Thursday, November 19, 2009

Toward the Creation of a New Female Myth

Sobin Park Invitation

West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011+ 1 - 212 - 255 0719

Sobin Park: Toward the Creation of a New Female Myth"
November 19 - December 31, 2009
Opening Reception; November.19, 2009, Thursday 6:00 ~8:00 pm

Sobin Park has exhibited globally, and this marks the second solo exhibition in the United States. Park’s imagery offsets the beautiful against the beastly into a symphony or perhaps a dissonance upon the two extremes. She juxtaposes the scaly darkness of a dragon against the delicate translucent skin of the female beauty embraced by his roughness.

The resulting differences in color, texture, content, density, sparseness and the nuanced shades in-between makes for a very sensuous yet complex oeuvre. Park plays with and engages in a dialogue about beauty and its beholder, or beauty and its perceived opposite; ugliness. Nevertheless, cultural notions of beauty may be relevant in the case of Park who earned her BA and MFA from South Korean universities and has been working there all her life although exhibiting globally. Beauty is after all in the eyes of the beholder and may have been a matter of taste for Kant but in Hegel’s theories of aesthetics taste is not an issue.

Perhaps in enumerating the criteria of standard discussions on beauty we need take note that our cultural notion of beauty is a cluster concept including the elements of order and flawlessness.

In Park’s work the beautiful and sublime mix to produce Kantian artistic beauty while in its Hegelian content it is spiritually imbued and gratifies the soul. Consequently, beauty is not a matter of taste alone if it’s deeply imbedded within the psyche of the individual as is the thematic uniformity of Park’s ongoing leitmotif. Flawlessness as an idea promotes kitsch and acts within a cluster that when popularly applied is a dynamic of power that is ubiquitously operant and informs the idea of beauty.

Thus, we must embrace a freer definition with which to rehabilitate beauty in order to divest it of its embedded moral implications. In other words, we need to recognize the need to separate taste from appreciation. Park’s installation of drawn and painted images is produced to surround the gallery walls stretching out and around the perimeter like the dragon/beast encircling her beauty.

The colors are limited to black, white and red therefore contrasting in hue as well as overall appearance and character. Her human, animal and nature combinations produce hybrids that are inviting in their sensuality but also in their moodiness.

The dragon is seen as something hellish and negative by Western standards. St. George is often depicted about to kill the animal with a spear while riding his horse. Eastern mythology embraces the dragon element as something not only positive but also royal, calling it the Dragon King or Yong-wang.

In shamanismand geomancy He is holy and depicted in a variety of renditions.The dragon inhabits the oceans and rivers and is capable of great good while respected as a sign by all four religions, Taoism, Buddhism, Neo Confucianism and Shamanism. Combined with the Mountain Spirit in imagery, the royal dragon forms a complementary pair symbolizing the yin and yang or masculine and feminine energy.

Asians believe that humans should not see the entire dragon because of its awesomeness thus, parts of the beast is always hidden by clouds or ocean waves. Park who is from Korea, is familiar with these interpretations but while respecting her cultural roots,in her art she is creating a new myth. Park's motifs consisting of the nude female embroiled within the embrace of a dragon is sensuous, but has a lot of other and deeper connotations.

To Park he means new beginnings but also the undeniable energy that infuses whatever she undertakes to create. The dragon can unfurl as a cloud, or coil in the seething froth of the waters as seen in Park's drawings. But, he always means a new beginning and fresh chi energy to the artist.

Eastern folklore recognizes the legendary importance of the Dragon King and his progeny who are female and some of the most powerful dynasties have been forged from the union between their progeny and one of these females. And, like ancient Egyptian heredity traditions that assured male power through females so was the case also in Japan's Shinto Sun Goddess or in the Northern Puyo, Paekche and Silla kingdoms.

Moreover, in Buddhist imagery, the dragon is clearly associated with the Guanyin a female Bothisattva who serves as the compassionate intercessor for humanity to God. The Guanyin represents the powers of both water and land and is therefore more potent as a deity than the dragon who symbolizes the sea. In fact, the Guanyin is traditionally shown riding a dragon with the waves and corals at her feet, which indicates his subjugation to her. Consequently, Park's revised mythology acknowledges this female strength that in her imagery appears as woman at one with the elements; woman fulfilled; woman empowered.

FROM MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Exhibitions Director Dr. ThaliaVrachopoulos at or

Related Read:
Sobin Park - Woman and Dragon in Love


Eunyoung said...

Hi! how have you been? I'm your BEAUTIFUL Korean agent^^. As you know, sobin is doing her job very well. She will become a world artist soon. Arethere any plans to return to Korea? I hope so. I miss you!

Pete Erlano Rahon said...

hi thanks for dropping by this blog... I hope to go back and see you all soon... how are your kids and Denny, hope you are all doing wel...

Merry Christmas!

Maria Lourdes B. said...

Hi Pete! Nice to see your exciting blog. May movement pa ng images! So you are back from being OFW and now working with CO Multiversity?
Let's keep in touch. Merry Christmas!