Digital imaging: more than just lots of dots

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Digital imaging: more than just lots of dots

Engravings usually refer to metal or woodwork that is pressed against paper to reproduce works of art. “Suite Europa,” an exhibition of modern Spanish engravings, endeavors to show how technology can surpass what used to be a craft done by hand.
In this case, a computer printer has created virtual carbon copies of famous etchings and silk screens by Spanish engraving artists. A viewer must inspect these works carefully to notice that what appears to be a painted patch is actually a zillion dots, thanks to the wonders of digital imaging.
This exhibition of digital art engravings by contemporary Spanish and Latino masters, part of the “Year of Spain in Korea” program for 2003, is being held at the Sungkok Art Museum. It is the first time this show has been seen in Asia, following appearances in Europe and America last year as part of a six-month Spanish culture tour.
The paintings, collages and engravings of celebrated artists of the Spanish-speaking world, such as Frederic Amat, Soledad Sevilla and Joan Hernandez Pijuan, are all scanned and reproduced here.
Jose Galindo’s original painting of a swan-like figure utilized paint drippings, but meticulous scrutiny of the painting here will reveal the drips as a mere agglomeration of pixels. Dario Villaba’s photograph of heaps of rocks and cement is a digitized engraving that looks more real than the real thing. Below the title of the 36 “engravings” here, some information about the artist is included, in Korean and Spanish.
“At first glance, these look like they are actually colored but if you look carefully, they are digitized,” says Shin Jeong-ah, the Sungkok Art Museum’s chief curator. “The techniques of computers make them more realistic.”
The Spanish Embassy in Korea has planned this and numerous other events for 2003 to promote better relations between the two nations, including a Spanish film festival, concerts, business seminars and culinary events.
For first-time visitors, a stroll around the grounds is recommended. Within the 1/3-hectacre (1-acre) garden are sculptures by artists from the United States, France and Korea. There are large and small sculpture to be admired, along with blooming cherry, ginkgo and apple trees. A small cafe sits at the entrance to this garden.
The Sungkok Art Museum is located in Jongno, central Seoul. To get there, take line No. 5 to Gwanghwamun Station and follow Exit 4 toward Seodaemun. Go straight to the Salvation Army center, then turn right and go 400 meters.

by Choi Jie-ho

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