Kang chan mo

Contemporary figures are not all hard and convulsed, critical or analytical, objective or fantastical. They know how to watch the organic nature taking into consideration climatic alternations and the part of dream that is contained in each shred of life. Merleau-Ponty wrote “we only see what we look at.”

Thus, Kang Chan Mo’s Korean origins and familiarity with Japan, and his confirmed art in the impression that man and nature are indivisible, are inextricably linked to his very way of thinking and his understanding and interpretation of the world.

Progressively fed by his background in history of art and steps of his personal experiences, and based on his belief in the being and a deep idea of purity, his painting puts us at the heart of the reign of nature, through atmospheres imbued with silence and peace, suiting the specialty of his sensitive and mental approach. In margin of aesthetical and accepted classifications, his perception is not satisfied by the surface of things, but endeavors to keep only the essential of the rendering. This approach cultivates the process of ellipse and strips his backgrounds from what is superfluous, with necessary distance in order to shape the shortcut that sharpens the presence.

However, even though we know that Korea is surrounded by mountains, despite these reminiscences that are imposed to him, Kang Chan-Mo chooses to depict the impressive mounts of the Himalayan range, the monastic roughness of nature and its steep downhill architectures on monochrome backgrounds, and sometimes a constellation of stars which concentrate both his energy and his capacity to meditate. Far from the ‘local colours’ tone, which would only make them déjà vu scenes, his economic quest doesn’t stop at details but isolates the only masses of the referent under a crude light. Nevertheless, the accent is not put here on the aggressiveness of the elements but on the solar clarity of the relief.

On the heights of the Himalayan range, marked by series of snowy crests, where earth and the horizon seem to marry, a strange light craves the peaks and the rolling valleys and projects its shady folds, letting the blue stretch of paint breathe wide, and at the peak of which is often engraved a sort of pale moon in broad daylight. It is this impression of contemplation and of time standing still that the hand and the soul of the artist succeeds in conveying, in accord with the singularity of his internalized compositions.

 With the greatest starkness, his geometric looking forms entwine, erect in peaks and unite with other contiguous shapes, sliding and splitting, speaking of solitude and the weakness of man in front of the vastness of the mountains.

Using the particularities of Korean paper, hemmed of light fluffs, Kang Chan-Mo conceives his scores with his own pigments like a veritable geometrician of the space, accustomed to the rigor of the contrasts and the sequences.

The visual field to he identifies is not staked out by the horizon; it opens it and in parallel limits it or augments it, joining other complementary structures to it, in other words other adjacent mountainous faces or other faces spread out on the support. In a mastered movement, where the outlines conjugate with the flows of color, he tunes fullness with emptiness in a fair equilibrium.

A false quietude and a true harmony governs in permanence the work of Kang Chan-Mo, this free and unclassifiable artist who never stops to couple his own spirituality with the ones of his favorite themes.


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