Eyeing some optical patterns

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Eyeing some optical patterns

Like history, art repeats itself. Optic art of the 1970s, for example, has morphed into computer-generated pattern art.

The exhibition "The Pleasure of Patterns," at the newly opened Factory gallery in northern Seoul, features seven graphic works by three artists: Baruch Gottlieb, Park Hun-kyu and Lee Jung-geun.

Artwork based on patterns goes way back; prehistoric earthenware often features repetitions of geometric lines or shapes. Simple or complex, creating a pattern to decorate a space or an object is considered a basic human behavior. Often the rule of repetition and symmetry is compared with the rule of the nature: it procreates itself to eternity.

After graduating from the Art Institute of Chicago, Bora Hong, the director of Factory, decided to open a small space in Seoul to display the latest visual works by young artists. She first contacted the Berlin-based Canadian artist Baruch Gottlieb, who is an artist-in-residence at the Ssamzie Space in western Seoul, and asked him to cover the gallery's entire 50-square-meter space with his graphics. The patterns, printed on silk scarves, are on sale.

The artist says that his pattern work, titled "Relache," which means "release" in English, is an altered image of "amplified human intimacy." To the artist, the repeating a pattern is like a repeating memory or experience. "By repeating the word you heard or the event you remember, you are trying to release certain emotions relating to that experience," he says.

Formerly a textile designer, the multi-media artist Lee Jung-geun prints his colorful digital patterns on silks on the wall and on a few cushions. The graphic designer Park Hun-gyu's "101 Portraits in Toilet" features a bathroom decorated with 101 tiles with faces painted on them.


by Ines Cho

"The Pleasure of Patterns" runs until Feb. 17 at the Factory gallery, just east of Gyeongbok Palace. It is open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (closed Mondays). For more information, call (02) 733-4883.
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