned with heads on their ends: a one-man construction site. In Cliff his head rests atop a miniature pagoda. There is an unfinished appearance to many of these sculptures exposed supports, scrappy bits of clay) that makes their harrowing circumstances all the more darkly comic.
A macabre, barely-there humour also lingers in the greyscale paintings of Ahn Jisan, which are rough and patchy, seemingly uncertain whether they want to hold together as discrete artworks or evanesce. (Think Anselm Kiefer lite.) A shadowy figure holds scissors in one hand and a rabbit’s ears in the other in the most memorable piece here. In another, a yellow-haired man grips the back of a water deer (humping it?) as it flies through the snow. These are fine paintings, but it would be nice to see Ahn be even less polite, surfacing the sinister energies that his art seems to harbour.