MeeNa Park: House

MeeNa Park: House

Sep 1 - Oct 22, 2023

B1, 26, Apgujeong-ro 60-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea


Tue-Sun : 11am - 6pm
Summer Night Extended hours: 9 - 14 July, 11am - 10pm

Upon a simple instruction ‘Draw a house on a sheet of paper using 12 color pencils,’ an array of different houses appear. A house made of square walls and a triangular roof, a house with a chimney and yard, a high-rise apartment, a glittering gem house, and the list goes on for unlimited forms of houses we could ever imagine. When one tries to visualize a ‘house’, people are often influenced by sociocultural fixed ideas about houses and desires of a dream house. MeeNa Park works on the very aspect of how such influences had formed personal views, experience, and taste in many complex levels, which are reflected again in this image of ‘house.’ As Park had been questioning social systems including rules that we abide by, she explores this question via components of painting: color & image. After collecting vast data of contemporary consumption of color, icon, and symbol, Park classifies the data under her own criteria and analyzes the properties of our society. Drawing visual results from such analysis, she captures them onto paintings which mostly feature vivid color palettes and clearly outlined icons. The smooth canvas invites our eyes to linger evenly throughout the surface. “House”, her second solo exhibition at ONE AND J. Gallery, presents diverse appearances of houses that have been designed under Park’s unique methodology. The viewer can contemplate on the social facet reflected on each work, especially with the paintings and drawings of the series ‘House’ that were created from 1999 until 2023.

For over two decades, MeeNa Park had created series such as ‘Scream’, ‘Color-Furniture’, ‘FPM’, and ‘BW(Black & White)’ which were all independent from each other. But for this solo exhibition “House,” she has given her first attempt in pairing them. Park links the ‘House’ series with other series by inviting ‘Sky’, ‘Set Colors’, ‘Dingbat’, ‘Drawing’ series as references. Through this process, Park has newly created an intersection called ‘house’ among her seemingly scattered series. Just as a house standing alone would gain more scope and meaning as village, city, and country, while mingling with the surroundings, the exhibition “House” regenerates networking among her own works as well as expands Park’s art world.

Dingbat x House
Park plays with the concept of relation between language and image through her dingbat painting. Dingbat font is an image font expressing letters into various symbols. Park considers this font as one of the perceptive frames imposed by social systems. Once you type code-like titles such as %j(2008), CaCaa(2008), and xxxFuvwmyz(2008) on your keyboard while using the dingbat font, you would get the corresponding dingbats on your screen. Park would concoct her own narrative with the dingbats that match her letters. Then she freely adjusts the size and arrangement of the dingbats, and adds colors to complete her paintings. Contrary to language with a fixed meaning, these dingbat paintings composed of images and colors are open to numerous narratives according to the viewer’s active imagination. In this exhibition, the dingbat paintings are connected through colors while creating new relations and stories with the House icon.

Sky x House
In Cloud 31 House(2023), the house is found under the series ‘Sky’ which are paintings of the sky seen everyday at the same hour, same place. Park had googled ‘house’ and adopted the first image found as the icon, and brought her 31 clouds in the color of the sky to float above it so that the house would be accompanied with the virtually month-long view of the sky.

Set Colors x House
Beehive House(2023) reminds us of the palette set of 84 colors; Park has painted inside hexagons the colors sold by the three major acrylic paint companies in 2023 in Korea. As she understands the diversity and scope of the palette to be closely linked to the specific era’s culture and taste, Park is keen to use the painting kits of certain years to create her series ‘Set Colors’ that express the contemporary into colors. Another feature in Beehive House: you may find a hidden house for people, not for bees.

Drawing x House
Park had constantly worked on her Drawing series since her undergrad days, which began from coloring books. They are for preschoolers, teaching them the basic social rules and systems such as figure, number, and alphabet. Compared with other.